Hybrid Degree Programs

Combined Online-Resident Learning
Overcomes Distance and Schedule Challenges to Ministry Formation

"As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen. He said to them, 'Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.' At once they left their nets and followed him." Mt 4: 18-20

The call to ministry and formation is always heard in the context of the demands and joys of daily life. Like Simon and Andrew, your consideration of your vocation isn’t carried out in a vacuum or at your leisure. The intellectual, spiritual and personal formation required to be ready for ministry can be daunting. Pastoral ministry and graduate-level learning are never undertaken lightly, so “leaving our nets at once” must take into account the commitments we have already made; Aquinas Institute recognizes that work schedules and distance play a part in charting a course into a life of Christian learning and service and is pleased to offer the Master of Arts in Theology (M.A.) and Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry (M.A.P.S.) degree programs in a hybrid learning format.

Firm Theological Foundations in a Hybrid Learning Environment

Aquinas student - online learningAquinas Institute is dedicated to strong theological formation, springing from a deep Catholic and Dominican tradition of educating men and women to preach, to teach, to minister and to lead. Faculty members respected in their fields lead students in exploring the scriptural, theological, liturgical and historical foundations of faith and ministry.

Aquinas Institute’s professors and staff apply strong theological background to the formation they offer, and also have dedicated themselves to leadership in delivering degree programs through the best of contemporary learning models and technologies. We bring theological and internet technologies together in ways that form adult learners into a community of scholars and ministers.

Learning resources are largely available online, bringing libraries and other materials to your computer. Assignments are posted to internet-based learning management systems, allowing you to discuss projects with professors and classmates from wherever you are.

Formation in community is fostered by combining online coursework with some on-site intensive sessions to give students face-to-face contact with professors and classmates.

Get started on your schedule – Open enrollment allows you flexibility to begin theological studies when you are ready. Begin in the spring or fall term according to what works best, and enroll for as many or as few courses as you feel comfortable with pursuing.

How do I apply?

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

Aquinas classroom

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Theology

The Master of Arts in Theology prepares students for teaching, for further study toward a doctorate degree in theology or for other ministries. Aquinas students may choose one of six concentrations: Biblical Studies, Historical Studies, Systematic Theology, Moral Theology, Liturgical Theology or Spirituality. Degree Program Outcomes for the M.A. in Theology

Prerequisites

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. 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 MA program. 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.

MA Course Requirements

Course Title

Credit Hours

Integrative Studies
Proseminar 3
Major Paper or Thesis -
Comprehensive Exam -
Biblical Studies 
Bible Interpretation 3
Scripture Elective 3
Historical Studies 
Church History I: Patristic and Mediaeval 3
Church History II: Reformation to Post-Modern Era 3
Systematic Theology 
Introduction to Theology and Theological Method 3
Moral Theology 
Foundations of Catholic Morality 3
Electives 
- 15

Up to six elective hours may be research credit if pursuing the Thesis Option.

Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (M.A.P.S.)

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies prepares students for ministry in a variety of pastoral settings. Through coursework in biblical studies, systematic and pastoral theology, integrative seminars, supervised practice of ministry and other learning experiences, this program integrates theology and the practice of ministry with the development of a personal pastoral identity. In addition to academic and supervised practice of ministry, M.A.P.S. students also take four 1-credit sections, one per term, of Spiritual Formation.  

Degree Program Outcomes for the M.A.P.S.

MAPS Course Requirements

Course Title

Credit Hours

Proseminar 3
Integrative Seminar 1
Supervised Practice of Ministry (SPM) I 3
SPM II or Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) 3
Bible Interpretation 3
Scripture Elective 3
Introduction to Theology & Theological Method 3
Ecclesiology 3
Christology 3
Sacramental & Theological Foundations of Ministry 3
Theology of Worship 3
Church History I or Church History II 3
Foundations of Catholic Morality 3
Lay Spiritual Formation; (four non-credit units) -
Subtotal 37
Areas of Focused Study: 
Students are guided by their advisors to complete their degree program according to theological and ministerial aspirations and goals. 11
Total Hours 48