Master of Theology Program (MTh)
The Overall Purpose of the Master of Theology Program
Concentrated Focus, Deeper Understanding
The chief aim of the MTh program at Holy Spirit College is to allow degree candidates to attain a more complete mastery of one specific area of theological research. For the end of obtaining a deeper understanding of a particular branch of theological inquiry, new students admitted to the MTh program will declare a theological focus area at the time of matriculation in order to clarify their theological interests. By working toward fulfillment of the degree requirements, students are gradually prepared to advance to the study of academic theology at the doctoral level.
Goals of the Master of Theology Program
The MTh program at Holy Spirit College is an academic program rather than a professional program. In accordance with the academic nature of this degree, the College has established general educational goals which it strives to help students meet.
(1) Advanced Competency in a Theological Focus Area
A primary goal for the MTh program is for students to attain a more advanced competence in a particular theological focus area. Such areas include, for example, theological anthropology, Christology, ecclesiology, bioethics, and many other areas. Student work toward the fulfillment of the degree requirements builds upon the general theological foundation acquired through previous graduate work (for example, in two-year MTS or MDiv programs).
(2) Mastery of a Theological Method
A second goal is that students acquire a more developed professional approach to conducting academic research in sacred theology. For this end, MTh students are required to participate in a seminar course in theological methodology (THEO 710). In this course, students explore historical precedents and contemporary trends regarding how sacred theology should proceed as an academic discipline. Consideration is given to the process of formulating productive questions that will serve to advance theological inquiry, as well as to developing a capacity for locating and utilizing
professional resources for the advancement of theological research.
The Holy Spirit College MTh program guides students to a deeper level of theological inquiry associated with the focus area which the student declares upon matriculating into the program. The program is primarily academic in nature rather than professional. Fifty percent of the courses are proper and unique to the MTh program (the two thesis research courses and the theological methodology course). The degree requirements are also program specific (for example, the language
requirement, the focus area declaration and competency exam, and the thesis defense). These requirements collectively serve to illustrate the advanced academic nature of the MTh program.
Location of the Master of Theology Program
Courses for the Holy Spirit College MTh degree are offered primarily on the main campus of the College which is located at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in north Atlanta. At times, individual courses may be scheduled at satellite classroom facilities associated with other Catholic parishes in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. By pursuing graduate education in Catholic sacred theology in a traditional classroom setting, students at the College participate in a community of learning where faculty and students have regular opportunities for substantive and personal interaction. With approval of the academic dean, a student may also pursue a directed reading under the guidance of a faculty member in order to obtain credit toward the MTh degree.
MTh Degree Requirements
18 hrs. Total (Typically Six Courses)
6 hrs. Thesis Research (Two Courses)
3 hrs. Theological Methodology (One Course)
9 hrs. Electives (Courses Relevant for the Declared Theological Focus Area)
Other Degree Requirements
Declaration of a Theological Focus Area
Theological Focus Area Competency Exam
Ancient Language Competency Exam (Latin)
Modern Language Competency Exam