May 26, 2024  
Loyola Marymount University Bulletin 2015-2016 
Loyola Marymount University Bulletin 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Pastoral Theology, M.A.

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Degree Requirements

Core Courses (8 courses - 24 semester hours) in categories A through H:

Pastoral Theology Electives

(18 semester hours)

Pastoral Theology students are required to take one three-semester-hour course in either Liturgy, Religious Education, or Spirituality and select other elective courses offered by the Department of Theological Studies after consultation with their advisor.

The program is designed to allow a student to pursue general interests or a particular concentration. Concentrations are offered in two areas: 1) Pastoral Leadership and 2) Spiritual Direction. Under special circumstances, students may take up to two courses (six semester hours) outside the department.

Spiritual Direction Concentration

An option for Students in the M.A. in Pastoral Theology

This concentration is designed for anyone enrolled in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology who would like to acquire the art of spiritual direction, a ministry of accompanying others in their spiritual journey. The purpose of the concentration is twofold: 1) to provide a course of studies that integrates theology, Scripture, psychology, spirituality, skills acquisition and supervision in the art of spiritual direction and 2) to assist participants to discern whether they are being called to the ministry of spiritual direction.

Upon successful completion of the four required courses listed below, participants will be able to designate that their Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology included a concentration in spiritual direction training.

Students who wish to concentrate their electives in spiritual direction would take the following courses. NOTE: THST 6051 The Theory and Practice of Spiritual Direction , needs to be taken first; THST 6054 Practicum and Supervision in Spiritual Direction , needs to be taken last. The other two courses can be taken whenever opportune, after completing the first course.

Pastoral Leadership Concentration

An option for Students in the M.A. in Pastoral Theology


The concentration is made up of four courses (12 semester hours) that the student chooses from the set of approved courses listed in the Bulletin for this Concentration.

The concentration is designed to educate those who will serve (or who currently serve) as leaders in pastoral settings, either as leaders in specialized ministries or as leaders in general ministry positions. Examples of leaders in specialized ministry include: Directors of Religious Education; Directors of Youth Ministry or Campus Ministry; and Directors of Catechumenate/RCIA. Leaders in generalist ministries include pastors and Pastoral Associates who are assigned a variety of general duties according to need.

The concentration is deliberately open to the students to design under the guidance of the academic advisor. In this way, students who find themselves actively engaged in, or aspiring to, leadership ministries within schools or parishes will choose courses for the concentration that fit their current or aspired ministry commitments.

Pastoral Leadership Concentration Course Offerings

Students are required to take:

Students are required to take any two (2) of the following:

Pastoral Synthesis Project (PT capstone)

The Pastoral Synthesis Project is the required capstone experience for all Pastoral Theology students. The project is designed to elicit familiarity with scholarly sources and pastoral analysis of issues that impact the contemporary practice of ministry. The project is neither solely a research paper nor a reflection paper, but a synthesis of both. The project is typically done in the last semester of the Pastoral Theology program.

Learning Outcomes

Students will know the basic contours of:

  • Pastoral Theology
  • Critical approaches to Biblical Theology and Systematic Theology
  • Either Theological Ethics or Historical Theology
  • Theological Method

Students will be able to:

  • Assess pastoral situations from a critical stance
  • Reflect on ministerial practice in a pluralistic society
  • Engage in biblical exegesis with attention both to historical contexts and contemporary pastoral contexts
  • Reflect critically on the praxis of faith, particularly within the Roman Catholic context
  • Discuss the main contours of either church history or of theological ethics, especially as they relate to ministerial practice
  • Integrate theological vision, critical understanding, and a faith attentive to justice

Students will value:

  • The significance of ecclesial community for pastoral practice
  • An integrated formation of the person for pastoral ministry
  • A pluralistic approach to pastoral ministry

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