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 is accredited 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:

  • Complete the free online application for admission.
  • Have an official transcript from the accredited institution where you completed your undergraduate degree sent to
  • Have someone who is familiar with your academic or professional work submit a letter of recommendation to
  • Submit a brief statement of purpose (250 words or less) to on why you are pursuing online graduate study in theology.

Students will be notified of acceptance via email shortly after all materials have been submitted and reviewed.

Those who complete this degree program with a minimum GPA of 3.0 are eligible for fast-track admission to the Doctor of Ministry program at the University of St. Mary of the Lake.

Accepted students may begin by taking one of three courses: THEO 503 The Catholic Theological Tradition, THEO 510 Revelation and Faith, or SCRPT 530 Introduction to Scripture and Salvation History.

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 or whose courses are endorsed by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Acceptance of transfer credit is at the discretion of Academic Leadership.

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


  • Tuition:  $1,425 x 12 courses = $17,100
  • Technology fee: $150/course x 12 courses = $1,800
  • Comprehensive Exam fee: $150
  • Books: $100/course (estimate) x 12  courses = $1,200
  • Total: $20,250
  • Detailed cost of attendance budgets can be found here.

“Knowing what I believe and what the basis of those teachings and beliefs is has helped me immensely. I work full time and absolutely needed the asynchronous format where I could work on the courses when I had time during the day, weeks or months, etc. I could not fit a traditional face-to-face course format into my schedule.”

Dr. Angelo Giardino, MA (Theology)

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Program Goals

By the end of the program, the student will be able to:

  • Articulate and apply principles of Catholic theology and God’s relationship to the created order to the problem of authentic happiness and the edification of the human community.
  • Demonstrate how the New Testament fulfills the Old Testament with regard to Jesus Christ, the Church as the People of God, and its sacramental life.
  • Explain the role of philosophy in theological controversies in Church history and in the development of Church doctrine.
  • Synthesize the development of the Catholic Church’s understanding of the relationship between Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium, and their significance with respect to historical and contemporary challenges.

Course List


In a 2022 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.