Programs - Saint John's Seminary
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Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

The Pre-theology Program offers the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (B.A.,Phil.) to seminarians who have completed two years of college-level courses at another institution, the two years of the Saint John’s Seminary Pre-theology Program, and meet the following requirements:

(1) A minimum of 120 semester hours in credited courses

(2) A full course load (at least 12 credits) every semester

(3) Thirty-two credit hours of Philosophy courses

(4) At least 18 credits in one other field of study

(5) A minimum of 60 credit hours earned at Saint John’s Seminary

(6) Fulfillment of the following requirements, either by transfer or at Saint John’s:

  • English: 12 credits
  • Latin: 6 credits
  • Modern Language: 6 credits (Students whose primary language is other than English may be exempt from this requirement.)
  • History: 12 credits
  • Social Science: 9 credits, including one course in Sociology, one in Psychology and one in Economics or Political Science
  • Theology: 15 credits
  • Introduction to Christian Life
  • Introduction to Christian Teaching
  • Introduction to Christian Formation
  • Introduction to Christian Prayer
  • Chastity in the Christian Life
  • Science: 6 credits (preferably Biology)
  • Fine Arts: 3 credits
  • Oral Communication: 3 credits
  • Electives as necessary to fulfill the requirements above (120 credits, 18 hour minor)

Bachelor of Philosophy

The Pre-theology Program offers the Bachelor of Philosophy (B. Phil.) degree to students who already have completed a bachelor degree in another field of study at an accredited institution. The program includes a concentration in Philosophy (32 credit hours), 15 credits of undergraduate Theology, and related liberal arts electives for a total of at least 60 credits.

Master of Divinity Degree/Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology

The Seminary Theology Program consists of four years, comprising eight academic semesters, which provide the basic professional degree program leading to the degrees of Master of Divinity (M.Div.), and Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.), a civil degree and an ecclesial degree, respectively. To obtain the degrees, students must successfully complete at least four semesters of study at Saint John’s. The residence requirement for the degrees is at least two academic years at Saint John’s Seminary or at another canonically established house of formation. Any subsequent internship requirements remain the responsibilities of each student’s sponsor and are not reckoned among the requirements for the Master of Divinity/Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology degrees.

In general, to obtain the degrees, a student must satisfactorily complete the academic courses and pastoral formation program specified by the Seminary for each year. Certain modifications of these requirements may be made for those students who enter Saint John’s after the first year of Theology study. Transfer credit toward the degrees will be allowed only for those courses in which a grade of B or above has been achieved.

During these eight semesters, students must successfully complete 37 academic courses: 30 required courses and seven elective courses. These courses represent 113 academic credits. Of the seven electives, one each must be from the area of Systematic Theology, Moral Theology, and Biblical Studies, and the Pastoral Language Certificate Program. The remaining three electives can be from areas of the student’s choice. The credits earned in Schola and ancient languages do not fulfill the elective requirements.

For each semester’s study of a language at the undergraduate level in either modern or ancient, 1.5 credits are given for graduate degree students.

Students are also required to obtain Pastoral Formation credits associated with four field education programs. These programs represent 24 Pastoral Formation credits and are supervised and approved by the Director of Pastoral Formation.

The degree of Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology is granted through Saint John’s Seminary’s affiliation with the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome.

Master of Arts (Theology) Degree

The Master of Arts (Theology) (M.A.(T.)) Program is designed to provide an opportunity for qualified student seminarians and student priests to pursue in depth a specific aspect of their theological studies.

Student seminarians and student priests applying for this program must have completed the first four semesters of the Master of Divinity program (or its equivalent) and have maintained at least a B average. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination or a comparable graduate level examination to manifest the applicant’s capacity for philosophical or speculative reasoning may be considered in the admission of a student to the M.A.(T.) Program.

Each candidate must have adequate ability in at least one foreign language, modern or ancient, other than English. Students must demonstrate competence in a language related to the kinds of questions and research work central to their M.A.(T.) proposal. Competency may be demonstrated either by successfully completing a language course at an intermediate level, or by passing an exam of reading facility arranged for by the Dean of Faculty’s office.

To obtain the degree, a student must complete a total of 42 credits, of which 24 credits may represent core courses in the Master of Divinity curriculum of the third and fourth year of Theology, or an equivalent program. A grade of B or above in every course is necessary to obtain credit toward the degree.

Twelve credits are to be drawn from the elective courses which are in the candidate’s area of concentration. Six credits are given for the presentation and successful defense of a thesis. The defense of a thesis may result in two outcomes: (1) a successful passing with no revisions recommended, or (2) passing with revisions to be completed.

Admission to the M.A.(T.) Program is based on the recommendation of the candidate’s advisor and approval of the Dean of Faculty. Formal admission to the program will be considered by the Admissions Board, the members of which will be the Dean of Faculty and two other full-time faculty members. Candidates will be asked to submit a research writing sample, a statement of general goals and objectives relating to their interest for the M.A.(T.), including a proposed area of concentration, a preliminary proposal or outline of the thesis topic, and a bibliography. The Dean of Faculty will designate a faculty member who will serve as the candidate’s mentor to assist the candidate in the selection of courses, and in the preparation of the thesis.

The Seminary curriculum, at the present time, provides for Master of Arts concentration in three areas: Biblical Studies, Historical Studies, and Theology.

All requirements must be completed within four years of admission to the M.A. (Theology) Program.

MA/MTS Thesis Handbook: Fall 2023

Master of Arts in Ministry Degree

The Master of Arts in Ministry degree (M.A.M.) was established for lay students who are working or intend to work for the Church or who are interested in their own personal formation in the Catholic faith. The program consists of at least two years of full-time study or the equivalent, comprising four academic semesters of academic courses combined with field education, and human and spiritual formation.

The curriculum includes a minimum of 49 credits. Eleven core courses span the disciplines of Philosophy, Systematic Theology, Scripture, Church History, Sacramental Theology, and Moral Theology. Two electives of at least two credits each are to include one in Spirituality and one in an area of specialization such as Spirituality, Scripture, Catechetics, Liturgy, or care of the sick. Students must also complete the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization's non-credit Catechetical Certificate, which is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, either as a pre-requisite for M.A.M. study or during the first year of academic formation.

Transfer credit toward the Master of Arts in Ministry degree is subject to the approval of the Educational Affairs Committee. Only courses in which a grade of B or above has been achieved will be considered. Core course requirements must be fulfilled the MAM Program at the Pastoral Center.

Students are required to obtain 12 Field Education credits associated with four semesters of Field Education placements. The Field Education placements are supervised and approved by the Director of Pastoral Formation.

Field Education credits may not be fulfilled by transfer from another institution or retroactively for field work completed prior to enrollment in the Program.

Master of Theological Studies (New Evangelization) Degree

In response to the calls of recent popes to engage in the work of the new evangelization, Saint John’s Seminary offers laypeople, deacons, and religious the opportunity to pursue a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) degree with a focus on this important apostolate of proclaiming the gospel to an increasingly secularized world and outreach to baptized Catholics who have fallen away from the Faith.

The Master of Theological Studies for the New Evangelization is an academic degree designed to expose students to the broad parameters of Catholic theology while enabling them to focus on a particular topic that is of interest to them. The degree is ideal for those working in other professions who seek to augment their primary skill set with a grounding in theology in order to more effectively evangelize the fields of culture, work, politics, and family.

The M.T.S. degree seeks to provide students with a well-rounded, “whole person” Catholic formation in the intellectual, apostolic, spiritual, and human spheres. The keystone of the M.T.S. formation program is the monthly Formation Colloquium. The multi-faceted formation of the Colloquium seeks to integrate the four dimensions of formation and exposes students to a wide range of theological, philosophical, literary, artistic, psychological, and apostolic concepts through reading, discussion, and lecture.

The curriculum includes a minimum of 41 credits — thirteen courses (11 core courses and 2 electives) — and four semesters of Formation Colloquium. Students must also complete the non-credit Catechetical Certificate either as a prerequisite for M.T.S. study, or during the first year of academic formation. Students must also complete the non-credit Evangelizing the Culture requirement of the M.T.S. degree. Lastly, students must either submit to comprehensive examinations or successfully defend a Master’s thesis prior to Saint John’s Seminary conferring the M.T.S. degree.

MA/MTS Thesis Handbook: Fall 2022