Prospective Student Q&A

If your question is not answered below, you can contact the Office of Admissions or email

Is there any kind of health insurance available to students either through Aquinas Institute or SLU?

Yes–Aquinas Institute students taking at least 6 credits are eligible to apply for the Saint Louis University student group plan for medical coverage. The premium is affordable and the co-pay is very modest. Moreover, the quality of care and range of services are excellent. Students have ready access to services.

More information is available on the SLU University Health Plan page.

I would like to become a hospital chaplain. Which program would help me to reach this goal?

Students could prepare for a career as a hospital chaplain through the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) program or through the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program. Through the 48 credit hours of academic coursework, formation, and field education, the MAPS provides a strong preparation for a career as a hospital chaplain. The M.Div. program, with its 90 credit hours of required coursework, formation, and field education, is the strongest credential for this type of career in ministry.

In addition to one of these degrees, a student must complete four units of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in order to be certified by the National Association of Catholic Chaplains or the Association of Professional Chaplains. In both the MAPS and M.Div. programs students will complete 1 unit of CPE. Students may complete the remaining three units of CPE concurrent with or after completion of their program at Aquinas Institute. Each unit of CPE requires 400 contact hours, 100 of which are seminars while the other 300 hours are client hours.

Your academic advisor at Aquinas Institute will be able to provide further information about these requirements.

I was just wondering what Aquinas Institute of Theology offers Jesuit Volunteer Corps members. I have heard that they offer waivers for former workers in the corps.

If you have served for one year in a volunteer program Aquinas Institute of Theology will waive your application fee. All you need to do is to include with your application a letter from your immediate supervisor (volunteer corps/organizational stationary), verifying that the dates and location of your volunteer service. Volunteer years with religious sponsored volunteer programs as well as nationally recognized programs like Americorps and Peace Corps are also accepted–the same requirements apply. You may also have your immediate volunteer supervisor fill out a reference form as part of your application and simply state that you served a volunteer year.

Is the mandatum status of your faculty members available?

The Mandatum applies to college and university theology professors. Aquinas Institute of Theology is a graduate school of theology/seminary/house of studies for the Central Province of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). The mandatum does not apply to institutions who fall in this category. All of our faculty take an Oath of Fidelity, which is required for seminary/house of studies faculty.

What kind of expectations do you have about the ability of a student to communicate in writing?

Most professional fields today–and ministry is no exception–place a premium value on the ability to communicate orally and in writing to a range of audiences.

For that reason, we place a high value on written communication.

We expect incoming students to have a solid base of competency. In two core courses, Pro Seminar and Intro to Theology & Theological Method, we cover the particulars of research and writing in the discipline of theology. Additional resources for students are the Aquinas writing coach and Saint Louis University's writing center. The great majority of our students make this transition smoothly.

My university does not offer a major in theology. Is such a degree required for addmission to Aquinas, or can a certain combination of religious studies and/or philosophy serve as a suitable prerequisite?

Neither religion, theology, religious studies, nor philosophy are required as undergraduate majors for study at Aquinas Institute. In fact, there is no prerequisite or required major or minor for admission. Applicants are accepted from fields as varied as physics, pre-med, communications, and political science, for example.

The one exception however, is the MA in Theology program, which carries a prequisite of 12 undergraduate hours in theology and/or philosophy.