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  • Master of Arts in Theology

    The program prepares students for ministry by providing a curriculum rich in the theological tradition of the Church. The program's primary focus is on the needs of the Diocese of Columbus for lay pastoral associates, directors of parish schools of religion, youth ministers, high school religion teachers, and campus ministers. The course of studies also provides a theological foundation for all persons interested in deepening their Christian commitment and ministerial options. At the center of the program is a curriculum in biblical, historical, systematic, and pastoral theology.


    Admission policies and procedures for all graduate academic programs of Ohio Dominican University are the responsibility of the Graduate Curriculum and Academic Policies Committee (GCAP). Admission to the program is the decision of the Program Director and the Master of Education Graduate Admissions Committee who review and evaluate all applications. In the case of applicants who do not satisfy the general requirements for admission to the program, the program faculty will decide on the merit of such cases.

    All applicants must:

    • Complete the application form.
    • Have completed a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university. 
    • Have completed 20 semester hours of undergraduate theology or its equivalent (Note: Conditional admission may be granted to applicants without this requirement. Conditional admission status will be reviewed after the completion of six graduate credits-including THL 510 Introduction to Theology). 
    • Submit official transcripts from every postsecondary institution attended. 
    • Submit three letters of recommendation. 
    • Submit an autobiographical essay (3 to 5 pages) in which his or her academic and/or ministerial goals are identified. 
    • Have an interview with the director and/or admissions committee.

    Graduation Requirements

    • Each student works with his or her advisor to develop a plan of study. The plan of study is submitted to the Director of the program no later than 12 months before a student's projected graduation date. 
    • Each student must complete thirty-six (36) semester hours and have a 3.0 grade point average. No more than six (6) of the 36 credits may be from THL 685 Special Topics. 
    • Students must complete their program within seven (7) years of acceptance.


    Curriculum for the M.A. in Theology

    The curriculum for the M.A. in Theology has been developed from the competency goals identified by three key associations for ministry; namely, the National Association for Lay Ministry, the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, Inc., and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership.  Rev. Joseph T. Merkt, S.T.D. in Common Formation Goals for Ministry, has summarized the competency-based certification standards for these organizations. Three competency areas are delineated: personal, theological, and professional.

    The personal competency goals are central to the preparation of candidates for ministry, but are not an immediately visible aspect of the program of studies. This aspect of the program is primarily addressed in the opportunities provided for retreats, mentoring, spiritual direction, etc. These competencies will be assessed through the portfolio requirements (see THL 700). One section of the portfolio will be devoted to documentation of meetings with mentors (or similar activities) and reflective essays that address these issues.

    The theological competency goals form the centerpiece of the ODU curriculum. ODU offers courses in biblical, historical, and systematic theology. Students who complete this program will be prepared for further academic study as well as for ministry.

    The professional competency goals that contribute to success in ministry are addressed through various electives. There are Special Topics courses (THL 685), opportunities for Independent Study (THL 696), and an Internship in Ministry (THL 697). 

    All three sets of competencies identified by the pertinent national associations for ministry are the focus of the required Integrative Seminar (THL 700). Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Theology a student will have acquired not only a deeper understanding of the theological insights of Catholic Christianity, but will also have addressed his or her personal appropriation of this tradition as well as its ministerial implications.

    Required Courses: 

    THL 510 Introduction to Theology (3) 
    THL 525 Prophetic Literature (3) or THL 550 Synoptic Gospels and Acts (3)
    THL 600 Trinitarian Theology (3) or THL 610 Christology (3) 
    THL 630 Ecclesiology (3) or THL 635 Liturgy and Sacraments (3) 
    THL 650 Moral Theology (3) or THL 655 Catholic Social Teaching (3) 
    THL 700 Integrative Seminar (2-3)