Types of Programs

Degree Programs

Whether your interest is philosophy, theology, or both, we have a degree program that can be tailored to fit your interests and goals.

Philosophy Program

Bene Scripsisti de me Thoma – Vatican museumMaster of Arts (Philosophy) - This two-year program is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the history of Western philosophy from the pre-Socratics to the present day, as well as a grounding in systematic philosophy according to the method of St. Thomas Aquinas. Depending on the particular path chosen, students either apply their knowledge of this tradition in a focused area of academic research (thesis option) or with a chosen area of contemporary inquiry (exam option). In both cases, students develop an understanding of the classical and Thomistic tradition and learn to place this tradition in critical dialogue with modern and contemporary thought. The degree requires 48 units, divided among required and elective course work, the MA Colloquium, and thesis writing (for the thesis option).

Theology Programs

Master of Arts (Theology) - The two-year Master of Arts (Theology) program is designed to provide students with a fundamental knowledge of several broad areas of theology, the ability to communicate that knowledge effectively to others, and the research tools needed to do in-depth work in the field. Students may choose to concentrate in Art and Religion, Biblical Studies, Biblical Languages (through the GTU's MABL program), Christian Spirituality, Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions (especially Christianity and Islam), History, Moral Theology and Christian Ethics, or Systematic and Philosophical Theology. The degree requires 48 units of coursework and thesis writing.

GTU Common Master of Arts - This program emphasizes the ecumenical and interfaith dimensions of theological study, requiring coursework at several of the GTU member schools. Applicants interested in the GTU Common MA apply through t Insert Linkhe GTU Admissions Office external link but choose to affiliate with the DSPT. This program requires 48 units (42 units of course work and 6 units of thesis writing) and can be completed in two years. For information about the differences between the GTU Common MA and DSPT's own MA (Theology) program, go to  Frequently Asked Questions.

Master of Theological Studies - Designed for working professionals who intend to remain in their chosen profession, the MTS program may be done in two years (full-time) or up to five years (part-time).  A core series of four seminars (held on weekends) unique to the MTS program is combined with regular coursework.  MTS students apply their professional experience (in any field) to the program, gaining a theological context for their professional work and bringing their work and faith lives together.

Master of Divinity - The MDiv program is designed to pre­pare students academically, pastorally and spiritually for lay or ordained ministry in the Roman Catholic Church. The program helps students integrate four key areas of forma­tion: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral. The goals and outcomes of the program reflect the various emphases of that unified formation. The MDiv program is highly structured and requires supervised ministry experience as well as academic coursework. The degree requires 84 units of course work and a 1.5-unit Capstone Seminar. It can be completed in three years.

Concurrent Programs

Concurrent Master of Arts (Philosophy) / Master of Arts (Theology) - Students who wish to pursue an integrated program in both philosophy and theology may do so by enrolling in the Concurrent MA program. This combined program takes full advantage of the unique opportunities available at DSPT and results in the award of two MA degrees. The required thesis must demonstrate the capacity for scholarly research in both disciplines. This three-year program involves 54 units of required and elective course work and 9 units of thesis writing.

Note: Our Master of Arts (Philosophy) can be combined with either the DSPT Master of Arts (Theology) or the GTU Common MA. The DSPT's own Concurrent MA is strongly recommended to preserve the integrity of the program.  Students who wish to combine our MA (Philosophy) program with the GTU Common MA must submit the GTU Common MA application to the GTU Admissions Office and send their writing sample directly to the DSPT Admissions Office.  The statement of purpose must note that the applicant is applying to the Concurrent MA program.  Contact the DSPT Admissions Office if this is your intended program in order to avoid any confusion.

Concurrent Master of Divinity / Master of Arts (Theology) - Students enrolled in the MDiv program may choose to enroll concurrently in the DSPT MA (Theology) program or the GTU Common MA program. This combined program allows students the opportunity to explore in greater depth a theological area of interest and the relationship between theology and ecclesial ministry. Normally, a student begins with the MDiv program and applies to the Master of Arts program in the fourth semester, but applicants may be considered for both programs from the beginning if desired. The Concurrent MDiv / MA (Theology) program requires a total of 109.5 units and can be completed in no less than four years. See our Concurrent Master of Divinity / Master of Arts (Theology) page for a more detailed program description.