Develop[ a deeper understanding of your Catholic faith through a unified theological approach.
Master of Arts

Ave Maria Online >> Online Degrees >> M.A. Theology

M.A. Theology Overview

Strengthen your foundation in the Catholic faith through a unified theological approach with Ave Maria University’s online master’s in theology. Our program integrates the tradition of the faith and the scripture while focusing on integrity and cohesiveness. Taught by elevated and experienced professors who have prestigious records of publication, your mind and heart will open to Jesus Christ as you study the wisdom of the sacred scripture, church fathers, St. Thomas Aquinas, and the magisterial teachings of the church. After graduation, you’ll be prepared to teach in a Catholic institution or pursue your Ph.D.

Study the lives and writings of the saints and scholars who have worked toward genuine holiness, science, wisdom, scholarship, and art. Through your fidelity to the Catholic faith, you’ll deepen your commitment and broaden your intelligence to honor the unity of theological and philosophical wisdom.

While completing the intellectually challenging and faithful M.A. theology online, you’ll explore the historical and theological contexts of the Old Testament and the New Testament. You’ll examine the mystery of divine unity and how human language is able to name God by analogy. Through an introduction to Aquinas’s account of the moral life and its relation to human flourishing, you’ll develop a vision of moral theology. Our program also explores the nature and effects of each of the seven sacraments and their connections, as well as the Church as the universal sacrament of salvation.


Ave Maria University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Questions about the accreditation of Ave Maria University may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (


Next start date: Fall 2021

Credit hours: 48

Cost per credit: $524

Number of transfer credits accepted: 8

Estimated completion time: 2 years

Courses & Curriculum

Our online master’s in theology consists of 12 courses, including an optional thesis and graduate-level theology electives. The program takes about two years to complete.

Required Courses (36 credits)

  • THEO 500A: Introduction to Scripture
  • THEO 500B: Introduction to Catholic Theology
  • THEO 501: Old Testament
  • THEO 502: New Testament
  • THEO 523: Triune God
  • THEO 525: Christ and His Church
  • THEO 527: Sacraments
  • THEO 552: Fundamental Moral Theology
  • THEO 553: Systematic Theology & Eschatology

Theology Electives (8 credits)

Choose two of the following:

  • THEO 509: Theological Latin I
  • THEO 510: Theological Latin II
  • THEO 511: Theological Greek I
  • THEO 512: Theological Greek II
  • THEO 595: Catholic Bioethics
  • THEO 595: Catholic Social Teaching
  • THEO 595: Theology of the Body
  • THEO 595: C.S. Lewis: Theological Apologetics

Thesis or Theology Elective (4 credits)

Choose between a theology elective or the thesis course. The thesis course prepares and guides you in the research and writing of a thesis on an approved topic.

  • THEO 599: M.A. Thesis

This Program Consists Of

Total Courses

Admission Requirements & Process

To be considered for Ave Maria’s online theology program, you must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in the United States.

To apply, please submit the following items:

  • Complete the online application. There is no application fee.
  • Official copies of all transcripts.
  • Academic writing sample of a theological or philosophical nature (minimum of five pages).
  • Two letters of recommendation (can be academic and/or professional).
  • 500-word statement of intent detailing a brief intellectual autobiography, your academic interest and goals, and your Christ-ecclesial commitment.
  • Copy of your resume.
  • Official GRE scores (optional).

Tuition & Fees

Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment advisor at (239) 280-1629 or request more information.

* Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost up to an additional $5,500. Fees are charged per course unless otherwise noted. This program takes an estimated four semesters to complete, depending on transfer credits.

Full Program Tuition$524 per credit hour$25,152
Full Program Fees$41 per course$492
Tuition with Maximum Transfer Credits (Up to 8)$524 per credit hour$20,960
Fees with Maximum Transfer Credits (Up to 8)$41 per course$410
Total with Transfer Credits$21,430

Career Outcomes

With our online master’s in theology, you’ll be prepared to pursue several positions within the church. A few potential outcomes include (median annual salaries are from PayScale):

Religious Education Director

A religious education director is responsible for organizing and coordinating religious events, providing counseling to students, and acting as a role model. They collaborate with other ministry staff to establish new programs, goals, and objectives.

  • Median annual salary: $36,264

Church Administrator

A church administrator manages a church’s daily operations. He or she ensures that funds are spent efficiently, and he or she communicates with the congregation.

  • Median annual salary: $38,690


Ministers generally offer spiritual support to their community. They may also conduct hiring, training, budgeting, and organizational duties within the church.

  • Median annual salary: $50,080


Pastors lead their church congregation with spiritual guidance, prayer, and song. They deliver sermons to emphasize the importance of faith and exhibit a strong understanding of biblical history and scripture. They may perform weddings, funerals, and other services.

  • Median annual salary: $48,382

Financial Aid

At Ave, we understand that coming up with the funds for a college education can get tricky. We offer financial aid to all eligible students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Our financial aid options include grants and loans.

Simply complete the application online on the FAFSA website. Remember to use Ave’s school code: 039413. After we have received your information, we will determine your financial aid eligibility and notify you so that you can accept any or all of it. In addition, one of our friendly enrollment counselors can assist you throughout the entire process.

Military Students

We proudly offer assistance for U.S. military veterans. Veterans can take advantage of the Montgomery GI Bill and the Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation for veterans with a service-connected disability. Spouses and dependents of veterans can also receive assistance.