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About Us

The Department of Religious Studies offers Master of Arts and doctoral degrees. Learn more about our graduate programs below.

The Master of Arts Programs

The M.A. in theological studies is designed to provide students an opportunity to broaden their knowledge and deepen their understanding of Christianity through the academic study of Scripture, historical theology, church history, and contemporary and moral theologies. This program is ideal for those interested in pursuing further graduate work in theology or a related discipline as well as for those with experience in ministry who find that they need further background in theology in order to minister effectively. Within this program students can earn a special concentration in Marian studies through courses offered at the International Marian Research Institute  (located on campus). The M.A. in pastoral ministry is ideal for those interested in pursuing a career in ministry; it combines a background in theological studies with practical training in a ministerial context. Both programs offer unique opportunities for study and practice through the Institute for Pastoral Initiatives and other centers at the University (the Center for Family Research, the Center for Christian Renewal, the offices for Creative Ministry, Aging, Strategies for Responsible Development, Educational Services, and Religious Telecommunications).

Graduate assistantships are available for full-time M.A. students. Students may enroll as full-time or part-time.  Part-time students may complete their degree over a series of summers or through a combination of summer and academic year courses.

The Ph.D. Program

The Ph.D. program at the University of Dayton centers on the practice/praxis of Catholicism as it is multiply inculturated in the religiously plural and politically secular U. S. context. Graduates of the program have the ability to do theological research with the rigor demanded by the program's distinctive integration of methodologies, particularly those from the social sciences.  The program's focus on theology, developed from discovering, analyzing, understanding and proposing creative transformations in the practice/praxis of Catholicism in the U.S., trains graduates to do theology in a distinctive manner.

Four key components of the doctoral program in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Dayton make it unique. First, the program begins with an intensive, two-semester research and methods course, which, in conjunction with general and qualifying examinations, structures the course of studies. Second, graduate students receiving financial support will be mentored in teaching under the guidance of a master teacher. Third, resources are committed to supporting dissertation research. And fourth, the program is strongly collaborative, especially with regard to research methods. Faculty from other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, as well as Visiting Distinguished Professors, participate in the program.