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Graduate Theology Department at Providence CollegeThe Graduate Program in Theology aims at the cultivation of a broad knowledge of the Catholic Christian tradition in its sources, doctrines, and practices. The program offers a comprehensive theological formation for those interested in developing professional competence for catechesis and religious education, secondary theological education, or the pursuit of further doctoral studies in theology. The program is also open to those who desire to study theology in an academic setting apart from specific vocational goals.

Master of Theological Studies

The Master of Theological Studies degree introduces and explores the major themes in Catholic doctrine and practice, as well as the research methods that are central to theology as an academic discipline. Required and elective courses permit the student both to develop a solid theological foundation and to pursue an area of interest among courses in doctrine, biblical studies, morality, spirituality, and Church history.

For the Master of Theological Studies, students are required to complete 30 credit hours of graduate course-work, which includes 18 credits in the six required courses:

  • THL 500 – Theology: History and Methods
  • THL 512 – Introduction to the Old Testament
  • THL 520 – Introduction to the New  Testament
  • THL 535 – Patristic Theology
  • THL 550 – Christ: Word and Redeemer
  • THL 670 – Fundamental Moral Theology

After completing the required 30 credit hours of graduate course-work, students are required to take a three-hour comprehensive exam.

Master of Theological Studies – Concentration in Catholic Education

The Master of Theological Studies degree with a concentration in Catholic Education allows students the opportunity to earn a more specialized degree by taking four education courses that are offered each summer by the Providence Alliance for Catholic Teachers (PACT), which is centered at Providence College.

In addition to their 18 credit hours of required Theology courses, students devote their remaining 12 credits to the following PACT courses:

  • THL 850/EDU 850 – Introduction to Teaching
  • THL 822/EDU 822 – Educational Psychology
  • THL 806/EDU 806 – Mission and Culture of the Catholic School
  • THL 808/EDU 808 – Methods in Secondary Education

Master of Arts in Theology

The Master of Arts in Theology degree introduces and explores the major themes in Catholic doctrine and practice, and emphasizes the development of research skills that prepare the student to engage in further theological study and writing. Required and elective courses permit the student to develop both a foundation and pursue an area of interest among courses in doctrine, biblical studies, morality, spirituality, and Church history.

Two areas of concentration are available with this degree: the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (Aquinas Studies) and the study of Early Christianity (Early Christian Studies).

Students are required to complete 30 credit hours of graduate course-work, which include 18 credits in the six required courses:

  • THL 500 – Theology: History and Methods
  • THL 512 – Introduction to the Old Testament
  • THL 520 – Introduction to the New  Testament
  • THL 535 – Patristic Theology
  • THL 550 – Christ: Word and Redeemer
  • THL 670 – Fundamental Moral Theology

Students pursuing the concentration in Aquinas Studies will take, in addition to the required courses, these four courses:

  • THL 640 – Thomas Aquinas: Doctrine of God
  • THL 642 – Thomas Aquinas: Doctrine of Christ
  • THL 644 – Thomas Aquinas: Moral Theology
  • THL 646 – Thomas Aquinas: Doctrine of Sacraments and the Church

Students pursuing the concentration in Early Christian Studies will take these six required courses:

  • THL 500 – Theology: History and Methods
  • THL 512 – Introduction to the Old Testament
  • THL 520 – Introduction to the New Testament
  • THL 535 – Patristic Theology
  • THL 630 – Early Christian History
  • THL 634 – Ecumenical Councils

They will also take three additional courses in the field of Early Christianity which may include:

  • THL 635 – Patristic Exegesis
  • THL 637 – Early Christian Monasticism
  • THL 639 – Theology of Saint Augustine

Students may then take one elective course chosen from across the Theology course offerings.

After completing the required 30 credit hours of graduate course-work, students will take three Qualifying Exams based upon a bibliography of primary and secondary sources, write a thesis under the guidance of a director, and present an oral defense of the Thesis before the faculty.

Master of Arts in Biblical Studies

The Master of Arts in Biblical Studies develops the student’s acumen for an informed and critical reading of biblical literature in the light of the Christian faith, and emphasizes the development of research skills that prepare the student to engage in further theological study and writing. Historical and cultural studies as well as literary and theological analyses are called upon as resources in the course of the program.

For the M.A. in Biblical Studies, students must complete 30 credits of graduate course-work, which comprise these ten required courses:

  • THL 500 – Theology: History and Methods
  • THL 513 – The Pentateuch
  • THL 514 – The Prophetic Books
  • THL 516 – The Wisdom Literature
  • THL 519 – Introductory Hebrew
  • THL 522 – The Synoptic Gospels
  • THL 526 – The Johannine Writings
  • THL 528 – The Epistles of St. Paul
  • THL 529 – Introductory Biblical Greek
  • THL 611 – History of Pre-Exilic Israel

Students who enter with a reading knowledge of the biblical languages may satisfy the requirements for THL 519 Introductory Hebrew and/or THL 529 Introductory Biblical Greek by successfully passing a language proficiency exam administered by the Graduate Program in Theology, in which case an elective course will be substituted. After completing the required 30 credit hours of graduate course-work, students will take three Qualifying Exams based upon a bibliography of primary and secondary sources, write a Thesis under the guidance of a director, and present an oral defense of the thesis before the faculty.