Catholic graduate school of theology and ministry in the Dominican tradition

Dual Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies and Master of Social Work

Program Overview

The dual Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies and Master of Social Work (MAPS/MSW) program, offered by Aquinas Institute of Theology and the School of Social Work at Saint Louis University, allows students to complete both degrees more expeditiously,  requiring only 80 credit hours instead of the 105 credit hours necessary to complete both degrees independently, with 12 credit hours of the MAPS degree program being fulfilled through the MSW degree program, namely 6 credit-hours of MSW practica and 6 credit-hours of MSW courses approved by Aquinas Institute). Through a dual track of coursework and fieldwork, the program prepares students for professional ministry and social work.

The curriculum provides the framework, skills, and resources for spiritually motivated social work practice and deepens a professional’s commitment to social justice based on the Gospels and Catholic social teaching. Recognizing the importance of spiritual formation for effective pastoral ministry, the curriculum includes four units of human and spiritual formation designed to not only form students spiritually, but  also to provide them with the tools and skills necessary to flourish in their future ministries.


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Learn more about the dual Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies and Master of Social Work program, course dates, cost, and more. 


Program Details

Ministry & Practicum Experience

These degrees offer multiple opportunities to engage in field education. Students complete Supervised Practice of Ministry (SPM) I in a pastoral placement, as well as a Foundation Practicum and a Concentration Practicum within a social work placement. The field education curriculum in both programs helps the student develop a pastoral leadership style that is marked by effectiveness, service, integration, and a special commitment to the ministry of the Word.

Ministry Opportunities

Students who hold the dual MAPS/MSW degree are well-prepared for ministries available to non-social work students, as well as for clinical or community social work. Graduates of this program have successfully drawn upon their study of theology, ministry, and social work in such fields as health care, non-profit ministries, and education. After graduation, students are able to seek professional licensing as social workers.

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