Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Pre-Theology: Master of Arts

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Master of Arts (Catholic Philosophical Studies)

According to the Program of Priestly Formation, Fifth Edition (PPF), philosophical studies are fundamental and indispensable to theological studies and the formation of priesthood candidates.

For seminarians whose undergraduate education has not included the advanced study of philosophy required to enter the Master of Divinity program, Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology offers a "balanced, comprehensive, integrated, and coherent" (PPF, 155) two-year, graduate-level pre-theology program, resulting in a Master of Arts (Catholic Philosophical Studies).

The degree consists of 48 credit hours and fulfills the PPF's pre-theology requirement of 30 hours in philosophy and 12 hours in theology.

Seminarians who successfully complete the degree will:

  • understand the role and contribution of the Western philosophical tradition in the development and explication of Christian doctrine;
  • interpret philosophical and theological texts in light of the broad Western Christian tradition;
  • express arguments logically and concisely in written and oral form;
  • analyze and critique contemporary issues in light of the Catholic intellectual tradition;
  • understand philosophical background of terms and theories that are found in the basic framework of Catholic theology.
  • develop basic understanding of methods appropriate to the study of Catholic doctrine and Sacred Scripture

The degree program consists of four semesters in approved course work. During the last semester, the seminarian participates in a concluding exercise in which he integrates his course of studies into a body of knowledge that will serve his continued work in theology.

I Philosophy

Fall Semester (12 credit hours)
05:513 Logical Analysis (3 hours) 
05:515 Ancient Philosophy (3 hours) 
10:510 The Creed in History and Theology (3 hours) 
62:500 Ecclesiastical Latin I (3 hours) 

Spring Semester (12 credit hours)
05:520 Medieval Philosophy (3 hours) 
05:530 Philosophy of Nature and Man (3 hours) 
49:501 Human Development and Christian Maturity (3 hours) 
05:535 Word and Interpretation (3 hours) 

II Philosophy

Fall Semester (12 credit hours)
05:510 Ethics and Natural Law (3 hours)
05:514 Philosophy of Knowledge (3 hours)
05:523 Modern Philosophy (3 hours) 
20:510 Introduction to Biblical Studies (3 hours)

Spring Semester (12 credit hours)
05:540 Political Philosophy (3 hours)
05:545 Contemporary Philosophy (3 hours)
05:550 Natural Theology (3 hours)
70:300 MA Concluding Exercise Seminar (3 hours)