Saint Louis University’s Master of Arts in theology and Doctor of Philosophy in historical
theology focus primarily on the academic study of the Christian tradition in its historical
and cultural contexts, and prepare graduates to work as ministers or teachers.
About the Program
SLU’s Master of Arts in theology offers two tracks. The religious education track
will provide you with a strong background in the discipline of theology, including
systematic/constructive theology, theological ethics and scripture.
The research track will train you in academic theology in a way that is both historically
conscious and ethically engaged. You’ll take courses in systematic/constructive theology,
historical theology, theological ethics and scripture to deepen your understanding
of the historical roots and practical implications of theological reflection.
SLU’s Ph.D. program in historical theology investigates the development of the Christian
church, its beliefs and theologies, and religious practices in their social settings.
Resources for theology students include the more than 37,000 microfilms of the Vatican Film Library; the archives of the Institute of Jesuit Sources; and more than 150,0000 volumes
of the Divinity Library in SLU’s Pius XII Memorial Library (which contains 1.4 million books, journals and other media). The library also provides
access to many key research resources, including the Patrologia Latina, Brepolis,
Early English Books OnLine, ATLA, Catholic Periodical Index, J-STOR, Index of Christian
Art, as well as electronic access to major journals and other indexing tools.
In advancing the Catholic and Jesuit tradition of Saint Louis University, SLU’s theology
department approaches revealed Christian truth with a special emphasis on its relation
to human culture and the requirements of social justice.
Students who want to continue toward their doctoral work should choose the research
track. Students interested in careers in schools, parishes, hospitals, nonprofit organizations
or other religious institutions should choose the religious education track.
The religious education track consists of a two-year program of study that includes
33 credit hours of coursework (including 200 credit hours of supervised internship)
and comprehensive exams.
The research track consists of a two-year program of study that includes 36 credit
hours of coursework and a 50 to 70 page thesis. Students must also demonstrate proficiency
in one or two foreign languages. Students in the research track may choose to concentrate
in constructive theology, historical theology or theological ethics.
SLU’s Doctor of Philosophy studies issues within their own context of time and place
while also relating them to the broad developments within the tradition of Christian
theology from the early church to the present day. The doctoral program has three
areas of specialization: early Christianity, medieval Christianity and modern Christianity.
All Ph.D. students are required to demonstrate competency in twolanguages in addition to English before advancement to the prospectus exam in the third year of study. One language must be ancient and one modern. The language
choices are determined by the student's research specialty.
Many of SLU’s theology graduates work as high school teachers or ministers in schools
or churches. Some work in health care ethics, Christian publishing, social work and
political advocacy. Other graduates of our master’s program have gone on to pursue
advanced study in theology at graduate schools across the country.
Graduates of SLU’s theology Ph.D. program are employed as professors, librarians, missionaries and youth ministers.
If you are currently working in schools, parishes, hospitals, non-profit organizations
or other religious institutions, or plan to work in these areas following graduation,
you are eligible for a 60 percent tuition discount.
Full-time students are eligible for tuition scholarships. Occasionally, awards are
given to part-time students as well. Tuition scholarship may be applied only to courses
required for the degree.
Students applying to the M.A. in theology program will be considered for the research
assistantship program. A small number of half- or quarter- assistantships are available.
Stipends may be used to pay tuition and are often combined with tuition scholarship.
With permission, students with half assistantships may have other employment outside
Employees of the Archdiocese of St. Louis
Saint Louis University and the Catholic Education Office of the Archdiocese of St.
Louis sponsor a special program for religious educators working in the Archdiocese
of St. Louis that offers a 60 percent tuition discount. Students in this program must
select the religious education track. After a course is completed, students may apply
to the Catholic Education Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis for additional reimbursement.
Students who want to be considered for an assistantship for the master’s program must
submit their application by Feb. 1. Students who want to be considered for an assistantship
for the doctoral program must submit their application by Jan. 15.
Applications are wholly reviewed by a committee of theology department faculty members.