DEGREES

Master of Arts: Theology with Concentration in Sacred Scripture

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

About the Program

The Second Vatican Council taught that “the study of the sacred page,” that is, the Bible, must be “the soul of sacred theology” (Dei Verbum, 24).

The Scripture concentration offers students a rigorous set of courses that teach them how to interpret the literary, historical, and theological dimensions of the biblical texts in ways that are informed by both the Church’s tradition and contemporary biblical scholarship. The concentration includes courses in both Old and New Testament studies as well as offerings in biblical languages and biblical hermeneutics. Students will also have the opportunity to visit the Holy Land and study Scripture in the very places the Bible describes.

One of the primary strengths of the program is that many of our faculty members are Scripture scholars. They have studied the Bible in its original languages and have written dissertations and published books on biblical topics and themes. Our faculty brings the breadth of their knowledge to the classroom, making Scripture study comprehensible and transformative for our students.

Students in the Master of Arts in Theology degree program have the option of pursuing a concentration in Sacred Scripture. The concentration is available to on-campus and to distance-education students.

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.

Four Pillars

Built on the same four pillars as priestly and religious formation, this program offers a comprehensive, integrated training that prepares lay ecclesial leaders to share the truth of Jesus Christ amidst contemporary challenges.

1. Theological Formation:

Students receive a faithful and rigorous theological formation 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. This instruction grounds the students in the long theological tradition of the Church with an eye towards the authentic implementation of the New Evangelization.

2. Spiritual Formation:

Through course material, seminars, and practicum experiences, students receive a spiritual formation that enriches their own personal encounter with Christ and prepares them for the challenges and spiritual realities of lay ecclesial service.

3. Pastoral, Evangelistic, and Catechetical Formation:

Grounded in the pastoral vision of the Second Vatican Council, the program offers pastoral and catechetical formation that equips students to hand on the truth of Jesus Christ in this time of the New Evangelization. This formation is centered around sound principles of pastoral care and key methods of authentic catechetical renewal envisioned and articulated by the documents of Vatican II, the writings of St. John Paul II, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

4. Human Formation:

Through coursework, seminars, and practicum experiences, students receive practical and essential human formation that forms them to be effective leaders for the New Evangelization. These crucial skills and dispositions include the key moral virtues for lay ecclesial leadership, communication and management skills, an appropriate awareness and understanding of ecclesial life and structures, and interpersonal skills related to ecclesial life and service.

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.

Programmatic Goals

I. Theology: to demonstrate a foundational knowledge of the Catholic Church’s dogmatic, sacramental, moral, and spiritual teaching, building upon that doctrine as exemplified by the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Graduates will be able to analyze, explain, and where relevant defend the following elements of understanding:
II. Spiritual Interiority: recognizing that a mature Christian interior life is both a prerequisite to effective mission and the goal toward which that mission is oriented, as well as an essential part of the methodological structure of all catechetical practice, graduates will be able to explain and defend the following elements of understanding:
III. Pastoral, Evangelical & Catechetical: to demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental principles of evangelization and catechesis, as well as strategies of pastoral care and the ability to develop, to implement, and to assess effective evangelistic, catechetical, and pastoral initiatives in an ecclesial setting which respond to the leading challenges facing the Church’s mission today. Graduates will be able to analyze, explain, and where relevant defend the following elements of understanding:
IV. Leadership: to demonstrate readiness for collaborative work and management in the life of the Church so as to implement effective discipleship strategies. Graduates will demonstrate an articulate understanding of and principled commitment to the following elements:

Courses

Students are eligible to apply for the concentration once they have completed two (or more) courses with a cumulative grade point average of 3.70 or higher. The concentration requires the normal eight-course MA Theology core curriculum, plus six additional courses listed below. It is for this reason that this program is the most suitable track for those looking to pursue doctoral studies.

Electives:

  • Old Testament elective
  • New Testament elective
  • A course in biblical interpretation or an additional Scripture elective (in any area)
  • Scripture elective
  • An elective in any area
  • The Fifth Gospel (Holy Land Pilgrimage) or an additional Scripture elective

M.A. Thesis: By invitation of the faculty, a thesis may be completed and substituted for an elective

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Additional Degrees

Master of Arts: Pastoral Theology

So also I send you.
—John 20:21
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Faith seeking understanding.
—Anselm of Canterbury, Prosologion
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