M.A. in Catholic Theology - Degree Requirements
Course Work Requirements
All students take a core of six classes comprised of two courses each from the biblical, historical, and systematic wings of the department:
- Old Testament Interpretation
- New Testament Interpretation
- History of Christianity (two courses)
- Introduction to Systematic Theology
- Introduction to Theological Ethics
After completing these core classes, students choose to focus in intensive work in one of three fields of study:
- Bible (six additional courses)
- Historical Theology (four additional courses)
- Systematic Theology (four additional courses)
To complete these additional courses, students may enroll in any graduate courses offered by the department (including doctoral seminars) with the permission of the instructors. Students may also take courses outside the theology department (e.g. in history, philosophy, medieval studies, etc.) with permission from their adviser.
In all, the M.A. in Catholic Theology consists of 10 courses for students concentrating in the historical or systematic areas and 12 courses for students concentrating in Bible.
Proficiency in either French or German is also required for the master's degree (Spanish may be substituted for one of these languages depending on the student’s academic interests). The ability to read theology in a foreign language is important for two reasons: It makes the student a member of a community of theologians that is broader than English-speaking North Americans, and it enriches the theological imagination by offering access to different ways of speaking and hence of thinking.
Students may demonstrate reading proficiency in these languages in one of two ways:
- Passing a translation exam (with a dictionary) offered by the department
- Passing a “French for Reading” (or German or Spanish) course offered at Fordham or at an approved institution
Core Course Examinations
Every M.A. student is required to take a subject examination immediately at the end of each core course to fulfill the requirements of the master's degree. These exams are the same as the course’s final exam. These exams will be comprehensive in scope in the sense that they will cover the material studied over the duration of the semester. The faculty member who teaches the core course will prepare an exam that offers the student a choice of essay questions. Students will have two-and-a-half hours to complete the exam.
Final Research Project
Each M.A. student will select a paper written for one of their courses and will revise the paper to develop interdisciplinary dimensions of this work in light of conversations conducted with faculty members in two fields of study other than the one in which the paper was originally prepared. So, for example, if a student selects a paper written for a Bible class, she will then develop the paper further with input from two faculty members in different fields (e.g. Historical and Systematics).
The revised paper will be submitted by the Friday of the 12th week of the student’s final semester to the three faculty members involved in the project. In consultation with these three faculty members, the student will schedule a one-hour time period during the last week of the semester for an oral exam on the paper. The oral exam will explore the interdisciplinary and integrative character of the work conducted.