Dominican Theological Formation

In promoting the preaching mission of the Order of Preachers, Aquinas Institute serves as the Center of Institutional Studies for the Provinces of St. Albert the Great and St. Martin de Porres. The theological formation of our student brothers is at the heart of our mission, and this commitment to a Dominican formation in the intellectual tradition of the Order underlies all of our degree programs. Dominican brothers in formation are guided by the Ratio Studiorum Particularis of our two provinces, an articulation of the Ratio Studiorum Generalis of the Order, a six-year program of theological formation required by Dominican friars throughout the world.

Contact each province's vocation director for further information. 

The Dominican Plan of Study 

In the Order of Preachers, our study is directed to the goal of preaching, which serves as the integrating element for the theological and pastoral formation of our student brothers. Our brothers acquire during their years at Aquinas a life-long love of study, grounded in their understanding of Sacred Scripture and Tradition, their recognition of the importance of philosophy, their clear and articulate grasp of Catholic theology, their appreciation of the teaching and method of our patron, St. Thomas Aquinas, their knowledge of the liturgy and sacraments of the Church, and their ability to reflect theologically on the value of human experience and the questions it raises in our encounters with others.

About the Plan of Study

Dominican brothers  in initial formation follow an academic program determined by the Ratio Studiorum Particularis (RSP) and implemented by the Academic Dean in consultation with their Regents of Studies and the Academic Advisor for the Dominican Brothers. At Aquinas Institute Dominican brothers fulfill the requirements of the RSP, which for brothers preparing for ordained ministry in the Church ordinarily includes the attainment of the dual Master of Arts in Theology/Master of Divinity degree. 



Course Title Credit Hours
Use of Philosophy in Theology 3
Thomas Aquinas: Life, Thought, and Works 3
Metaphysics 3
Epistemology 3
God and Creation in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas 3
Human Person and Society in the Thought of Aquinas 3
Christ and Sacrament in the Thought of Thomas Aquinas 3
Philosophy Electives (Greek, Medieval, and Modern) 9
Integrative Studies


Integrative Project



Biblical Studies
Biblical Interpretation  3
Torah 3
Prophets 3
Wisdom or Psalms 3
Synoptic Gospels (one of the three) 3
Johannine Literature 3
Pauline Literature 3
Systematic Theology
Introduction to Theology and Theological Method 3
Doctrine of God 3
Christology     3
Ecclesiology     3
Christian Anthropology 3
Foundations of Christian Spirituality or History of Christian Spirituality 3
Historical Studies
Church History I 3
Church History II 3
U.S. Catholic History 3
Moral Theology
Foundations of Catholic Morality 3
Ethics of Human Sexuality 3
Justice and Catholic Social Teaching 3
Health Care Ethics 3
Pastoral Theology
Foundations of Pastoral and Ethical Care 3
Foundations of Pastoral Counseling 3
Principles of Canon Law 2
Canon Law of Marriage 2
Theology and Spirituality of Marriage and Family 3
Theology of Priesthood 3
Preaching & Evangelization
Foundations of Preaching I 2
Foundations of Preaching II 2
Topics in Preaching I 2
Topics in Preaching II 2
Liturgical & Sacramental Theology
Theology of Worship 3
Christian Initiation 3
Eucharist 3
Reconciliation 1
Pastoral Care of the Sick 1
Liturgical Leadership II (diaconal) 1
Liturgical Leadership III (presbyteral)    2
Professional Ministerial Formation
Supervised Practice of Ministry (SPM) I 3
Supervised Practice of Ministry (SPM) II 3
Pastoral Year 6
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) 4
Total Credit Hours