The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) is the ordinary professional degree for those preparing for ordained Roman Catholic Priesthood. It is also open to people qualified with an appropriate background. St. Patrick’s Seminary & University expects that seminarians pursuing the Master of Divinity will be concurrently enrolled in the S.T.B. Program. Exceptions to this policy will require a determination by the Faculty. The Master of Divinity is earned by the successful completion of the regular Seminary academic and pastoral curriculum requiring 126 credit units (118 required units plus eight elective units) as outlined below in the "Course of Studies for M.Div." (For students who are not pursuing ordination to the Roman Catholic Priesthood, the total number of units is 108.)

The goals and objectives of the M.Div. degree at St. Patrick’s Seminary & University are:

  1. A thorough knowledge of the Catholic tradition in all its many dimensions
  2.  Pastoral skills and capacities that provide a bridge between the human family and God and foster conditions of fellowship in the community entrusted to their care
  3. Knowledge and pastoral skill necessary for service as sacramental ministers
  4. The ability to teach and preach the Gospel to all people
  5. Mature and theologically grounded cultural competence

Program Requirements

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree, have completed thirty semester units of philosophy and twelve semester units of religious studies, and must have taken one of the following tests: GRE or MAT. In addition, those for whom English is not their native language, the TOEFL/TWE must be taken. To successfully complete the program, students are expected to maintain an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0.

The first two years of the program are designed to provide students with the basic skills and academic foundation which they will utilize in the pastoral year, i.e., in the areas of scripture, systematics, moral theology, Hispanic studies, field education, introductory homiletics, and basic pastoral skills.

The Pastoral Year is a 10-month full-time parish experience of pastoral ministry in the student’s own diocese. This program is a six-unit program carefully monitored by a trained on-site supervisor (usually the pastor) in conjunction with the Director of the Pastoral Year at the Seminary.

Normally, the Pastoral Year takes place after Second Theology. Those who enter the program later will do their Pastoral Year after two full years of theological study.

After the Pastoral Year students return to the Seminary for the completion of their final two years of theological training.

The areas described above outline general goals of the M.Div. Program. The academic courses which contribute to the desired development cover the following specific areas and number of units:

Sacred Scripture 15
Moral Theology 18
Systematic Theology 29
Liturgy 3
Church History 8
Pastoral Studies * 45
Electives 8

* Includes six units for Pastoral Year and sixteen units for Field Education

Course of Studies for M.Div. and Ordination Requirements

First Year Theology

SH-5105 Patristic/Medieval Church History 3
SL-5108 Foundations of Christian Liturgy 3
SS-5101 The Pentateuch and Historical Books 3
SD-5101 Fundamental Theology and Theological Method 3
MT-5103 Prayer in Christian Tradition 1
PS-5111 Catechetics 1
* PS-6280 Field Education I 4
SH-5106 Church in Reformation and Modern Times 3
MT-5102 Fundamental Moral Theology 3
SS-5102 Synoptic Gospels 3
PS-5112 Homiletics I: Proclamation 1
SD-7233 The Trinity 3


Second Year Theology

SD-6231 Christology/Soteriology 3
SS-6241 Pauline Corpus 3
MT-6253 Spiritual Theology 2
PS-6271 Pastoral Counseling 3
PS-6184 Pastoral Ministry: Leadership & Skills 2
* PS-6282 Field Education III 1
SD-6234 Theology of the Church 3
MT-6251 Meaning of Human Sexuality 3
PS-6101 Homiletics II: Preaching 3
* PS-6283 Field Education IV 1


Pastoral Year

PS-7282 Pastoral Year I/Field Education Requirement 3
PS-7282 Pastoral Year II/Field Education Requirement 3


Third Year Theology

SD-6232 Theology of Sacraments 4
SD-6238 Christian Anthropology and Life of Grace 3
MT-7352 Catholic Social Ethics 3
* PS-6280 Field Education 4
PS-7285 Parish Administration and Finance 2
SS-7242 Gospel of John 3
PS-7273 Introduction to Canon Law 3
SS-7341 Prophets (or SS-9343:The Psalms) 3


Fourth Year Theology

SD-7235 Theology of the Eucharist 5
MT-8254 Medical Ethics 3
SH-8236 American Catholicism 2
* PS-6280 Field Education 4
PS-8275 Theology & Canon Law of Marriage 3
PS-9482 Sacramental Ministry & Canon Law 3
SD-7236 Ordained Priesthood and Lay Ecclesial Ministry 3
SD-9442 Apologetics in American Culture 2

 * (See explanation in Field Education Section p.25 in Catalog)

The Master of Divinity Degree at St. Patrick’s Seminary and University has the Pastoral Year component as a program requirement. If the diocese should decide not to include the Pastoral Year in a seminarian’s program, the student must earn the six field education credits of pastoral year through additional pastoral work during the seminary program.

Ordination Requirements -18 Units

PS-7274 Homiletics III:  Special Occasions and Issues 3
PS-8276 Homiletics IV: Intensive Practice 3
MT-8255 Theology of Reconciliation and Anointing 3
SD-6232 Theology of Sacraments 4
SD-7235 Theology of the Eucharist 5

Total Number of Units Listed: 118

Transfer Credits:

  1. For those students earning M.A. and M.Div. degrees concurrently at St. Patrick's, up to 24 credits may be transferred from the M.Div. program to the M.A. program (excluding pastoral Studies courses).
  2. M.A. students are allowed to transfer up to 12 credits of graduate level theology courses from an accredited outside institution.

For students enrolled concurrently in the M.A. and the M.Div. programs, credits transferred to the M.A, program from an outside institution count among the total of 24 transferable credits.

If a seminarian is in the M.A. Thesis Track, he can transfer 24 credits from the M.Div. to the M.A. degree (excluding Pastoral Studies courses). Of the remaining 24 credits required for the M.A.: 6 are earned by writing/defending his M.A. thesis, 12 by taking the Faculty Designated M.A. Courses, and 6 more by taking Electives.