Master of Arts in Theology

Online MA in Theology

The Master of Arts in Theology (MTH) at Saint Leo University provides students with a solid foundation and broad introduction to the major disciplines of academic theology from the perspective of Roman Catholic Tradition and within the ecumenical setting of contemporary theological research and dialogue.

The goal of the program is to provide students with a graduate-level critical knowledge of biblical, systematic, historical, pastoral, and moral theology applicable to a variety of vocations, including lay pastoral ministry, religious education, diaconal ministry, secondary education, chaplaincy, and further graduate study.

Theology courses prepare graduates to:

  • Read scripture and other primary religious texts using the most appropriate tools of scripture scholarship
  • Explain the role of humility and contemplative experience
  • Discuss major religious questions (such as the mystery of God, Jesus as the Son of God, and our own human origin, destiny, and purpose in life)
  • Describe the ethical and cultural implications of a transcendent understanding of life
  • Develop the practical theology and spirituality in the service and practice of social justice

Master of Arts in Theology Mission Statement: To serve the mission of evangelization of the Catholic Church with a commitment to servant-leadership by providing quality graduate theological education in an ecumenical spirit.


Degree Requirements

(27 credits)

  • Course
  • Course Name
  • Credits
  • THY 501 Hebrew Scriptures: History and Theology 3

    This course is a critical introduction to the history of ancient Israel through a literary-historical analysis of the biblical text, including a more focused study of key books, passages, and theological themes. The course provides students with adequate tools to pursue further study of the Hebrew Scriptures.

  • THY 502 Christian Scriptures: History and Theology 3

    This is a critical introduction to the history and theology of the New Testament, including employment of contemporary tools of interpretation.

  • PHI 502 Philosophical Foundations of Theology 3

    This course is a survey of the Western philosophical tradition from its beginnings in Greek thought to the twentieth century; it includes the reading and analysis of texts by Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, and Nietzsche.

  • THY 565 Ecclesiology 3

    Within the framework of systematic theology, ecclesiology examines the nature of the church and its emerging challenges. This course considers both classic insights and new directions in ecclesiology, including reflections on the nature and exercise of ministry in the church.

  • THY 513 Worship, Sacraments, & Liturgy 3

    This course continues the Christian ecclesial and personal undestanding regarding worship, ritual, and sacraments. The praxis includes preparing and perhaps leading sacramental and ritual celebrations.

  • THY 521 Christian Ethics I: Foundations 3

    This introduction to moral theology explores the basic principles and methods that will enable individuals to assess moral arguments and to give a credible theological defense of one's position on current moral issues. Christian ethics lays the foundations for discerning and living Christian life.

  • THY 570 Christian Spirituality: History and Praxis 3

    The Catholic Church has a rich tradition of saints, heroes, and religious families who model how to live fully the Christian faith. This course will explore both the history and the theology of some of the great movements and schools, including Benedictine tradition as well as contemporary spiritual expressions.

  • THY 575 Christology 3

    This course will take students on a systematic investigation of the life, person, and work of Jesus of Nazareth. Participants will survey and analyze the revelation of Jesus in scripture, historical perspectives in Christology (including controversies, councils, and significant individuals), and contemporary perspectives.

  • THY 550 History of Christianity 3

    This is an inquiry into theological, spiritual, and institutional history of Christianity from the time of Jesus until the present.

Elective Courses (Choose Three) (9 credits)

  • THY 568 Catechesis/Religious Education: Theory and Practice 3

    This course explores the theory and practice of catechesis, including such topics as theological foundations of catechesis and evangelization, learning theory and catechesis, the catechetical process and methods, adult faith formation, media and technology in catechesis, cultural contexts, and means of communication. Students will also explore how Christian evangelization is influenced by different cultural contexts.

  • THY 580 Theology and Spirituality of Ministry 3

    This capstone course examines the biblical and historical understandings of the theology and spirituality of ministry. It then looks at contemporary challenges and issues in ministry. The final outcome looks to articulate an apostolic as well as personal theology and spirituality of the minister. This course will include reflection on the student’s ministry experience.

  • THY 589 World Religions 3

    Vatican II recognized God’s presence in other religions and thus emphasized understanding and dialogue with them. This course studies a primal religion, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Chinese thought, and Buddhism.

  • THY 599 Youth Ministry 3

    This course examines key socio-cultural and faith-development characteristics of adolescent life today and the broad foundations for doing youth ministry with and for young people. Participants will be encouraged to reflect upon and articulate their own vision of and hopes for youth ministry in their local contexts.

  • THY 601 Management/Human Resources for Ministry 3

    This hands-on course in parish management includes the study of solid business and management principles integrated into a Catholic atmosphere of respect and dignity for each person on staff.

  • THY 555 American Catholicism: Theology, Spirituality, Culture, and History 3

    This course is a more in-depth look at the life and history of the Catholic Church in America, including its particular contributions to theology, spirituality, and liturgy. This course will also examine the cultural challenges to and misunderstandings of faith in the American Catholic context.

  • THY 582 Finding God in All Things: The Apostolic and World-Embracing Spirituality of Ignatius Loyola 3

    This course will study the life and history of Ignatius of Loyola and will explore the Spiritual Exercises as a developmental approach to his apostolically based spirituality. Ignatian spirituality is “the mysticism of everyday life.” (There will be opportunities outside of this course to make the Spiritual Exercises in everyday life.)

  • THY 587 Spiritual Direction 3

    This course will explore the role of the spiritual director or guide in helping directees follow the lead/direction of the Holy Spirit in their life. Besides exploring the art and principles of spiritual direction, the students will explore important themes that recur in spiritual direction—e.g., healthy and unhealthy images of God and of oneself, “spiritual darkness,” and crisis and tragedy in the context of the pastoral mystery. Contributions coming from humanistic psychology will be integrated into the presentations to help understand the mystery of the human person coming for spiritual direction.

  • THY 522 Christian Ethics II: Social Justice and Public Ethics 3

    This course explores the Catholic social teaching and social justice issues in business and politics. This course explores the great Catholic social teaching beginning with the papal encyclicals and then the letters of the American Bishops on peace, the economy, capital punishment, etc. (Students may substitute REL 523 for this course with permission of the Director.)

  • THY 523 Christian Ethics III: Medical - Moral Issues 3

    This course studies the ethical principles related to medical-moral concerns, such as abortion, stemcell research, sexual reproduction, and end-of-life issues.

Total Credits 36