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.

To study Catholic theology on the graduate level is to “learn Christ” (Eph 4:20) in the company of the saints and scholars who over the millennia have contributed to the quest for holiness, knowledge, and wisdom. Guided by a highly qualified faculty, graduate students at Ave Maria University have the opportunity to read deeply in Sacred Scripture, the Church Fathers, Thomas Aquinas, and the recent pontificates of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis.

The Theology Department serves the university’s mission by offering graduate programs that are faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and academically rigorous. Over against the fragmentation of theology in contemporary academia, our programs inculcate an appreciation for the unity of theological and philosophical wisdom and the coherence of the truths of the faith. They emphasize a contemplative pattern of study that grounds the student in the tradition of speculative wisdom, with its unified vision of God’s creative and redemptive plan. In accord with the university’s mission, the graduate programs respond to the needs of Church and society by educating the next generation of Catholic educators.

  • 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 Farley  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.

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

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

Fr. Matthew Lamb

Cardinal Maida Chair of Theology
Education: S.T.L., Theology, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. Dr. Theo., Theology, Westfaelishe Wilhelms University, Muenster, Germany. Ph. D., Humanities, Honoris Causa, Franciscan University of Steubenville
Phone: 239-280-1629
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

Associate Professor of Theology and Director of the M.A. Program
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 3003
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

Michael Waldstein, Ph.D.

Max Seckler Professor of Theology
Education: B.A., Thomas Aquinas College; Ph.D. University of Dallas; S.S.L. Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome; Th.D., Harvard Divinity School.
Office: Henkels  3009
Phone: (239) 280-2594
Fax: (239) 280-1637
Curriculum Vitae: Download

Dr. Roger Nutt, Program Director: (239) 280-1603
Grace Farley, Administrative Assistant: (239) 280-1629


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