Dec 05, 2023  
Xavier University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 2023-2024 
Xavier University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 2023-2024

Theology, M.A.

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The mission of Xavier’s theology program is to provide a transformative theological education from a Catholic and ecumenical perspective inspired by the documents of the Second Vatican Council and the 35th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus. Accordingly, our mission empowers graduate students to think theologically, analyze issues from a Catholic and interreligious perspective, and act responsibly in the world for the promotion of peace and justice.

Our graduate program in theology provides students with a firm foundation in Christian theology through the study of scripture, tradition and ethics. The program is flexible enough to accommodate a wide variety of interests while equipping students with the historical awareness and professional resources necessary to enter or advance in careers such as teaching, ministry or writing, to pursue doctoral work,  or to promote the students’ personal spiritual development.

Because no definite amount of previous study of theology is prerequisite for admission to the program, students may vary considerably in their preparation. Ordinarily, applicants should have a background in the humanities, but each applicant will be considered individually. Students without sufficient undergraduate background in theology or religious studies will normally be admitted on a conditional basis, with a requirement to get grades of ‘B’ or above in their first two classes in order to continue in the program. All applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. An undergraduate GPA of 2.700 or better is preferred.

The MA in Theology will require satisfactory completion of 30 semester hours of graduate work (i.e. ten courses or nine courses plus a thesis), all of which must be at the graduate (500-800) level.

Undergraduates who attend Xavier University have a unique opportunity to begin work towards their master’s degree during their undergraduate studies. The 5-year path provides a focused, cost-effective way for our most qualified undergraduate students to prepare for a broad variety of professional careers.

Institute for Spirituality and Social Justice (ISSJ)

The Institute for Spirituality and Social Justice of Xavier’s Theology Department empowers constructive theological reflection and responsible social action through three tracks: (1) General Theology, (2) Ethics and Spirituality, and (3) Pastoral and Social Ministry. Each of the three tracks is designed to cultivate depth of thought, imagination, and critical skills in a world challenged by violence, social inequity, and environmental instability. In addition to graduate degrees, the Institute also offers programs, workshops, retreats, and certificate programs. The Institute is rooted in a rich tradition of spiritual practices coupled with rigorous intellectual inquiry and social analysis which manifests the Jesuit commitment to work in the service of faith and the promotion of justice in a diverse and pluralistic world. 

Degree requirements:

30 total credit hours are required, as follows:

12 credit hours of required courses:

18 credit hours of a Concentration (choose one):

General Theology Concentration

  • Six THEO electives (18 credit hours) + dossier/reflective essay


  • Five THEO electives (15 credit hours) + 3 credit hour thesis
Ethics and Spirituality Concentration

18 credit hours, including

  • Two courses in Ethics
  • Two courses in Spirituality
  • One of the following:
    • Two THEO electives + dossier/reflective essay
    • One THEO elective + 3 credit hour thesis
Pastoral and Social Ministry Concentration

18 credit hours, including

  • THEO 631 - Ethics in Ministry
  • One course in Spirituality
  • One graduate level Counseling course
  • Internship/THEO 715 or CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education)
  • One of the following:
    • Two THEO electives + dossier/reflective essay
    • One THEO elective + 3 credit hour thesis


The MA program in Theology invites applications from students with a bachelor’s degree and a solid academic record. Admission decisions are based on factors such as past academic performance, optional standardized test score, interview, and other information submitted.

Further information and application materials may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Services, 513 745-3360.

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