Master of Arts (Theology)

The Master of Arts (Theology) program provides a study of Sacred Scripture, philosophy, theological concepts, moral principles, the sacramental system, spirituality, and Church history.

The MA program is useful for individuals seeking careers in church work, those involved in teaching or religious education, and those preparing for a religious vocation. Many students choose the MA, however, to gain a systematic understanding of the teachings of the Church to enhance and inform their professional and spiritual lives, their families, and service to the Church and the world. Students can pursue their particular interests through the choice of electives.

The program is offered through the Graduate School of Theology, which has been named a Candidate for Accreditation by the Commission on Accrediting of The Association of Theological Schools.

The CDU Graduate School of Theology aims to provide a transformative learning experience in the digital space and to develop leaders for the new evangelization in the 21st century.


Program Requirements

  • 36 Credits (24 Core Credits plus 12 Elective Credits, which may include an optional 3-credit thesis.)
  • One comprehensive exam (COMP 599) to be taken when all coursework is complete.
  • Program Time Limit: 5 years

Application Process:

  • Submit a program application and $25 application fee.
  • Send an official transcript from an accredited degree-issuing undergraduate institution.
  • Complete THEO 503: The Catholic Theological Tradition, with a grade of 3.0 or higher.*

* Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the dean. Students who earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher as a non-matriculated graduate student may be considered for admission.

Transfer Credit: A maximum of 6 theology graduate credits earned within the last 5 years with a grade of 3.0 or higher may be transferred if earned from an institution(s) accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Acceptance of transfer credit is at the discretion of the academic dean.

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Program Goals

By the end of the MA (Theology) program, a student:

  • Synthesizes the Church’s teaching on Divine Revelation including Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the magisterium of the Church and how it bears on the Church’s mission of evangelization.
  • Exhibits a mature understanding of the Christian vocation in the world and a capacity to defend the Catholic faith in the wider culture.
  • Demonstrates the ability to refer, in careful and appropriate ways, to Scriptural passages related to the fundamental teachings of the Church and in a demonstrated capacity, to apply various approaches to Scriptural interpretation as these have been recommended in the Constitution on Divine Revelation.
  • Engages in critical theological thinking through reflection and analysis of theological and philosophical concepts and texts.
  • Articulates the ethical and moral principles of the Christian life and how they inform the growth of the Christian community.
  • Achieves an understanding of the principles of Scripture, moral theology, and Catholic social teachings and an ability to apply them to contemporary social, cultural, or biomedical issues.


Course List

Core Credits

  • THEO 503 The Catholic Theological Tradition (8 weeks), 3 Credits
  • THEO 510 Revelation and Faith: Fundamental Theology (8 weeks), 3 Credits
  • THEO 631 Introduction to Christology, 3 Credits
  • THEO 551 Theology of the Sacraments, 3 Credits
  • THEO 560 Fundamental Moral Theology (8 weeks), 3 Credits
  • THEO 641 Theology of the Church, 3 Credits
  • PHIL 508 Philosophy for Theology, 3 Credits
  • SCRPT 530 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History (8 weeks), 3 Credits

Elective Credits

  • CHIST 514 Church History I: Early Christians to the Middle Ages, 3 Credits
  • CHIST 524 Church History II: Renaissance to Modern Church, 3 Credits
  • CHIST 544 History of the Catholic Church in America, 3 Credits
  • HUM 687 Sacred Architecture, 3 Credits
  • PHIL 534 Philosophy of the Human Person, 3 Credits
  • PHIL 648 Phenomenology: Truth of the World, 3 Credits
  • RELED 560 Principles of Catholic Education, 3 Credits
  • RELED 671 Leadership for Catholic Adult Faith Formation, 3 Credits
  • SCRPT 515 Biblical Foundations, 3 Credits
  • SCRPT 520 Pentateuch, 3 Credits
  • SCRPT 540 Isaiah and the Prophets, 3 Credits
  • SCRPT 570 The Letter to the Romans, 3 Credits
  • SCRPT 571 The Gospel of St. John, 3 Credits
  • SCRPT 662 The Synoptic Gospels, 3 Credits
  • SPIR 501 Applied Catholic Spirituality, 3 Credits
  • THEO 584 The Modern Crisis of Values and the Catholic Mind, 3 Credits
  • THEO 598 Holy Land: The Fifth Gospel, 3 Credits
  • THEO 599 Italy: Crossroads of Christendom, 3 Credits
  • THEO 617 Father Spitzer’s Evidence for God, 3 Credits
  • THEO 618 Introduction to St. Thomas Aquinas, 3 Credits
  • THEO 640 Presenting the Faith in the Modern World: Dealing with Hard Questions, 3 Credits
  • THEO 642 Catholic Apologetics, 3 Credits
  • THEO 682 Forming a Catholic World View: Catholic Social Teachings, 3 Credits
  • THEO 697 Thesis Direction, 3 Credits

The CDU Advantage

In a 2018 survey of CDU graduate students, 100% reported that they had achieved their learning goals.

CDU Offers:

  • Flexibility to study where and when you choose
  • Authentic Catholic teaching
  • Affordability
  • A global Catholic community
  • Knowledgeable and accessible faculty
  • Engaging online courses with discussion forums
  • Mobile app for study on the go
  • Online library staffed by a theological librarian
  • 24/7 technical support

The MA program is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized as a national accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The university is certified as a degree-granting institution by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.


Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated June 19, 2019
This course is Online
Start Date
5 years
450 USD
$450 per credit hour ($1,350 per course)
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Fall I: September 1st; Winter I: January 1st; Summer I: May 1st
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End Date
Oct 18, 2019
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Fall I: September 1st; Winter I: January 1st; Summer I: May 1st
Start Date
End Date
Oct 18, 2019
Application deadline
Request Info
Fall I: September 1st; Winter I: January 1st; Summer I: May 1st
Application deadline
Request Info
Fall I: September 1st; Winter I: January 1st; Summer I: May 1st
End Date
Oct 18, 2019
Application deadline
Request Info
Fall I: September 1st; Winter I: January 1st; Summer I: May 1st
End Date
Oct 18, 2019