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MA in Pastoral Studies

42 Credits | Online or On Campus

holy spirit

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The MA in Pastoral Studies prepares leaders to serve the Church in parishes, diocesan offices, schools, hospitals and other faith-based organizations. Designed to meet the requirements for pastoral ministers set out by the USCCB and the National Association of Lay Ministers, courses in this program cover scripture, morality, and systematic theology. Courses also include offerings in all four academic areas of our School: Spirituality, Pastoral Counseling, Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry and provides a solid foundation for students seeking to follow many different career paths in ministry.

Curriculum and Courses

Each of the listed courses accounts for 3 credits.

Core Courses

  • PMGR 6510 - Theology of Ministry
  • RLGR 6010 - Old Testament - An in-depth examination of the first five books of the Bible. Historical origins of these texts in ancient Israel and the continuing significance for their central theological themes of promise, law, creation, election, redemption, and liberation. Introduction to the exegetical methods of modern biblical study.
  • RLGR 6011 - New Testament - This course will engage questions about the development of the Christian canon while reading parts of the New Testament in the context of first century Judaism.
  • RLGR 6030 - Christology
  • PMGR 6612 - Ministry with Latinos
  • PMGR 8030 - Capstone: Pastoral Studies(MA) - The concluding capstone course for all students in the MA Pastoral Studies degree.

Systematic Theology Courses

  • RLGR 6030 Christology
  • OR RLGR 6031 Theology of Human Person - An inquiry into the meaning and possibilities of becoming fully human from a contemporary theological perspective complemented by a multidisciplinary perspective. This course grounds theories of conversion, asceticism and ministry in an adequate understanding of the human, with special attention to gender issues and social justice implications.
  • OR RLGR 6032 - Church and Society
  • OR RLGR 6033 - Sacraments: Theology and Rites

Moral Theology Courses

  • REGR 6120 - Education Peace/Justice - Focuses on developing a greater understanding of the social ministry of the Christian churches. After a historical survey of Christian attitudes toward peace and justice, participants will explore ways of bringing a concern for peace and justice issues into liturgy, preaching, religious education and pastoral ministry. The course also examines how to relate Christian understandings of peace and justice to everyday work, and civic, political and family life.
  • OR REGR 6125 - Moral Education/Development

Spirituality Courses

  • SPGR 6742 - The Ignatian Way - The ministry of Jesuits (and their partners) in pursuing a Christian vision of the world is rooted in the personal experience of the sixteenth-century saint, Ignatius Loyola. In this course, we shall study the life and work of that saint against the background of the times in which he lived. We shall examine especially two important primary sources, his Autobiography, dictated to a fellow Jesuit near the end of his life, and his Spiritual Exercises, a remarkable and influential handbook for personal and spiritual renewal. We shall also survey his other writings that have come down to us: excerpts from his Spiritual Journal, the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus, and some of his Letters.
  • OR SPGR 6830 - Discernment in Christian Tradition - This course offers a twofold introduction to the Christian tradition of the discernment of spirits. During the first part of the semester, we pursue a historical review of the various articulations of spiritual discernment within the Christian traditions, from New Testament foundations through today. In the second part of the semester, we concentrate upon the theory and practice of Christian Discernment and decision-making grounded in the writing of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Pastoral Counseling Courses

  • PCGR 6410 - Psychology and Religion
  • OR PCGR 6380 - Theology of Pastoral Care and Counseling - This course addresses theological and spiritual issues in the field of pastoral care and counseling and proposes a theological method for reflecting on these issues.
  • OR PCGR 6310 - Human Development - This course will explore the development from birth and adolescence through the tasks and crisis of middle and later life. Stage theories, cognitive, social and emotional development will be the focus of this course. Special consideration will be given to spiritual life issues throughout the development process.
  • OR PCGR 7420 - Death, Dying and Bereavement - Focus on integrating theoretical knowledge, ministerial skills and personal experiences in relation to specific topics and issues. Not just how to minister, but how one goes about explaining the meaning of loss, death and grief.

Religious Education Course

  • REGR 0000-7999

Pastoral Ministry Course

  • PMGR 6000-7999

Elective Courses

You may choose two free electives. Any course offered at GRE can be taken.