Dual Master of Arts in Theology/Doctor of Philosophy – Health Care Ethics

A collaborative program with Saint Louis University:

Aquinas Institute of Theology and Saint Louis University offer a dual M.A./Ph.D. program for students focused specifically in the area of health care ethics. The M.A. at Aquinas Institute provides a strong theological foundation for students in the Catholic concentration of the Ph.D in Health Care Ethics at St. Louis University. Students study at Aquinas Institute for the first year, and then begin studies at St. Louis University in the second year. Students are admitted for M.A. studies at Aquinas Institute and conditionally admitted separately for Ph.D. studies at St. Louis University. A cumulative GPA of 3.3 within Aquinas Institute’s program is required for full admission to Saint Louis University. Tuition is paid separately to each school, and degrees are awarded separately.

How do I satisfy the degree requirements?

Candidates for the Master of Arts in Theology are required to complete 36 hours of coursework and a written and oral comprehensive examination. Six of the required hours for the M.A. are fulfilled by Ph.D. courses at Saint Louis University. Students are also required to develop a major paper, approximately 25 pages in length, of publishable quality and demonstrating appropriate methodology and content.

How do I apply?

Contact the Office of Admissions and follow the instructions contained in the Application for Admission.


Applicants to the master’s program in theology must possess a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a recognized institution. In addition, applicants must have obtained 12 undergraduate credits in theology and philosophy, taken together. Deficiencies in undergraduate study may be made up at Aquinas Institute. A student needing to make up deficiencies will be informed at the time of admission and will arrange to make up the deficiencies with the advice of the academic adviser or the Dean.

Program Content:

36 hours in specific graduate-level courses are required for successful completion of the M.A. program. Six of the required hours for the M.A. are fulfilled by Ph.D. courses at Saint Louis University. Equivalent substitutions for any of the courses may be made depending on the student’s previous study and/or goals with the approval of the Academic Dean.

M.A. Course Requirements:

Course Title Credit Hours
Biblical Studies (6 hours)
Biblical Interpretation 3
Scripture Elective (from ‘core’ Scripture courses) 3
Systematic Theology (12 hours)
Introduction to Theology and Theological Method 3
Christology 3
Ecclesiology 3
Christian Anthropology 3
Historical Studies (3 hours)
Church History I or II 3
Moral Theology (9 hours)
Foundations of Catholic Morality 3
Justice and Catholic Social Teaching 3
Ethics of Human Sexuality 3
Electives (6 hours) fulfilled by Saint Louis University Ph.D courses:
Religious Methods in Health Care Ethics, or Health Care Ethics in the Catholic Tradition 3
Other SLU Ph.D. elective 3

Ph.D. Course Requirements:

To find the curriculum requirements for the Doctoral studies portion of the dual M.A./Ph.D. program, visit Saint Louis University’s M.A./Ph.D curriculum web page.