Master of Arts: Leadership for the New Evangelization

So also I send you.
—John 20:21

About the Program

The MA in Leadership for the New Evangelization provides Catholics comprehensive theological, spiritual, pastoral, and human formation to equip them to meet the challenges of an authentic implementation of the New Evangelization.

Students benefit from the guidance of our faculty and participate in practicum experiences in a school, parish, or apostolate in Denver directed by seasoned mentors. This formation is comprised of four pillars.

Four Pillars

1. Theological Formation:

The formation offered here is faithful and rigorous, grounded in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the Church Fathers, the lives and witnesses of the saints, the Second Vatican Council, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

2. Spiritual Formation:

Students receive a vital spiritual formation that will enrich their own personal encounter with Christ and h is Church—and prepare them for the challenges and spiritual realities of lay ecclesial service.

3. Pastoral and Catechetical Formation:

Anchored in the pastoral vision of the Second Vatican Council, our balanced pastoral and catechetical formation equips students to hand on the truth of Jesus Christ.

4. Human Formation:

Students receive the tools and skills to be effective leaders for the New Evangelization. Highlights include key moral virtues for lay ecclesial leadership, communication and management techniques, and awareness and understanding of ecclesial life and structures.

Three Pillars

The course of study in the Graduate School of Theology leads to the Master of Arts degree in Theology; it is available on our campus in Denver or via distance education. The program consists of three pillars:

1. Sacred Scripture

Students learn to express the narrative of salvation history, explain the biblical foundations of Catholic doctrine, interpret the texts in light of tradition, and substantiate the reliability of Sacred Scripture.

2. Sacred Doctrine

Each of our students develops a foundational knowledge of the Catholic Church’s dogmatic, sacramental, moral, and spiritual teaching as exemplified by the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

3. History and Mission

Students come to grasp the main themes of Church history, particularly in the West, with special emphasis on evangelization and on the saints and martyrs as teachers and models.
Degree Requirements
  • 12 academic courses, including 9 required courses and 3 electives
  • Weekly Leadership Seminar
  • Supervised internship at a school, parish, or apostolate, 4–6 hours/week
  • Students are expected to take the required courses in the following order:

Salvation History


This course helps students to understand the unity of God’s plan of salvation from Creation to the Second Coming. By a thorough overview of the Old and New Testaments, this course introduces Catholic exegetical approaches and theological interpretation, aiding students in reading Scripture as the Word of God. Students engage some comparative primary texts and grapple with historiographical questions that help them to demonstrate the reliability of the Bible. With a special focus on the themes of covenant and mission, the course illustrates how Jesus fulfills God’s promises and how He invites His followers to share in His work of evangelization.

3 Credit Hours

The Creed: The Trinity, Christ, and the Church


This course presents a synthetic summary of the symbolum fidei, the Christian Creed, with particular reference to its effective presentation in catechesis. The presentation follows that of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, making reference to other statements in minor creeds and magisterial documents, with particular emphasis given to the relevant portions of the Summa Theologiae of St. Thomas Aquinas. Throughout the course the unity and coherence of the fides quae are stressed.

3 Credit Hours

Discipleship and the Christian Life


This course will investigate the history of discipleship, looking back to Scriptural times and the early Church to explore the foundations of a discipleship model as the cornerstone to effective evangelization and formation. There will be a treatment of the overall process of conversion and the unique stages of spiritual development involved, culminating in the practical arena by evaluating current ministry models to identify key earmarks of discipleship and formulating new methodologies in the practical implementation of a discipleship approach. Key texts include: Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi; Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium; John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio; and Eims, The Lost Art of Disciple Making.

3 Credit Hours

Jesus and the Gospels


Among all the books of the Bible, the Gospels have “a special preeminence,” according to the Second Vatican Council, “for they are the principal witness for the life and teaching of the incarnate Word” (Dei Verbum, 18). This course examines Jesus’ life and mission in light of the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John. Students engage insights from historical research into the life of Jesus and the world of first-century Judaism as well as gain a deeper understanding of the Gospels as narrative. In addition, the Gospels are also studied for their perennial theological and spiritual significance.

3 Credit Hours

Mystagogy: Liturgy and the Sacraments


Mystagogy is the ancient practice of learning to “see” the invisible Mystery made present in the visible signs of the sacraments. In this course, the Catechismand other sources of mystagogical practice serve as guides for a deeper knowledge of the plan of God made present in these wonderful gifts. After a theological and liturgical study of Christian worship, we gaze into each of the seven sacramental mysteries, learning to decode the signs they employ to dispose us better to receive what they reveal and communicate. In addition to the Catechism, texts considered include Ratzinger, Spirit of the Liturgy, and Corbon, Wellsprings of Worship.

3 Credit Hours

Catechesis for the New Evangelization


This course investigates the principles articulated by the Magisterium of the Church to govern and guide the practice of evangelization and catechesis—particularly as found in John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Catechesi tradendae—and explores the various methods used to implement these directives for the sake of the New Evangelization. The content and arrangement of the Catechism of the Catholic Church will be proposed as a synthesis of past catechetical practice and a sure norm for teaching the faith in the present and the future. Attention will also be given to pedagogical methods and the pastoral strategies needed for the effective evangelization of adults, youth, and children in our current cultural setting.

3 Credit Hours

Pastoral Care and Ecclesial Life


This course explores the theological foundations for pastoral care in light of the universal call to holiness issued by the Second Vatican Council. It also considers the Council’s proper interpretation and implementation by the Magisterium down to the present day, with particular focus on John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation on the vocation of the laity, Christifidelis laici. The course treats ecclesial life and service, including the history and present reality of lay leadership in the Church, diocesan and parish structures, the practical application of canon and civil law as it relates to leadership in the Church, and also the special pastoral challenges posed by today’s secular culture.

3 Credit Hours

Moral and Spiritual Theology


Through an investigation of human personhood and the vocation to love and beatitude, this course helps students to understand moral action and the habits of character it establishes. Students examine the Biblical foundation of Catholic moral teaching with particular attention given to the Sermon on the Mount, the new life realized in us by the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the virtues of Christian living. The course treats the dynamics of the moral law, sin, repentance, and grace, as well as prayer and the stages of the spiritual life.

Leadership for the New Evangelization


This course transmits the leadership skills necessary to be effective “ambassadors for Christ” (II Cor 5:20), who can, in turn, form others in the faith. These skills include the ability to speak, to write, and to lead. Students study skills for collaborative work, goal setting and achievement, group dynamics, and leadership theory. Students are also expected to demonstrate a graduate-level mastery of written and oral communication for leadership in apostolic work. Key texts include: Phelps, The Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus; Havard, Virtuous Leadership.

3 Credit Hours

Graduate Bulletin

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Additional Degrees

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Put on the mind of Christ.
—1 Corinthians 2:16
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Master of Arts: Theology

Faith seeking understanding.
—Anselm of Canterbury, Prosologion
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