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Catholic Theology (MACT)



A flexible and comprehensive way to learn and integrate Theology into your life, family, and/or profession. 

Curriculum Guide

MA in Catholic Theology Curriculum Guide

Why Should I Study Graduate Theology?

The University of Holy Cross is proud to offer a Master of Arts in Catholic Theology (MACT).  The MACT Program follows the Marianites of Holy Cross tradition in seeking to “educate the mind but not at the expense of the heart.” Students will follow a thirty-six (36) credit hour course of study, which culminates in the conferral of the degree of Master of Arts in Catholic Theology.

Who Studies Graduate Theology?

The MACT is designed for those who seek to understand their faith and to communicate what they believe with others. The Program is intended for all Catholic Christians.  However, Christians from other denominations or persons from other religious traditions who want to understand the theology of the Catholic Church are welcome.  The MACT is offered for all, but especially for parents who lead their “domestic church” and who by their word and example [are] the first preachers of the faith to their children” (Lumen Gentium, 11); for working Christians who desire to grow their faith commensurate with their intelligence and experience in business, law, medicine, the arts, etc.; for those who want to pursue doctoral work in Theology, teach Theology, or participate in the many ministries offered by the Church.

How do I take Graduate Theology Classes?

The Program is presented in a hybrid format: in-class and online. Students will study Theology in The culture of one of the world’s great cities – New Orleans – to learn theology while absorbing its rich cultural traditions – food, music, art, and religion.  The online feature allows maximum flexibility for students to live while learning, in synchronous online or in-person classes, while raising their family, working, enjoying retirement, etc. Graduate Students will also have the opportunity to earn credit in a study abroad program.

Graduate Theology Program Handbook

What Classes will I Take?

Students engage in graduate level learning in all areas of Catholic Theology: Scripture, the Church, the development and reception of doctrine in history, the Christian vision of the human person and morality, as well as the Church’s influence upon cultures, science, education, economics, law, and medicine. Candidates from diverse backgrounds will discover ways to incorporate Theology into their lives or to become theologians and teachers for the Church. The goal is to guide students in understanding God through Sacred Scripture and Catholic doctrine and in theological arguments and concepts. By the end of the Program, students will have travelled far enough to know their faith and to proclaim the Good News reasonably, reflectively, and responsibly.

Graduate Theology Courses

The MACT Program seeks to cultivate informed and independent thinkers capable of lifelong theological study and applying their knowledge to diverse situations:  among their families, colleagues, friends, patients, clients, and others.  By the end of the Program, students have travelled far enough to know their faith and to proclaim the Good News reasonably, reflectively, and responsibly.

In accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Graduate Program accepts applications for admission from students without regard to ethnicity, race, color, sex, age, disability status, or national origin.

Applications are accepted by the Graduate Program in Theology by the following deadlines:
- July 1 for the Fall semester,
- November 1 for the Spring semester,
- February 15 for Scholarship consideration for the following academic year, and
- May 1 for the Summer session.

Applicants are be admitted to the Master of Arts in Catholic Theology (MACT) Program by the submitting the following:
To the Office of Admissions
- a completed online application form;
- application fee
- a record of or waiver for immunizations.

To the Graduate Program Coordinator**
- a personal written essay (see below);
- a Curriculum Vitae; and
- at least three letters of recommendation written by people qualified to evaluate academic potential as well as personal and professional promise
- a writing sample of academic prose

**N.B. Applicants (especially those who intend to do doctoral work) may be asked for aptitude scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). If these are requested by the Graduate Theology Coordinator, the scores must be sent directly to the Office of Admissions. Individuals who have completed a Master’s degree or have sufficient graduate hours from an accredited institution are exempt from the GRE or MAT.

The applicant’s personal statement must be a part of the application. This statement should be between 1500-2000 words and address the following:
- What has motivated the applicant to apply for the MACT? The applicant should include a brief narrative of his or her religious/spiritual background and interests, combined with educational history, experience in ministry and/or religious education, and any other relevant professional and volunteer experience;
- How would a graduate degree in theology help the applicant serve the Church?
- What are the applicant’s principal strengths for graduate studies and/or ministry, as well as areas of needed development?
What is the applicant’s plan to apply theological education to his or her life, career, or future?

Admission to the MACT at the University of Holy Cross is based on the evaluation of the applicant’s personal, professional, and academic records by the Graduate Faculty. The University recruits qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds who display intelligence, character, commitment to learning, and professional promise. At a minimum, applicants are expected to have the following academic qualifications:
- a Baccalaureate degree from a university or college approved by a recognized regional accrediting agency in the United States or proof of equivalent training at a foreign institution of higher learning;*
- a record of undergraduate study that is predictive of success in graduate studies;
satisfactory academic standing at the last university or college attended; and
- if deemed necessary, a completion of the GRE or MAT with sufficient scores.

* Possible exceptions may be made for life experience in ministry or service to the Church.

A foreign or ESL (English as a Second Language) applicant must present evidence of satisfactory proficiency in the reading, writing, and speaking of English. The applicant may do so by presenting a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), normally 550. For information about TOEFL, the applicant should write to TOEFL, 1755 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036 or visit A foreign applicant is also required to take the Graduate Record Examination.

Normally, nine (9) semester hours may be transferred from an accredited institution for the Master of Arts in Catholic Theology. There may be exceptions for transfer credit in certain cases. Approval of all transfer credits must be obtained from the department Chair. These courses must be verified by an official transcript from the institution where the courses were taken.

Students enrolled in graduate programs at other institutions who wish to register for transfer credit must submit a letter of good standing from the dean of the student’s graduate school.

Students conditionally admitted must hold an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university and may take a maximum of six hours (6) of graduate credit at the University of Holy Cross. Conditional admission does not guarantee admission to any of the graduate programs and is limited to one semester.

Conditional admission constitutes the following conditions:
- a completed online application form has been sent directly to the Office of Admissions;
- official transcripts for all prior undergraduate and graduate course work have been received by the Office of Admissions;
application deadlines are met (see above); and
- a minimum 3.0 undergraduate Grade Point Average is recommended to take graduate course work.

Once the application is completed, a candidate may take a maximum of six hours (6) and is limited to one semester.

For those with a limited background in Philosophy or the Catholic Tradition, potential candidates may be required to take THE 500 and/or THE 501. These courses may be taken for no credit or counted as elective credit in the MACT Curriculum.

Conditional admission does not guarantee full admission into the Graduate Program in Catholic Theology.

No candidate may register for the next semester until his or her graduate admission criteria are completed.

Those who are not accepted beyond a conditional basis are not allowed to continue in the Graduate Program in Catholic Theology at the University of Holy Cross.

In order to be accepted into the Graduate Program, applicants must meet the following conditions:

All graduate admission criteria must be completed. (Refer to the criteria listed above).

Once the admission criteria are completed, the candidate will
be interviewed by the Graduate Theology Faculty and
submit a writing sample prior to the interview process
Applicants are notified in writing by the Graduate Coordinator regarding the results of their admission status. Those who are accepted for admission are allowed to register for the next semester.

Students remain at Stage Two status until they are accepted for Candidacy. Applicants must submit an application for Candidacy and cannot take more than eighteen (18) hours of course work until they have been accepted. Candidacy is primarily determined through academic achievement in graduate classes and demonstration of appropriate dispositions for the study of theology.

Applicants are notified in writing by the Graduate Coordinator regarding the results of their admission status. Those who are accepted for Candidacy are allowed to register for the next semester.

Meet the Faculty

Assoc. Professor Todd Amick, PhD, JD, MAL
Sue Ellen Canizaro Endowed Chair of Catholic Theology
Coordinator for the Eradication of Systemic Poverty, Heart and Mind Cohort
Coordinator for Undergraduate Theology Program

Michael Carlin, PhD
Associate Professor of Theology
Coordinator for Graduate Theology

Margaret McKinnon, PhD
Lecturer in Theology

Antonio Cercena
Lecturer in Theology

We are happy to personally answer your questions!

Assoc. Professor Michael Carlin, PhD
Coordinator for Graduate Theology Program
Call: (504) 398-2323