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.
- Departmental Message
- Fast Facts
- Typical Plan of Study
- 5 Year B.A./M.A. Program
- Admission Requirements
- Program Requirements
- Application and Other Links
- Meet Our Faculty
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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.
THEO 501 Old Testament
THEO 523 Triune God
THEO 552 Fundamental Moral Theology*
THEO 502 New Testament
THEO 525 Christ and His Church
THEO 527 Sacraments*
THEO 553 Systematic Theology & Eschatology
Graduate Theology Elective
Graduate Theology Elective
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 (available online)
• Two letters of recommendation
• Statement of intent (500-words): brief intellectual autobiography, academic interests and goals, and Christian-ecclesial commitment
• Writing sample of a theological and/or philosophical character of at least five to eight pages
A limited number of merit-based scholarships will be offered to outstanding applicants.
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
Fr. Robert Garrity
Assistant Professor of Theology
Fr. Matthew Lamb
Cardinal Maida Chair of Theology
Steven Long, Ph.D.
Professor of Theology
Roger Nutt, S.T.D
Associate Professor of Theology and Director of the M.A. Program
William Riordan, S.T.D
Professor of Theology
David Tamisiea, Ph.D. (Candidate)
Assistant Professor of Theology and Director of the Undergraduate Theology Program
Michael Waldstein, Ph.D.
Max Seckler Professor of Theology
Sr. Albert Marie Surmanski, OP
Instructor of Theology and Research Fellow
Dr. Roger Nutt, Program Director: (239) 280-1603
Mrs. Kathleen Smith, Administrative Assistant: (239) 280-1629
Graduate Enrollment Office
Attn: Helene O’Connell
Ave Maria University
5050 Ave Maria Blvd.
Ave Maria, FL 34142