Master of Arts (M.A.) in Theology

The M.A. in Theology at Ave Maria University challenges students to open their minds and heart to Jesus Christ, humanity’s one True Teacher. Guided by a highly qualified faculty, M.A. students at Ave Maria University will study the wisdom of Sacred Scripture, the Church Fathers, Thomas Aquinas, and the Magisterial teachings of the Church.

Graduates of the M.A. Program are well prepared either to begin doctoral studies or procure employment in pastoral, diocesan, and educational institutions.

Sedes Sapientiae, ora pro nobis!

Thank you for visiting Ave Maria University website in order to learn more about our M.A. in theology. AMU is committed to the renewal and deepening of genuinely Catholic spiritual, intellectual, and cultural life. To enter our graduate theological programs is to embark on an exacting and exciting venture to deepen both one’s contemplative union with the Triune God and one’s understanding of the great truths of the Catholic faith.

To study theology challenges us to open our minds and hearts to Jesus Christ, the one Teacher who illumines everything by his very being as the Word of the Father in the Holy Spirit. To study Catholic theology is to realize that the Word Incarnate and the Holy Spirit inspired Sacred Scripture and continue to guide the Magisterium of the Church, whose Tradition directs us as we reach up to the great minds and hearts of the many saints and scholars who over the millennia have contributed to the quest for genuine holiness, wisdom, science, scholarship, and art.

If you decide to join our graduate program, it is their lives and writings that you will study. Fidelity to Catholic truth demands more—not less—commitment to deepening and broadening one’s intelligence to appreciate the unity of theological and philosophical wisdom, too often forgotten in the many specializations and fragmentations of contemporary academic culture. Our program emphasizes a contemplative pattern of study that initiates students into the great tradition of speculative wisdom, with its unifying theoretical vision of the whole of God’s creative and redemptive presence.

Dr. Dauphinais

  • Fully accredited, faithful, and intellectually challenging 48-credit M.A. program in Theology, which is normally completed in two academic years.
  • Accomplished faculty with prestigious records of publication.
  • Each member of the faculty possesses the ecclesiastical mandatum.
  • Small class sizes, affordable tuition, and competitive merit-based scholarships.
  • Excellent placement rates in doctoral programs, diocesan employment, and educational institutions.
  • World class theological and philosophical library.
  • Dynamic campus life with spiritual and service opportunities and vibrant community among graduate students.
  • Easy on-line application.

Year One
Fall Semester
THEO 501 Old Testament
THEO 523 Triune God
THEO 552 Fundamental Moral Theology*

Spring Semester
THEO 502 New Testament
THEO 525 Christ and His Church
THEO 527 Sacraments*

Year Two
Fall Semester
THEO 553 Systematic Theology & Eschatology
Graduate Theology Elective
Graduate Theology Elective

Spring Semester
THEO 599 M.A. Thesis
Graduate Theology Elective
Graduate Theology Elective

With the approval of the program director, THEO 552 and/or THEO 527 can be deferred to Year Two and replaced with electives. Students who enter the program with little or no Latin should take THEO 509 Theological Latin I and 510 Theological Latin II as electives during Year One.

High-achieving AMU undergraduates majoring in Theology may complete the B.A. and M.A. in the course of five academic years by taking certain M.A. courses as electives during their junior and senior years. Interested students should consult the director of the undergraduate Theology program during sophomore year, receive permission to embark on the five-year track, and begin planning with their advisor.

For priority consideration for scholarships and for housing, applications should be received by February 1.  Later applications, however, will still be accepted.

Applicants to the M.A. Program must possess a bachelor’s degree and must submit the following:

• Official GRE Score Report from ETS (optional)
• Seal-bearing transcripts (from all institutions attended)
• Completed application (online)

International applicants must also submit official TOEFL score results.

Upload  the following three documents (.pdf or docx) when submitting the application:

  1. 1. Professional and Academic Experience
  2. 2. Statement of intent (500-words): brief intellectual autobiography, academic/research interests and goals, and Christian-ecclesial commitment
  3. 3. Writing sample of a theological and/or philosophical character of at least five to eight pages.

• Two letters of recommendation

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning on December 1.  In order to receive priority consideration for scholarships and housing, applications should be received by February 1.  Later applications, however, will continue to be reviewed.

A limited number of merit-based scholarships will be offered to outstanding applicants.

A $150 enrollment fee (non-refundable) is required after acceptance into the program.

Fees paid by personal check should be made payable to  “Ave Maria University” and mailed to the Graduate Enrollment Office.

Questions regarding the Graduate Theology Program should be directed to or by calling Grace De Salvo  at 239-280-1629

GRE Score Reports, Official Transcripts, Letters of Recommendation need to be sent directly from the testing service, educational institution, and individual reference to:

Graduate Enrollment Office
Attn: Helene O’Connell
Ave Maria University
5050 Ave Maria Blvd.
Ave Maria, FL 34142

The requirements listed below are typically completed during a two-year residency. All required courses and most electives are 4 credit hours each.

• 48 credit hours of graduate theology courses, maintaining a GPA of 2.7 or higher
• Eight required courses (32 credits): THEO 501, 502, 523, 525, 527, 533, 552 and 599
• Four electives (16 credits), subject to approval of the program director (500-level courses in Theological Latin, Theological Greek, or Theological Hebrew may be taken as electives)
• Latin reading proficiency, demonstrated by the proficiency exam or approved AMU courses (with a grade of B- or higher)
• M.A. Thesis (THEO 599), including oral presentation, on an approved topic

Students normally enter the program with some undergraduate coursework in theology and philosophy. Those judged to have significant lacunae in their prior academic formation will be directed to take courses that complement the M.A. curriculum. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the sacramental and spiritual life of the university as an integral element in their theological formation.

Continuance in the program is subject to faculty review each semester. Students must be in good academic standing (GPA of 2.7 or higher) to maintain any scholarship or financial aid. If a student receives a final grade of C+ or lower in any course, he or she will be required to retake the course or, at the program director’s discretion, to resubmit selected assignments. A student who receives three or more grades of C+ or lower, or two or more grades of F, in a single academic year will be discontinued from the program.

M.A. students are expected to maintain full-time status and to devote themselves to studies as to a full-time occupation. If personal circumstances require the interruption of studies, the student should inform the department chair immediately and must apply to the program director for a leave of absence. At the director’s discretion, a leave may be granted for a fixed period. A student who interrupts studies without an approved leave of absence is considered to have withdrawn from the program and must reapply if he or she wishes to return.

The “Application for M.A. Degree” form is available from the registrar. It must be returned to the registrar, along with a check in the amount of the graduation fee, early in the semester in which the student intends to graduate.

Gerald Boersma, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Theology
Education: Ph.D., Theology and Religion, University of Durham; M.A., Theology, Ave Maria University; B.A., Religious Studies, Trinity Western University
Office: Henkels Academic Building 3003
Phone: (239) 304-7910
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Michael Dauphinais, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Theology & Department Chair
Education: B.S.E., Duke University; M.T.S. Duke Divinity School; Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Office: Henkels 3005
Phone: (239) 280-2538
Fax: (239) 280-1637
Curriculum Vitae: Download
Courses taught:
THEO 370 C. S. Lewis: Theological Apologetics
THEO 405/523 Triune God
THEO 522 Theology of Revelation
THEO 651 Theological Ethics
THEO 691/692 Colloquium on Ancients and Moderns

Fr. Robert Garrity

Assistant Professor of Theology
Education: B.A., English Literature, Aurora University, Illinois. M.A., S.T.L., Theology, The Catholic University of America220 / Directories. J.C.L., Canon Law, The Catholic University of America S.T.D., Theology, The Catholic University of America
Office: Henkels 2068
Phone: (239) 280-2424
Fax: (239) 280-1637
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Steven Long, Ph.D.

Professor of Theology
Education: B.A., M.A., University of Toledo; Ph.D., Catholic University of America
Office: Henkels 3007
Phone: (239) 280-1664
Fax: (239) 280-1637

Roger Nutt, S.T.D

Vice President for Academic Affairs, Associate Professor of Theology
Education: B.E.S., Literature and Philosophy, St. Cloud State University.M.A., Theology and Christian Ministry, Franciscan University of Steubenville. S.T.B., S.T.L., S.T.D., Sacred Theology, The Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Rome
Office: Henkels 3056
Phone: (239) 280-1603
Fax: (239) 280-1637
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Thomas Scheck, Ph.D

Associate Professor of Theology
Education: B.A. Moody Bible Institute;
M Div. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Ph.D., University of Iowa.
Office: Henkels 3027
Phone: (239) 280-1640
Fax: (239) 280-1637
Curriculum Vitae: Download

T. Adam Van Wart, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Theology370 C. S. Lewis: Theological Apologetics

With a research agenda concentrated primarily in the fields of systematic and philosophical theology, Dr. Van Wart’s current academic research queries the relationship between first and second order intentionality with respect to the Church’s speech and knowledge of God. Nonetheless, Dr. Van Wart enjoys teaching across the broad spectrum of theological fields, helping to habituate students into a deeper appreciation and understanding of the grammar of Catholic faith in all its holistic beauty. 

Prior to joining the faculty at AMU, Dr. Van Wart earned a PhD in Religious Studies with a concentration in systematic theology from Southern Methodist University; a Master of Theological Studies degree from Duke University Divinity School; both a (4-year) Master of Theology degree and a Master of Arts in counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary; and a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Texas Christian University. He is married to Megan, his bride of 17 years, with whom he has the great pleasure of raising three delightful children, aged 12, 8, and 4.

Education: Ph.D., Religious Studies, Southern Methodist University, M.T.S., Theology, Duke University, Th.M., Systematic Theology Dallas Theological Seminary, M.A., Counseling, Dallas Theological Seminary, B.S. Psychology, Texas Christian University
Office: Henkel’s Academic Building 3008
Phone: (239) 304-7825
Curriculum Vitae: Download
Courses taught: 
THEO 109 Sacred Scripture
THEO 309 Christ and His Church
THEO 390 Catholic Bioethics
THEO 400 Living in Christ: Moral Theology
THEO 490 Senior Seminar
THEO 553 Systematic Theology & Eschatology
Research interests:
  • Systematic Theology
  • Virtue Ethics
  • Philosophical Theology
  • Grammar of Doctrine
  • Modern Catholic and Protestant Theology
  • Theology and Language

Jeffery M. Walkey

Assistant Professor of Theology
Education: Ph.D. (candidate), Religious Studies Marquette University; M.T.S., Theological Studies, Duke Divinity School; B.S., Management, Purdue University
Office: Henkel’s Academic Building 3004
Phone: (239) 304-7363
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Dr. Gerald Boersma, Program Director: (239) 304-7910
Grace De Salvo, Administrative Assistant: (239) 280-1629


Graduate Enrollment Office
Attn: Helene O’Connell
Ave Maria University
5050 Ave Maria Blvd.
Ave Maria, FL 34142