Dual Master of Arts in Theology and PhD in Health Care Ethics

Program Overview

Housed within the Ashley-O'Rourke Center for Health Ministry Leadership, and offered in collaboration with the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics at Saint Louis University, the Dual MA/PhD program combines a Dominican approach to theology shaped by an 800-year-old intellectual tradition with the expertise demanded for success in the field of health care ethics. It allows students to complete both degrees in 69 credit hours instead of the 96 credit hours necessary to complete both degrees independently.

Catholic health care carries on the healing mission of Jesus and thus is a ministry of the Church with its core commitments grounded firmly in the Catholic theological tradition and in the Church's social teaching. The Catholic Health Association has recommended that ethicists working in Catholic health care should hold an MA in Theology so that they may bring a solid understanding of Catholic theology to those struggling with the concrete questions that arise in health care today.

The dual track of rigorous coursework provides students with the opportunity to gain a broad foundation in Catholic theology within the framework of an interdisciplinary curriculum in health care ethics. Students in the MA/PhD program focus on the major areas of theology, including Biblical studies, ecclesiology, ethics, and systematic, historical and moral theology while they prepare for their future study in health care ethics, with coursework in methods of bioethics, bioethics & the law, clinical ethics, and medicine for ethicists. Additionally, students have the opportunity for clinical practicum experiences that allow them to integrate and apply their classwork to real clinical situations. 

Health Care Ethics encompasses an increasingly wide range of concerns, and we form leaders in the field who are deeply grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition precisely so they can face new challenges as they arise. Our MA/PhD graduates are grounded in tradition, expertly trained in their disciplines, and oriented toward the future.

-Dr. Stewart Clem, Director, Ashley-O'Rourke Center for Health Ministry Leadership

Program Details