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

  • 36 Credits (24 Core Credits plus 12 Elective Credits, which may include an optional 3-credit thesis.)
  • Students are required to meet participation requirements in Theological Conversations, a Co-Curricular activity of CDU Student Life. Requirement includes a minimum of three specified posts in the Theological Conversations discussion forum. Specifications are available in the rubric linked to the discussion. This requirement can be met throughout the time a student is completing the program, but must be completed prior to graduation.
  • One comprehensive exam (COMP 699) to be taken when all coursework is complete.

Program Time Limit: 5 years

Application Process:

  • Submit program application and $25 application fee.
  • Send an official transcript showing an undergraduate degree earned from an accredited college or university.
  • 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.


  • Tuition:  $1,395 x 12 courses = $16,740
  • Technology fee: $120/course x 12 courses = $1,440
  • Proctor fee: $25/course x 12 courses  = $300
  • Comprehensive Exam fee: $150
  • Books: $100/course (estimate) x 12  courses = $1,200
  • Total: $19,830

“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 MA (Theology) program, a student should be able to:

  • Defend God’s existence, define His relationship to the created order, and explicate His Triune Nature.
  • 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.
  • Synthesize the Catholic Church’s understanding of the nature of Divine Revelation, demonstrating the relationship between Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the magisterium.
  • Explain the role of philosophy in the various theological controversies that have ensued in Church history and in the development of Church doctrine.
  • Apply principles of Catholic moral teaching to the problem of authentic happiness of the human person and to the edification of the greater human community.

Course List


In a 2019 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.