Program Information

What can I do with a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree?

The MTS degree provides a broad understanding of the Church's teaching and tradition and makes good diocesan catechists and teachers of religion even better at what they do for the Church. The MTS provides a general foundation of Catholic theology and addresses issues that diocesan catechists typically encounter in the classroom and during R.C.I.A. sessions. The MTS can also prepare one to teach high school religion or serve as a parish DRE. Additionally, students with the MTS degree have been hired as hospital chaplains after completion of further clinical pastoral education (CPE) requirements. And, of course, the MTS provides personal enrichment for those not interested in pursuing employment in the Church.

What can I do with a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Theology?

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in theology allows one to do all of the above with respect to the MTS degree, but the MA also opens the door to further advanced theological study. With its more rigorous requirements, including foreign language study, a comprehensive exam at the conclusion of the program and most especially the thesis written under the direction of Newman University faculty, the MA degree prepares students for entry into PhD programs in theology.

How much is tuition?

Tuition for this graduate program has been discounted considerably because this program provides direct support for Newman University’s Catholic identity. The discounted graduate tuition rate for this program for 2015-2017 is $295 per credit hour. Each course is for three credit hours, so each course costs approximately $885 in tuition. With each course eight weeks in length, students take two courses each semester, except during the summer when only one course is offered. Thus, tuition is $1,770 per semester. With ten courses (thirty graduate hours) required for degree completion, tuition for the degree is approximately $8,850. In addition to tuition, each student pays a $17 per credit hour technology fee each semester.

Can I Get a Scholarship to Pay for Tuition?

Catholic students from the dioceses of Wichita and Dodge City are eligible for full-tuition scholarships through the St. Maria De Mattias endowment with the Catholic Diocese of Wichita. To be eligible for a full-tuition scholarship students must be active in some kind of catechetical ministry, broadly defined, i.e., teaching in either a Catholic school or PSR program; leading or teaching in the RCIA; any form of Catholic youth ministry; or, any form of adult education at the parish or diocesan level.

do I have to attend the Intensive weekends?

Only students on scholarship are required to attend the intensive weekends, but all students are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Content from the intensive weekends will be made available online for those not required to attend.

How much should I budget for books?

We try to make materials available to students online whenever possible. There are so many theological resources available online or through the databases of the Newman University library that we do not anticipate the purchase of additional textbooks to be a significant expense. On average, the cost for books is approximately $50-75 per course.

How much time should I plan on studying each week?

Each course will be eight weeks long. We anticipate that there will be two modules each week. Each module will include an approximately 50 minute presentation by the professor for the course. Students are able to log on at any time of day to watch these. After completing the module, there usually are assigned readings. After reading these, each student will log on and join in an electronic discussion with a small group of fellow students on some topic or question generated by the professor. The professor will provide feedback, advice, and correction along with answering questioned raised in the discussion. We will go into much more detail about this during the orientation, but all told, MTS students should expect to spend about 6-8 hours per week on coursework. This time period includes the two 50 minute modules generated by the professor, as well as time spent on additional readings, and participating in electronic discussions. Most courses will require additional written papers and some form of testing of student comprehension. MA students will have additional requirements on top of those required for MTS students.

What sort of materials will we be reading?

We explore the classics of the Catholic tradition. We will emphasize primary theological sources wherever possible. Of course, the Bible and the Catechism will be essential, but we want to expose students to the richness of the Catholic theological tradition. Students will read a broad range of primary and secondary sources, including current theological journals. Students will be able to access these journals electronically, through the databases of the Newman University library. In addition to the riches of the Roman Catholic theological tradition, students will also be exposed to significant authors in the Protestant, Orthodox Christian and Jewish theological traditions.

Will every professor have the mandatum from the Bishop?

Yes. Newman University requires that every Catholic professor of theology have the mandatum from the Bishop of Wichita. This requirement even extends to the theology courses we accredit in our undergraduate outreach theology programs in Dodge City, Tulsa, and Oklahoma City. The mandatum is the promise Catholic professors of theology make to think with the mind of the Church and to present no doctrine in their classroom as Catholic that is not in accord with Church teaching. Every Catholic professor of theology at Newman University takes pride in his or her current possession of the mandatum.

What do I need on my computer to start this online program?

You definitely need high speed Internet access, with the higher the speed the better. Dial-up simply will not work. You also need an up to date Web Browser (e.g., Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer) that can access the Newman website and Blackboard site for your courses and can also stream videos. In essence, you need to be able to watch a Youtube video on your computer or device.

What happens if I have to take a semester off?

Sometimes life intervenes and people will need to withdraw for a semester. We are committed to helping anyone who needs to take one semester off to catch up and rejoin the cohort. If a student needs to take more than one semester off, he or she should plan to join a later cohort.

How do I decide between the MA and the MTS degree?

The MA is designed to prepare the student to go on to the PhD in Theology. The MA will have a thesis component, as well as foreign language requirements and a comprehensive exam at the conclusion. Those who know they do not want to go on for the PhD, but who enjoy these and other academic exercises, can also take the MA degree, if they have are in possession of an undergraduate degree in theology, philosophy, history or a related field. We anticipate that most students will see the MTS degree as meeting their needs. Students will decide which degree they wish to pursue when they make formal application in June but may change their minds and switch degree programs during the first semester of study.