The Master of Arts (Theology) program provides study of Sacred Scripture, philosophy, theological concepts, moral principles, the sacramental system, spirituality, and Church history.

The MA program is useful for individuals seeking careers in church work, those involved in teaching or religious education, and those preparing for a religious vocation. Many students choose the MA, however, to gain a systematic understanding of the teachings of the Church to enhance and inform their professional and spiritual lives, their families, and service to the Church and the world. Students can pursue their particular interests through the choice of electives.

The program is offered through the Graduate School of Theology, which has been named a Candidate for Accreditation by the Commission on Accrediting of The Association of Theological Schools.

The CDU Graduate School of Theology aims to provide a transformative learning experience in the digital space and to develop leaders for the new evangelization in the 21st century.

Program Requirements

Program Time Limit: 5 years

Application Process:

  • Submit program application and $25 application fee.
  • Send official transcript from accredited degree-issuing undergraduate institution.
  • Complete THEO 503: The Catholic Theological Tradition, with a grade of 3.0 or higher.*
    * Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the dean. Students who earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher as a non-matriculated graduate student may be considered for admission.

Transfer Credit: A maximum of 6 theology graduate credits earned within the last 5 years with a grade of 3.0 or higher may be transferred if earned from an institution(s) accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Acceptance of transfer credit is at the discretion of the academic dean.

Students from John Paul Catholic University’s former online MA in Biblical Theology click here.

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Program Goals

By the end of the MA (Theology) program, a student:

  • Synthesizes the Church’s teaching on Divine Revelation including Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the magisterium of the Church and how it bears on the Church’s mission of evangelization.
  • Exhibits a mature understanding of the Christian vocation in the world and a capacity to defend the Catholic faith in wider culture.
  • Demonstrates the ability to refer, in careful and appropriate ways, to Scriptural passages related to the fundamental teachings of the Church and in a demonstrated capacity, to apply various approaches to Scriptural interpretation as these have been recommended in the Constitution on Divine Revelation.
  • Engages in critical theological thinking through reflection and analysis of theological and philosophical concepts and texts.
  • Articulates the ethical and moral principles of the Christian life and how they inform the growth of the Christian community.
  • Achieves an understanding of the principles of Scripture, moral theology, and Catholic social teachings and an ability to apply them to contemporary social, cultural, or biomedical issues.

Course List

Course Number Course Title Credits
THEO 503 The Catholic Theological Tradition (8 weeks) 3
THEO 510 Revelation and Faith: Fundamental Theology (8 weeks) 3
THEO 631 Introduction to Christology 3
THEO 551 Theology of the Sacraments 3
THEO 560 Fundamental Moral Theology (8 weeks) 3
THEO 641 Theology of the Church 3
PHIL 508 Philosophy for Theology 3
SCRPT 530 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History (8 weeks) 3


In a 2018 survey of CDU graduate students, 100% reported that they had achieved their learning goals.

CDU Offers:

  • Flexibility to study where and when you choose
  • Authentic Catholic teaching
  • Affordability
  • A global Catholic community
  • Knowledgeable and accessible faculty
  • Engaging online courses with discussion forums
  • Mobile app for study on the go
  • Online library staffed by a theological librarian
  • 24/7 technical support

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The MA program is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), which is recognized as a national accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The university is certified as a degree-granting institution by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.