Master's degree in Theology: should I and which one?

Hi all,

Below you will find my background information. To get right to my questions scroll down and find those at the bottom. Thanks for your help!

I welcome some advice on this. I graduated from college in 2011, and I’m 23 years old. I was born in to a Catholic family, and I’ve typically been very involved in Church. In college I met many people who were all too eager to pull me away from the Church. After all of that, I have really developed a passion for the Church and apologetics. My B.A. is in Communication with a double minor in PR and English. Since graduation in 2011 I’ve worked in fields where I frequently do public speaking, and I realized that my knack for it seems to be at its best when I’m speaking about God and the Catholic Church. I just can’t enjoy it very much when I’m trying to talk to large groups about anything else. I’ve even had non-Catholic co-workers tell me I should consider doing something in the Catholic realm because I seem to come alive when the topic comes up.

I’ve always enjoyed reading about the Church, going to conferences, spending my spare time reading books on apologetics and the faith. I also prayerfully try to evangelize in a loving way. Now, I’m wondering if I should reallly get my Master’s degree in Theology. I seem to be more knowledgeable than most people I know, but that’s not saying much since most of the Catholics I know don’t put their faith first. After graduation I worked for the Evangelization office at my Archdiocese and have experienced what it’s like to work the daily office responsibilites. So I’m aware it’s not all public speaking, conferences, T.V. shows and publishing books.

Eventually, I would like to be a Director of young adult ministry, RCIA, or a Marriage, Family and NFP office. I would like to write books, but I’m pretty sure I DO NOT want to be a professor or work in youth ministry. I also enjoy the aspect of working one-on-one with folks, and hosting workshops. I think spiritual direction is something I may look in to to start on a local level.


  1. Is it very difficult to get a Master’s in Theology when my Bachelor’s degree is not in Theology?

  2. Are there alternatives that require less time investment and are more cost-effective (like certifications I should ask my Archdiocese about) before jumping in to a Master’s program? I’m planning on paying out of pocket.

  3. Given what I’ve said above about my preferences, which Master’s program would you suggest? I know there’s a certain amount of “politics” concerning what degree can get you into specific fields.

  4. I live in south central texas, so I’m looking for established programs that also offer online, or are in the area. I know Franciscan University in Ohio offers distance learning, which I don’t prefer. I also found out that the University of Dallas has a degree you can get entirely online. I guess if the program is too great to pass up, and is in one of the surrounding states, I could consider moving. Suggestions welcome!

FYI: Eventually, I think I’d like to try the John Paul II Institute if I decide to focus on Marriage and Family work.

My bachelors degree was in education. I did have 18 credits in theology and philosophy so I was able to sidestep the prerequisite classes needed to get into the MA program. I did mine at our diocesan seminary that had an MA program for lay people. It was a bit less expensive that our local Catholic Universities. I did my D.Min. there as well. I also did a second MA at Notre Dame which was a summer program only and much much less expensive than other places but course work is only available in the summers and it takes 5-7 years to complete, but it was good for people who work full time. Notre Dame also has what is called ECHO for recent college grads. They intern in parishes during the winter, take classes on line and go to the ND campus during the summers for coursework getting their MA in I believe 2 or 3 years.

I don’t particularly like online courses. I took two and was disappointed. I like the in person interaction and debates that come from being in a class room.

Ask your Bishop. You may need/want to take some theology before getting into a program for a Masters degree there. There are other Collages that might work for you. There is one in Omaha (forgive me, I don’t know how to spell it!), but I’m not sure what the cost would be. :confused:


I have a BS in Engineering and recently retired. I’m working on a Masters at Christendom College. I like their orthodoxy and for me they are relatively local.

The one thing that I would recommend is to make sure of is the orthodoxy of whate Ed school you go to.

I will pray for you and your search.

check out the courses at RZIA.

Thanks for you help, all! The feedback is very helpful!:thumbsup:

You may also want to check out Catholic Distance University.

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