Master of Divinity

Program Overview

The Master of Divinity at Aquinas Institute of Theology provides comprehensive theological education in the Roman Catholic tradition that prepares students to meet the evolving ministerial environment and needs of the 21st century, global Church. Through an 81 credit hour program, students learn to attend to the needs of the Church and lead their communities to promote social change in a manner that contributes to the common good. The curriculum includes coursework in Biblical studies, historical theology, systematic theology, moral theology, pastoral theology, preaching and liturgical leadership, Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE), and Supervised Practice of Ministry (SPM). 

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  Fall Applications Spring Applications
Priority & International Deadline March 1 October 15
Final Deadline August 1 December 1


Have questions about the program or want to learn more? E-mail the Director of Recruitment and Admissions at or click here to schedule an appointment for a phone or Skype conversation.

Program Details & Length

Students in the MDiv come from diverse backgrounds. They are lay and vowed religious, men and women, from many different countries of origin, who learn from and alongside each other in a context of dialogue and mutual understanding. Attentive to ministers’ own need for spiritual formation, the curriculum includes four units of human and spiritual formation designed not only to form students spiritually, but provide them with the tools and skills necessary to flourish in their future ministries, rooted in the baptismal vocation.

The MDiv program offers students the unique opportunity to study preaching with members of the Dominicans (Order of Preachers) who direct the only Catholic Doctor of Ministry in Preaching in the world. Additionally, multiple supervised ministry experiences allow students to explore a wide variety of future ministries. This time in the field provides students with concrete skills and experience, further preparing them for future work.

Full–time lay MDiv students (12+ credit hours per semester) can complete this program in three–and–a–half years, while part–time students may take up to seven years. Candidates for ordination should consult the formation requirements of their particular sponsoring religious community or diocese to determine the time required to complete their specific program of study. 

Who is the Program For?

Aquinas Institute invites all who serve or would like to serve in pastoral or ecclesial leadership roles to pursue this degree. Current students come to us from the fields of campus ministry, health care, business, non-profit work, and parish ministry. Most applicants to the MDiv program have undergraduate preparation in the liberal arts, including social and behavioral sciences, as well as some background in Scripture, theology, and philosophy.

Career Opportunities

The MDiv degree prepares students to excel in a variety of ministerial positions. These include serving as high school and college campus ministers, parish life coordinators, directors of religious education, hospital chaplains, and theology teachers.

An ordination track MDiv program, in accordance with the Program of Priestly Formation guidelines set forth by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, is also available for qualified students.

Program Content

The 81 hours of course work required for the M.Div. degree are distributed as follows:

M.Div. Course Requirements (non-ordination track)

Course Title Credit Hours
Integrative Studies
Proseminar 3
Integrative Seminar 1
Use of Philosophy in Theology 3
Biblical Studies
Bible Interpretation 3
Old Testament Scripture Elective 3
New Testament Scripture Elective 3
Systematic Theology
Introduction to Theology and Theological Method 3
Christology 3
Ecclesiology 3
Historical Studies
Church History I: Patristic and Medieval 3
Church History II: Reformation to Post-Modern Era 3
Moral Theology
Foundations of Catholic Morality 3
Ethics of Human Sexuality 3
Justice and Catholic Social Teaching 3
Pastoral Theology
Foundations of Pastoral Care 3
Adult Christian Formation 2
Canon Law of Marriage 2
Principles of Canon Law 2
Foundations of Preaching I 2
Foundations of Preaching II 2
Liturgical Theology
Theology of Worship 3
Christian Initiation 3
Eucharist 3
Liturgical Leadership (baptismal) 2
Reconciliation or Pastoral Care of the Sick 1
Professional Ministerial Formation
Supervised Practice of Ministry I 3
Supervised Practice of Ministry II 3
Pastoral Year 6
Clinical Pastoral Education 4
Spiritual Formation
Human & Spiritual Formation (where applicable) 4 units

Ministry Experience

The MDiv degree offers three opportunities to engage in field education: Supervised Practice of Ministry (SPM) I and II, and a Basic Unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at an ACPE Certified Institution. The field education curriculum at Aquinas Institute assists the student in developing a pastoral leadership style that is marked by effectiveness, service, integration, and a special commitment to the ministry of the Word.

Program Format

The Master of Divinity is a residential program and requires that students attend classes in person at Aquinas.

Application Requirements & Admission Criteria

Below is a summary of application requirements and admission criteria. For detailed information on these requirements, click here.

Application Requirements

  • Online application
  • Official transcripts
  • Resume/CV
  • Personal assessment
  • Reflection paper
  • Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • Interview
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • $50 application fee

Admission Criteria

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • 12 credit hours in theology, philosophy, behavioral sciences, or the liberal arts