Degree type(s): Master's
Degree field(s): Theology; Catholic Studies; Humanities
Location(s): Bismarck, ND
Program offerings by location and modality are subject to change.

The University of Mary is pleased to offer a Master of Arts in Catholic Studies beginning fall 2019. This program strengthens a liberal arts education and provides a rich understanding of the Catholic tradition. Students will be prepared for further graduate study in pursuit of doctoral degrees in fields such as philosophy, theology, history, literature, and the arts, or to continue their careers in a parish, educational institution, or other non-profit organization.


MA in Catholic Studies Program Highlights

  1. Integrated

    The Master of Arts in Catholic Studies develops the capacity of mind to form a connected view of things informed by the truths of the Catholic faith. Students compare various disciplinary approaches to reality and their inherent contributions to a rich interdisciplinary understanding of God and creation, which will allow students to apply this tradition to current professional, moral, or intellectual challenges.

  2. Flexible

    Designed for working adults, classes in this program are mostly offered in the evenings at the University of Mary campus in Bismarck, ND. In addition to evening classes during the fall and spring semesters, students complete a one-week intensive course at the University of Mary campus during the summer. The summer semester also consists of one evening course. Students are able to continue working full-time as they complete their degree.

  3. Quality

    With the nation’s fasted growing Catholic Studies program, the University of Mary offers quality education. Faculty are invested in students’ success and allow students to  question, learn, and engage with course material and classmates.

  1. Complete an Application for Admission (online)
  1. Personal statement
    • Students must write a personal statement in which you explain your interest in the program in two pages or fewer. In this statement, explain your understanding of the nature of Catholic Studies and the value of this degree for you. Also, describe the goals this program of study will help you achieve, whether personal or professional, and relevant prior preparation that will help you succeed in the program.
  2. At least two recommendations
  3. A writing sample
    • Please submit an essay of 2500-4000 words that advances a thesis using arguments and evidence appropriate for the topic.

The average time to completion for this program is one to two years, depending on the student’s course schedule. To complete the degree,

  1. Students must take four (12 credits) cross-disciplinary elective courses with different areas of emphasis. Students must take courses with a distinct emphasis in philosophy, theology, literature and the arts, and history. Students cannot use one class to satisfy two areas. For example, a class in the disciplines of theology and history cannot satisfy both the theology and history emphasis requirement.
  2. Students must complete one high-quality paper judged according to the standards of the discipline the student chooses. A high-quality paper has the significant potential to be accepted at a conference presentation of the discipline or to be used as a writing sample for admission into a doctoral program. Faculty in the discipline must judge the paper adequate to satisfy this program requirement.
  3. Students must pass a proficiency exam in Latin, which is typically accomplished by passing the course Latin for Reading.


Required Courses (12-15 credits)

  1. CTH 510 The Catholic Tradition - (3 credits)
  2. CTH / EDU 534: History of Western Education (2 credits)
  3. CTH / EDU 557 John Henry Newman the Educator (2 credits)
  4. CTH / EDU 613: Principles of Catholic Education Applied Today: Happiness and Truth (2 credits)
  5. LAT 520 Latin of the Church (3 credits) – may be waived by passing proficiency exam
  6. CTH 698 Final Capstone (3 credits)

 Electives (18 credits)

  1. CTH 632 Catholic Studies through Theology and Philosophy (3 credits)
  2. CTH 658 Catholic Studies through Theology and the Arts (3 credits)
  3. CTH 656 Catholic Studies through Theology and History (3 credits)
  4. CTH 650 Catholic Studies through History and the Arts (3 credits)
  5. CTH 654 Catholic Studies through the Arts and Philosophy (3 credits)
  6. CTH 652 Catholic Studies through Philosophy and History (3 credits)
  7. Other Electives