School of Theology

The School of Theology engages committed individuals who desire to grow in their love of the Lord and their participation in the life of the Church. 

Mount St. Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology offers several certificate and master’s degree programs encompassing a range of fields, including theology, ministry, scripture, and more. Qualified students may also enroll in most School of Theology courses, on a credit or audit basis, without having been admitted to a degree program. In this way they can design their own course of studies.

Whether you are interested in rigorous intellectual studies, formation for lay ministry or are just exploring topics of personal interest, your journey begins here. 

Academic Programs

The School of Theology’s academic programs exists to proclaim Jesus Christ “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn. 14:6), and to enable men and women to embrace, in their particular state and call in life, a “greater knowledge of truth so that their lives may be ever more human” (St. John Paul II, Fides et Ratio 3). 

Classes focus on providing lay students with orthodox, consistent teaching that enables them to better understand and engage with their faith in their parishes and beyond.

Programs include:

  • Certificate in Catholic Theology
  • Graduate Certificate in Catholic Theology
  • Master of Arts in Catholic Theology
  • Master of Arts in Biblical Studies
  • Master of Arts in Catholic Studies

Lay Ecclesial Formation

Mount St. Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology offers one of the first and most respected lay ecclesial formation programs in the United States. Participants come from all walks of life, maintaining work and family commitments while preparing for new opportunities. 

The mission of the Lay Ecclesial Formation program at MTSM is to provide participants with the experiences they need to become more effective ecclesial ministers, to encourage others to grow in their faith and minister to others, and to minister with creativity and adaptability to the evolving needs of Church and society. 

Participants engage their hearts, minds, hands and spirits as they grow through: 

  • Academic coursework in theology, doctrine, scripture and pastoral studies 
  • Field Education that provides a supervised experience of skills development 
  • Theological Reflection connecting lived experience with scripture, tradition and theology 
  • Project/Capstone offering leadership experience in pastoral planning 
  • Advisors who guide and support 
  • A community of faith and learning that fosters prayer, spiritual growth and life-long friendships. 

The program components include academics, field education, theological reflection, the Project in Ministry/Capstone Project, a required yearly retreat and optional continuing education and spiritual formation opportunities. Through the program, participants are led into a deepened understanding and appreciation for the tradition which is the basis of their contribution to the mission of the Church.  They are challenged to consider mature faith questions and to develop a stance and a spirituality supportive of their role as lay ministers. 

Three program tracks are available within the Lay Ecclesial Formation Program leading to one of the following degrees or certificates:

  •  Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry (MAPM)
  • Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Ministry
  • Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

Graduates serve the larger Church as parish staff members and volunteers, teachers, catechists, staff and volunteers in pastoral care settings, non-profit agency staff members and volunteers, informed parents, and everyday evangelists. 

Graduate degrees offered by Mount St. Mary’s Seminary & School of Theology are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. 

Satellite Locations

Accessibility to School of Theology programs is a high priority. Graduate courses meet at the main campus weeknights and Saturday morning. Certificate courses are held at the main campus and satellite locations that rotate throughout the Archdiocese. The satellite location for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 academic years is Mary, Help of Christians parish in Fairborn.