Credit Hours


  • Master of Arts https://www.stmarytx.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/assumption-chapel-detail.jpg


  • In-Person
  • Online
  • Hybrid

What is Theology?

The academic study of theology at St. Mary’s University covers the history of Scriptural interpretation, the development of Christian teachings, and practical aspects of Catholic social teaching and Christian ethics. Through this program, we foster critical reflection on the Catholic faith and work that is open to ecumenism and inter-faith dialogue.

This course of study prepares lay men and women, as well as members of religious communities, to serve the Church in the Southwest.

Theology at St. Mary’s is rooted in Catholic tradition, but welcomes students of all backgrounds who share our commitment to the compatibility of faith and reason and the need for critical inquiry in the search of insight wherever it may be found. The program is dedicated to the traditional Marianist values of:

  • The importance of theological education
  • Servant leadership
  • Christian church communities living and growing in a family spirit
  • Degree Plan

    This program instructs students in the careful reading of theological texts and church documents, the importance of historical and philosophical influences on textual interpretation, and the use of essential research tools.

    In addition to this scholarly preparation, students consider how and why it is important to implement the results of theological research in creative and practical ways. Students take courses and electives in three major areas (Systematics, Scripture, Christian Life and Practice), complete comprehensive exams, and take a Capstone course. There is a thesis option for students who believe further research would support their career and academic goals.

    A dual degree is also available, allowing students to complete both degrees in three to four years:

  • Courses in Theology

    Unlike many graduate programs, the Master of Arts in Theology at St. Mary’s requires courses in scripture, which provides students with a deep investigation into traditional and contemporary interpretations.

    In addition to essential courses in areas such as the Church and Trinity, students take courses in Christian Life and Practice. Students encounter rich theological reflection on topics such as catechesis or theology of lay ministry, as well as Catholic moral and social teaching.

    This program is offered in a synchronous online format, with some required in-person dates.

    See detailed course requirements and descriptions in the catalog:

  • Careers in Theology

    Our students have gone on to teach in Catholic parochial and high schools, to work in parish and diocesan administrative positions, and to serve as catechetical leaders.

    Others have gone on to pursue doctoral work and then teach in colleges and universities.

    Students often use their degrees for various church ministries, including religious education, or go on to pursue doctoral studies.

Rev. Montague teaching class

Admission Requirements

Many incoming students have previous training in Theology or Religious Studies, but this background is not required.

Students new to the study of Theology will be supported during their transition by taking one or more courses with undergraduate majors until they are prepared to thrive in graduate courses.

  • Statement of Purpose: One- to two-page essay explaining your interest in the program, your background, and your academic or professional goals
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all your degree-granting institutions as well as any record of previously completed graduate credits
  • Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation from teachers and/or other professionals who can speak to your academic preparation and potential for success.
  • Writing Sample: The prompt and short readings are included in the online application. Your response should demonstrate your ability to read carefully and think critically.
  • No GRE scores are required.

Theology students international trip

Program Objectives

The Department of Theology at St. Mary’s University seeks to educate students to meet the high academic standards that prepare them for both further academic study and for service to the Church and community.

Students who complete the program will demonstrate knowledge about scripture, religious history, interpretation, moral theology, and fundamental principles of academic inquiry.

They will be able to express theological ideas with clarity and coherence, gathering information from contemporary and traditional sources. Graduating student will be prepared to engage in critical and constructive conversation with others about theological topics.

We’ll Work with Your Schedule

Most of our students have full-time jobs in the day and take courses one or two evenings a week.

St. Mary’s offers a real-time classroom experience to students through video conference technology. Distance Learning students outside of the San Antonio area and across the country can participate together with students on campus.

Graduate Theology classes bring together a wide variety of students in an environment that is effective, creative, and communal. Students interact not only with the professor but also with each other.

female advisor meets with student in her office

Learn More

We’re eager to hear from you and answer any questions you have! Feel free to reach out to learn more about St. Mary’s University.

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