Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) degree is intended for those who wish to prepare for ministerial leadership in the Church, those with some ministerial experience, and those who want to improve effectiveness in their current ministries. Each student’s background and experience is considered in creating a meaningful course of study. The program combines theological study, a focus on developing pastoral skills, and the integration of these two areas. Students beginning the MAPS program may petition to receive advanced standing for previous work. Non-credit ministerial training and years of ministerial experience may also qualify toward advanced standing. This is determined based on transcript evaluation, an interview with the Assistant Dean for Academic Advising and Programs, and the approval of the Academic Dean following admission into the program.

Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies

Critical Dates and Deadlines

February 1

Priority Scholarship Deadline

May 1

Application deadline for Internationally-based students

August 15

Application deadline for US-based students

Goals & Outcomes
Areas of Focus

48 semester credits

  • 27 semester credits required courses
  • 3 semester credits Ministry Practicum
  • 16.5 semester credits elective courses
  • 1.5 Portfolio Course

The graduate of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies degree:

  • Engages in constructive theological reflection on the Catholic scriptures and tradition, and the area of specialization in a faithful, historically critical and culturally and ecumenically sensitive manner.
  • Demonstrates in practice the capacity for effective pastoral leadership in the specialized ministry including an understanding of its cultural and religious context.
  • Demonstrates progress toward integration as a minister/leader including growth in spiritual formation and a coherent theological vision.
  • Bachelor’s degree or qualify for Bachelor degree equivalency.
  • Recommend at least three years prior ministerial experience, paid or volunteer.
  • English language proficiency for graduate level studies.

Students enrolled in the MAPS program have the opportunity to focus elective courses in an area of their choosing or the option to enroll in a variety of elective offerings.

  • Asian Pastoral Theology and Ministry
  • Biblical Spirituality
  • Black Theology and Ministry
  • Hispanic Theology and Ministry
  • Intercultural Studies
  • Interreligious Studies
  • Liturgical Studies
  • Mission Studies
  • Predicacion Catolica
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Spirituality
  • Franiscan Spirituality
  • Reconciliation and Restorative Justice

In addition to their course work, spiritual formation is required for all lay students who are pursuing a Master of Arts or Master of Divinity Degree. This formation helps them to integrate their theological coursework into their daily lives. Members of religious communities have formation provided by that community. For more information about formation programs for lay students at CTU, click HERE.