See UD's plans for teaching, learning and research this fall with measures to promote safety and lessen the risk of COVID-19 spread. See UD case dashboard here.

Skip to main content

Religious Studies

Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry

Our program will prepare you for ministerial professions, especially for positions identified as lay ecclesial ministry within the Roman Catholic Church.

The program's basic requirements offer you a comprehensive introduction to the theological, ethical, historical and Biblical resources that ground a Christian minister's work. The additional requirements introduce you to the principles of pastoral theology and selected pastoral skills that are applicable in most ministerial settings.

We integrate the study of theology with the general principles and effective practices of pastoral ministry. This provides you with an opportunity to prepare for a variety of service careers emerging in the contemporary church, including pastoral positions in catechetics and religious education; family, parish and campus ministry.

We are constantly working forward. Our courses in religious education and telecommunications, family and parish ministries, and the social teachings of the church ensure the vitality of our program.

Virtual Learning

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry is available completely online. 

Visit the Office of Admissions to learn more
In the News
Faculty member and graduate awarded in annual Catholic book awards

Department chair, Jana Bennett and theological studies graduate Trevor Gundlach '16 were recipients of 2020 Catholic Book Awards presented by the Catholic Press Association. Jana received first place in the Sacraments category for Naming Our Sins: How Recognizing the Seven Deadly Vices Can Renew the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Trevor received second place in the new author category for his book, Barstool Theology. Congratulations to both for recognition of their dedication to scholarship and research.

Learn about the Catholic Press Association

Program Details

The mission of the Department of Religious Studies is to discover, explore and analyze religious experience in its various manifestations, emphasizing the Roman Catholic tradition in dialogue with the other Christian traditions and with the world religions.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the pastoral ministry and theological studies programs should submit the following information in addition to the online application:

  1. Official academic records of all previously attended colleges or universities must be submitted directly from the colleges or universities to the Office of Graduate Admission Processing. Hand-carried transcripts, official copies marked Issued to Student and unofficial copies are not acceptable.
  2. Three letters of recommendation from professors or employers.
  3. A personal statement explaining the applicant's desire to study theology at the University of Dayton.
  4. Results from the GRE are not required for applicants to the M.A. programs. However, candidates are welcome to submit a score in support of their application.

Additional requirements apply for international students.

Academic Requirements
Twenty-four semester hours of undergraduate course work in philosophy and theology/religion with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is recommended. Those with limited or no academic background in theology may be admitted on a conditional basis.

Graduate Assistantships
Assistantship opportunities are available for students in the Pastoral Ministry program. 

Admission Resources

Graduate Admissions

Learn More

Graduate Catalog

Learn More

Graduate Programs in Religious Studies

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1530