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Master of Arts in Theology

The MA in theology provides a graduate-level foundation in central areas of theology. It is especially appropriate for those who wish to teach theology at the secondary level or prepare for doctoral-level studies in theology.

Students complete the following 10 courses for 3 credits each and may begin studies in Year A, B or C.

  • Courses will be offered on the following schedule on Tuesdays each semester, with the first course at 1:00-3:40 p.m. and the second course at 6:00-8:40 p.m.

  • The second, evening course will also be offered via videoconferencing at selected locations.

  • In subsequent rotations, afternoon courses will move to evening times, and evening courses to afternoon times.

  • Students may also enroll in one course per semester, recognizing that this will lengthen the time needed to complete the degree.

Visit the Graduate Course Descriptions page for a list of course titles, times, and instructors by semester.

MA in theology students also complete a written comprehensives examination to assess their grasp of foundational topics in theology. Further guidelines are available from the department of theology.

MA in theology students may also complete an optional thesis on an independent research topic, if appropriate for their goals. Such a project must have a formal proposal approved by a faculty director according to graduate school guidelines, and the student registers for 1-6 credits for thesis completion.

Year A

Fall Semester
Theol 520, Christology
Theol 509, New Testament

Spring Semester
Theol 543, Social Ethics
Theol 531, Ecclesiology

Year B

Fall Semester
Theol 510, Old Testament
Theol 541, Theological Ethics

Spring Semester
Theol 538, Sacraments
577 Intro to Catechetics/Theo of Human Development (or other course approved by the department Chair)

Year C

Fall Semester
579 Catechesis of Adults/Leadership in Faith Community (or other course approved by the department Chair)
539 Theology of Ministry

In addition to the courses listed above, a required course, Theol 508, Theological Foundations, will be offered periodically when there is sufficient enrollment, or a substitution will be approved by the department Chair.

Examples of Course Offerings

CATECHESIS OF ADULTS: A study of adulthood and catechesis to include: documents of the Church regarding the catechesis of adults, adult learning theories, the educational needs of adults, types of adults, and the types of responses possible to meet those needs on the parish level.

CATHOLIC SOCIAL THOUGHT:  An examination and evaluation of Catholic Church teaching on major social issues in the papal encyclicals, conciliar documents and Episcopal pronouncements from Leo XIII to the present day.

THEOLOGY OF THE SACRAMENTS: An analysis of the origin and development of the notion of sacramentality and of the seven rites that the Catholic tradition recognizes as sacraments; an evaluation of the various Christian meanings of "grace" in relation to sacrament.

Graduate Research Opportunities

At Duquesne University there are a number of opportunities for graduate students to pursue research and scholarship.          

Sponsored by Duquesne's Office of Research:

Duquesne University Graduate Student Research Symposium (GSRS)

"Open to Duquesne University graduate students from all disciplines, the GSRS allows students the opportunity to gain valuable experience presenting research, receive a mark of distinction for their CVs, practice for job interviews and/or future national conferences, and interact with peers and faculty from various disciplines."

Check the GSRS website for deadlines and additional information.

Additional Information

For information on the MA program in Theology, please contact:

Dr. Elizabeth Cochran, Director of Graduate Studies
Fisher Hall 620