I am interested in receiving a theology degree from a strong Catholic college in America or Rome, in order to shore up my academic record when I apply to law school. The reason why I want a theology degree specifically, is to complement my future career in the law and in social service, but I am unsure which sort of degree would best accomplish this aim (MA/M.Div/STB?).
I was wondering if the members of the forum could help suggest a solid school, as well as a good degree–keeping in mind that I have a BA in philosophy and strong GRE scores, so it seems that the MA (Theo), M.Div, and even STB are all options. Still, I am unsure of the relative merits of each, and would appreciate the input of the forum members on this point.
The Roman Pontifical Institutes/Universities also look appealing, though I am not even sure how to go about applying there. I am currently looking into applying to the Dominican Third Order, so that I can increase my service and commitment to our Church, and perhaps this would help my acceptance to a Pontifical Institute? Though, again, I am very unsure of how one chooses one Institute over another: they all seem to be steeped in tradition, and have very sparse ‘Admissions’ pages!
If you could please suggest schools with the following three criteria in mind:
-low-cost tuition (I am currently breaking my back, doing construction to pay for the last semester of my baccalaureate)
-orthodoxy and rigor of the program (no ecumenical, comparative religions or all-purpose pastoral degrees, please!)
-the reputation of the school in secular academia (keeping in mind that my ultimate aim is law school)
Hopefully someone can help me!