Apr 20, 2024  
2008-2009 Graduate Catalog 
2008-2009 Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Theology and Pastoral Ministry

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History and Description

The Graduate Theology and Pastoral Ministry program was initiated in 1960 with the first students arriving on campus during the summer months of 1962. The program remains one of the oldest summer-based theology and pastoral ministry programs in the United States, offering our diverse student body a rich selection of courses taught by internationally recognized scholar-teachers. The Theology and Pastoral Ministry Program emphasizes the educational development of persons engaged in lay ecclesial ministry, with the integration of theological studies, liturgy and prayer, and pastoral education. The faculty members and most students reside on campus during the summer, and this contributes to the atmosphere of friendship, hospitality, and community for which Saint Michael’s is well known.

The average class size is approximately twelve students, providing ample opportunity for personal attention and consultation with the faculty. Additionally, because summer faculty reside on campus, and join students for meals and liturgies, they are easily accessible. The majority of courses are offered during the summers for a two- or three-week duration. During the regular academic year, selected courses are offered during the fall and spring semesters. The Theology and Pastoral Ministry program also offers two kinds of certificates: the Graduate Certificate and the Certificate of Advanced Specialization.


Following the vision of the Second Vatican Council as well as more recent ecclesial documents, the Graduate Theology and Pastoral Ministry program is designed for those who wish to pursue, or already are engaged in ministry. The program prepares students for a variety of pastoral ministries through critical reflection on the biblical and theological texts that form our tradition. We engage students in theological reflection, and integrate theology and ministerial practice with a view to the full development of each student.


The Graduate Theology and Pastoral Ministry program strives:

  • to equip students with a deep understanding of Roman Catholic theology, and pastoral practices;
  • to awaken students’ personal faith and professional practices through inquiry, discovery, and reflection; and,
  • to fashion dedicated ecclesial ministers who build community and transform lives.

Master of Arts in Theology (M.A.)

Graduate Theology Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Graduate Programs in Theology and Pastoral Ministry must have:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited American college or university, or its foreign university equivalent, in arts, science, philosophy, theology, or education with a minimum 3.0 G.P.A. (A master’s degree from an accredited American college or university, or its foreign university equivalent, in theology, religious education, or a related field, and normally three years post-master’s work experience, is required for the Certificate of Advanced Study.)
  2. A minimum of eighteen credits in the humanities and ideally some background in philosophy, theology, or religious studies.
  3. Applicants for whom English is not a native language should consult the “Admission Procedures for International Students” in the front of the catalogue.
  4. Please note that program directors may require that foreign academic credentials be evaluated by a third party.

Graduate Theology Application Procedure

Applicants to the Graduate Programs in Theology and Pastoral Ministry will need to follow the procedure for admission as stated below or as found in the Application for Graduate Admission. (Please note: International applicants should also follow “Admission Procedures for International Students.”)

  1. Complete the Application for Graduate Admission.
  2. Obtain official transcripts of all relevant undergraduate and graduate course work. Have official transcripts sent to you in a sealed envelope and included with your application. (Please note: International applicants should have official transcripts sent directly from the institution to Saint Michael’s College at the address below. Program directors may require foreign academic credentials to be evaluated independently).
  3. Submit an essay describing your educational and ministry background and reasons for desiring a degree or certificate in the Graduate Theology program. The essay should also include specific goals you seek to achieve as a result of matriculation in the program.
  4. Include an application fee.

Please send all the above materials in one envelope to:

Saint Michael’s College
Graduate Admission, Box 286
One Winooski Park
Colchester, VT 05439

While Saint Michael’s College usually notifies applicants regarding the completeness of their files, it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all necessary materials are received. Once the file is complete, the applicant should call the program office at 802.654.2579 to schedule an interview with the director of the program.

Admission decisions are made by the program director in consultation with other key people in the program. Meeting application requirements and following admission procedures does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Applicants are notified of the admission decision after all requirements of the admission process have been satisfied, including the interview.

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