Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Master's Degrees

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The doctrine of the faith should be deepened by suitable initiatives such as study days, renewal courses and the frequentation of academic institutions…. It is necessary that deacons have an accurate knowledge of the Sacraments of Holy Orders, the Holy Eucharist, Baptism and Matrimony. They must develop a knowledge of those aspects of philosophy, ecclesiology, dogmatic Theology, Sacred Scripture, and Canon Law which most assist them in their ministry.

Basic Norms for the Formation of Permanent Deacons: Directory for the Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons #72.

As part of their continuing formation, qualified permanent deacons and wives completing Saint Meinrad's Permanent Deacon Formation Program may earn the 48-credit hour Master of Arts (Theology) in 30 credits, or the 48-credit hour Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology) degree in only 24 credits.

Permanent deacons and wives who participated in other formation programs may also receive some credit toward these degrees.

Master of Arts (Theology)

Master of Arts (Pastoral Theology)

Required Degree Coursework for Saint Meinrad Deacons:

  • Philosophy [2 core courses, MA (Theology) only]

  • Systematic Theology

  • Sacraments / Liturgy

  • Ethics

  • Old Testament (core course)

  • New Testament (core course)

  • Early Church History

  • Medieval or Modern Church History

  • Concluding Exercise

Opportunities for additional coursework in pastoral studies are also available.


  • Degree candidates will have received no less than a B- in any course of their permanent deacon formation program.

  • Degree candidates will have earned a four-year bachelor's degree (in any field) from an accredited institution.

  • Degree candidates will provide three recommendations to the Saint Meinrad Graduate Degree Program from: Diocesan Director of Permanent Deacon Formation, one lecturer from the Saint Meinrad Permanent Deacon Formation Program, and one other person who knows the candidate well, for example, a pastor, lay minister or work colleague.

Course Formats 

A variety of course formats makes it possible to pursue a master's degree on a part-time basis: weekend, online, week-intensive courses are available.

Generally, the degree can be completed in two to four years on a part-time basis.

How to Apply

Qualified candidates should complete the regular application process to the Graduate Theology Programs. Apply here. 

For information, email the Office of Enrollment at, or call 800-MEINRAD (634-6723).