The dual Master of Arts in Theology and PhD in Health Care Ethics (MA/PhD) program, offered by Aquinas Institute of Theology and the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University, allows students to complete both degrees in 69 credit hours instead of the 96 credits necessary to complete both degrees independently.
The dual track of rigorous coursework provides students with the opportunity to gain a solid foundation in academic theological studies and an interdisciplinary curriculum in health care ethics.
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Fall Application Deadlines:
Application deadlines are different for the PhD in Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University. Students must meet the application deadlines for both the Master of Arts in Theology and the PhD in Health Care Ethics, respectively. Students must apply and be admitted to both programs separately to complete the dual degree program. It is preferred that students apply to the programs simultaneously for a Fall start.
However, students may apply and be admitted to the MA program prior to an application to the PhD program, and apply within the first semester to the PhD program. Should a student be admitted to the MA program for a fall start and seek admission to the PhD program within their first semester at Aquinas, the student will follow the regular curriculum of the MA program at Aquinas and will not be considered an MA-PhD student until admitted to the PhD program, at which time they will begin to follow the MA-PhD curriculum.
Students in the MA/PhD program are exposed to major areas within theology, including Biblical studies, systematic theology, ecclesiology, historical theology, and a particular focus in ethics and moral theology.
Full-time students can complete the coursework for the dual MA/PhD program in three years. Once coursework is finished, students complete a dissertation for the PhD that requires additional time.
The dual MA in Theology and PhD in Health Care Ethics is designed for both lay and ordained students from all Christian traditions seeking to deepen their academic education in theology and further develop their own intellectual and spiritual lives. The program is recommended for students who wish to apply theological and ethical principles to health care’s complex ecosystem and provide direct impact to patient, family, and provider lives.
Graduates of the dual MA in Theology/PhD in Health Care Ethics are prepared to work as clinical, institional, or system ethicists in Catholic and non-Catholic health care settings. Graduates are also able to pursue careers in education via teaching and conducting research in health care ethics in academic and corporate settings.
At the end of their MA course of study, students complete a written comprehensive exam and major paper. Here, students demonstrate their scholarly competency to engage reflectively and critically across the discipline of theology.
In the PhD program, students complete comprehensive exams after finishing all coursework and practica. Students then work closely with their dissertation chair to select a dissertation topic and submit a dissertation proposal. There are two options for the dissertation, a traditional dissertation or a non-traditional format, requiring three article–length manuscripts, two of which must be accepted for publication.
Note: The admission requirements are for the MA in Theology program at Aquinas Institute of Theology. Students should consult the PhD in Health Care Ethics program at Saint Louis University for application requirements and deadlines. Students must apply and be admitted to both programs separately to complete the dual degree program. It is preferred that students apply to the programs simultaneously for a Fall start. However, students may apply and be admitted to the MA program prior to an application to the PhD program, and apply within the first semester to the PhD program.
The dual Master of Arts in Theology and PhD in Health Care Ethics is a residential program and requires that students attend classes in person at Aquinas and Saint Louis University, respectively.
Students should consult the PhD in Health Care Ethics program at Saint Louis University for application requirements and admission criteria.