Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Frequently Asked Questions

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I haven't been in a classroom for years. Can I handle the coursework?

I'd like to teach. Can a Saint Meinrad degree help me?

I'm interested in studying theology, but I'm not sure if I'm called to work for the Church.

Can I get financial aid?

Do I need to take the GRE?

I live several hours from Saint Meinrad. How can I study there?

I can only study part time. How long will it take me to complete a degree at Saint Meinrad?

Does Saint Meinrad offer a total distance-learning degree?

I'm not Catholic. Can I take classes at Saint Meinrad?

I'd like to study full time. Does Saint Meinrad have on-campus housing?

I haven't been in a classroom for years. Can I handle the coursework?
The vast majority of our students are non-traditional students, coming back to school after several years spent in another career, raising a family and so forth. Our coursework is rigorous and challenging, but our professors also understand that many students might need some extra assistance, especially in the beginning of their study. Our Mader Learning Center also provides learning resources, tutorials and writing/research assistance for those who need it.

I'd like to teach. Can a Saint Meinrad degree help me?
Our Master of Arts (Theology) degree is an academic theology degree geared toward those who would like to teach theology on the elementary, middle school, high school or college level. The MA(T) also serves as good preparation for doctoral studies, if you wish to pursue a terminal degree.

I'm interested in studying theology, but I'm not sure if I'm called to work for the Church.
Many students at Saint Meinrad do not intend to seek professional lay ministry positions. Some are retired; some are already firmly committed to a non-Church-related career and vocation; some are still discerning how God is calling them to grow and serve. By its very nature, theological study includes a process of vocational discernment, and we offer several opportunities to help you do specific discernment of where theological study is leading you.

Can I get financial aid?
The bequests of generous donors and the institution's own commitment to lay ministry allows Saint Meinrad to offer generous financial aid to lay students based on financial need (as determined by the FAFSA form), lay ministry involvement and academic record. Students receiving financial aid must fill out a new FAFSA form each year. Saint Meinrad also offers grants that match the contributions of a parish or diocese toward a student's coursework, up to $150 per term. See Financial Aid section for more information.

Do I need to take the GRE?
Saint Meinrad does not require scores from the Graduate Record Exam for admittance to a degree program. However, the school does accept the scores, which can be helpful if, for some reason, a student's academic record does not provide an accurate picture of a student's academic ability.

I live several hours from Saint Meinrad. How can I study there?
A large percentage of Saint Meinrad lay degree students live at least three hours away from campus. The main course format for part-time students living some distance from Saint Meinrad is the weekend course. These courses consist of three all-day Saturday - Sunday weekends (with breaks for Mass and the Divine Office, of course), roughly one per month for three months. This compressed format gives students the same amount of classroom time as a conventional weekly course, but requires being on campus only one weekend per month. Weekend courses are offered year-round; most students take four per year, thus making a dozen trips to Saint Meinrad per year. Alternatively, you have the option of taking up to 15 credit hours in the online and/or independent-study format.

I can only study part time. How long will it take me to complete a degree at Saint Meinrad?
Most lay students at Saint Meinrad are part-time—with families, full-time jobs in ministry or other fields, and other responsibilities and commitments. We have planned weekend and online course offerings carefully, such that if you take four weekend classes per year (fall, spring, early summer and late summer), you can graduate in four years. Students coming in with an undergraduate major or minor in theology or philosophy can complete the degree in fewer than 48 credit hours and usually in fewer than four years.

Does Saint Meinrad offer a total distance-learning degree?
Although we offer a number of online courses and the possibility of independent studies, we do not offer a complete distance-learning degree. Our academic accrediting agencies require that at least half the required credits for a degree be taken at the Saint Meinrad campus (which has the requisite access to library, staff and faculty), through weekly or weekend courses. Therefore, you can complete up to half of your degree through other formats: a combination of online courses, independent studies, and transfer credit from other institutions.

I'm not Catholic. Can I take classes at Saint Meinrad?
Although Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology is firmly rooted in the Roman Catholic tradition and most classes are taught from a Catholic perspective, the school has a commitment to ecumenism and has both students and faculty from other Christian denominations. Saint Meinrad also has tuition-exchange relationships with four Protestant seminaries in the region, encouraging an exchange of learning between the schools. I'd like to study full time.

Does Saint Meinrad have on-campus housing?
Although Saint Meinrad has temporary accommodations for weekend and intensive-format students, the school does not offer a long-term residency option for full-time lay students. The school can provide resources and referrals to assist full-time students in finding housing nearby.