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Degree Programs

​​​​​​Graduate Theology Department at Providence CollegeThe Graduate Program in Theology aims at the cultivation of a broad knowledge of the Catholic Christian tradition in its sources, doctrines, and practices. The program offers a comprehensive theological formation for those interested in developing professional competence for catechesis and religious education, secondary theological education, or the pursuit of further doctoral studies in theology. The program is also open to those who desire to study theology in an academic setting apart from specific vocational goals.

Master of Theological Studies 

The Master of Theological Studies degree introduces and explores the major themes in Catholic doctrine and practice, as well as the research methods that are central to theology as an academic discipline. Required and elective courses permit the student both to develop a solid theological foundation and to pursue an area of interest among courses in doctrine, biblical studies, morality, spirituality, and Church history. 

For the Master of Theological Studies, students are required to complete 30 credit hours of graduate course-work, which includes 18 credits in the six required courses:

  • THL 500 - Theology: History and Methods
  • THL 512 - Introduction to the Old Testament
  • THL 520 - Introduction to the New  Testament
  • THL 535 - Patristic Theology 
  • THL 550 - Christ: Word and Redeemer
  • THL 670 - Fundamental Moral Theology 

After completing the required 30 credit hours of graduate course-work, students are required to take a three-hour comprehensive exam. 

Master of Arts in Theology 

The Master of Arts in Theology degree introduces and explores the major themes in Catholic doctrine and practice, and emphasizes the development of research skills that prepare the student to engage in further theological study and writing. Required and elective courses permit the student to develop both a foundation and pursue an area of interest among courses in doctrine, biblical studies, morality, spirituality, and Church history. 

Two areas of concentration are available with this degree: the theology of St. Thomas Aquinas (Aquinas Studies) and the study of Early Christianity (Early Christian Studies). 

Students are required to complete 30 credit hours of graduate course-work, which include 18 credits in the six required courses: 

  • THL 500 - Theology: History and Methods
  • THL 512 - Introduction to the Old Testament
  • THL 520 - Introduction to the New  Testament
  • THL 535 - Patristic Theology 
  • THL 550 - Christ: Word and Redeemer
  • THL 670 - Fundamental Moral Theology 

Those students who desire to pursue the concentration in Aquinas Studies will take 12 hours of coursework in this area in addition to the required courses. 

  • THL 640 - Thomas Aquinas: Doctrine of God
  • THL 642 - Thomas Aquinas: Doctrine of Christ
  • THL 644 - Thomas Aquinas: Moral Theology
  • THL 646 - Thomas Aquinas: Doctrine of Sacraments and the Church 

Students in the concentration on Early Christian Studies will take 9 hours of coursework in this area in addition to the required courses. 

  • THL 630 - Early Christian History
  • THL 635 - Patristic Exegesis

One course from among the Special Topics offerings in Early Christian thought 

After completing the required 30 credit hours of graduate course-work, students are required to take a three-hour comprehensive exam based on a bibliography of primary sources, write a thesis under the guidance of a director, and offer an oral defense of the thesis before the faculty.

Master of Arts in Biblical Studies 

The Master of Arts in Biblical Studies develops the student’s acumen for an informed and critical reading of biblical literature in the light of the Christian faith, and emphasizes the development of research skills that prepare the student to engage in further theological study and writing. Historical and cultural studies as well as literary and theological analyses are called upon as resources in the course of the program. 

For the M.A. in Biblical Studies, students must complete 36 credits of graduate course-work in biblical studies, which include 27 credits in the nine required courses:

  • THL 500 - Theology: History and Methods
  • THL 513 - The Pentateuch
  • THL 514 - The Prophetic Books
  • THL 516 - The Wisdom Literature
  • THL 519 - Introductory Hebrew
  • THL 522 - The Synoptic Gospel
  • THL 526 - The Johannine Literature
  • THL 528 - The Pauline Epistles
  • THL 529 - Introductory Greek 

Students who enter with a reading knowledge of the biblical languages may satisfy the requirements for THL 519 Introductory Hebrew and/or THL 529 Introductory Greek by successfully passing a language proficiency exam administered by the Graduate Program in Theology.  After completing the required 36 credit hours of graduate course-work, students are required to take a three-hour comprehensive exam, write a thesis under the guidance of a director, and offer an oral defense of the thesis before the faculty.