Departmental Overview

PURPOSE: The Master of Arts program in Theology and Christian Ministry was established at Franciscan University of Steubenville in 1980 to meet a growing need in the Catholic Church for men and women steeped in authentic Catholic theology and able to apply this theology within the many pastoral, teaching, and service ministries in the Church today.

Each year we receive more requests from Catholic dioceses, parishes, educational institutions, and other ministries for workers who believe deeply in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, adhere to authentic teaching, and are equipped both theologically and pastorally to serve God’s people. They contact Franciscan University of Steubenville because they know our graduates can fulfill this great need. The members of the theology faculty are fully committed to teaching the truth of the Catholic faith as it is found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and taught and interpreted by the Church’s Magisterium in unbroken continuity from the present back to Christ and the Apostles. We also recognize the need for theology to contribute to the ongoing renewal of the Catholic Church, according to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and recent popes. Hence, we refer to our theological approach as “dynamic orthodoxy,” since we seek to undertake theological study in a way that is at the same time truly faithful to the Catholic Church’s magisterium and positive and open to the authentic impulses of the Holy Spirit. Thus, our graduate theology program reflects the nature of Franciscan University of Steubenville: It is Catholic, Christian, and Franciscan in content and spirit.

The MA program in Theology and Christian Ministry provides students with a solid, graduate-level foundation in Catholic theology that will enable them to serve effectively in a variety of fields of ministry, or to pursue further graduate studies in theology. This degree program is available either on campus or online. On campus students have an opportunity to specialize their studies: those who wish to serve in the catechetical fields are encouraged to complete the Specialization in Catechetics, and those who wish to pursue further graduate study are encouraged to apply for admission to the Research Intensive Track of the Master’s program.  Online students who wish to serve in the catechetical fields are encouraged to enroll in our MA program in Catechetics and Evangelization. Graduates of the program to date (who have come from five continents and every part of Canada and the United States) have gone on to serve as hospital chaplains, youth ministers, DREs, teachers, catechists, missionaries, pastoral workers, campus ministers, diocesan service directors, pastors, and in many other responsible positions in the Church. Graduates of our Master’s program have also gone on to pursue PhD or STD degrees in theology at such schools as Fordham, Marquette, Catholic University of America, and the Pontifical College of St. Thomas (the Angelicum) in Rome.