Master of Arts in Ministry and Leadership

Rev. Rafael Capó
Vice President for Mission and Ministry,
Dean of the School of Theology & Ministry

Brad Bursa, PhD
Program Director
Assistant Professor of Theology

Graduates of the Masters of Arts in Ministry and Leadership program at St. Thomas University will be qualified and credentialed in the expert theory and practice of innovative ministerial arts in the Christian tradition. Students will renew their own religious, theological, and spiritual formation by mastering how to integrate practical theological methodologies to develop parish/congregation and/or religious non-profit businesses with sociocultural and ecclesial analysis skills, listening techniques, biblical wisdom, systematic theological insight, and strategic organization techniques that empower pastors and lay ecclesial ministers in local and global 21st century contexts.

However, what also differentiates us and makes our program unique is our invitation to welcome students to do either an on-campus or an online Residency Retreat twice during their program of study. MA Student Residency Retreats create a community experience of theological and pastoral reflection, prayer and worship. Students can OPT for an in-person or online Retreat as St. Thomas University will be inclusive of various types of student needs and expectations. Residencies, whether attended in person or online will be crucial in developing students’ ministerial networks as well as enriching opportunities to engage other Christian leaders to discuss how Church leaders can address current ministry challenges, both local and global, in the 21st century.


Career Landscape

People who complete a Master’s degree in theology immediately see their earning potential rise. The difference between a Catholic educator with a BA compared to an MA can range from $10,000-20,000. If one examines job search engines such as and and one will quickly see there are scores and scores of open and unfilled jobs for candidates with credentials such as a Master’s degree in Ministry and Leadership that would allow them to be employed as Hospital Chaplain, High School Theology Teacher, College Campus minister, Catechesis Director, Young Adult Ministry Director, Pastoral Associate, Mission Director.


Program Highlights

  • Fully online
  • Affordable
  • Year-round enrollment
  • No GRE
  • Works with your schedule



Tuition per Credit Hour Technology Fee Per Course Total Tuition & Fees
Tuition $500 $75 $18,900


Start Terms

The Master of Arts in Ministry and Leadership offers six start terms throughout the year. Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions to learn more.


Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Arts in Ministry and Leadership program requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, with the following required coursework or equivalents:

  • Online Graduate Application
  • Curriculum Vitae with list of references
  • Two confidential recommendation letters speaking to the applicant’s potential for success in theological graduate studies.
    • The first reference should be a priest, deacon, religious, or minister
    • The second reference should be a professor, supervisor, or mento
  • A brief personal statement explaining the reason for pursuing the degree (at least 250 words, not to exceed 500 words)


Program Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of four major fields of Christian theology that inform ministry: systematics, scripture, ethics, and practical theology
  • Demonstrate the use of a pastoral theological method


MA Ministries Leadership Course Requirements-36 Credits 

Pastoral Foundations-24 credits The foundational courses provide a theological base for understanding, exploring, and reflecting on the truths and richness of the Christian Faith experience as these apply to concrete ministerial situations. 

  • STM 500 Theological Research and Writing
  • STM 511 Human and Faith Development
  • STM 512 Method in Ministry
  • STM 521 Hebrew Scriptures
  • STM 522 Christian Scriptures
  • STM 541 Theological Ethics
  • STM 732 Christology
  • STM 737 Sacrament and Symbol

Pastoral Skills -9 Credits These courses enable the student to develop competence in specific areas of ministry. Students may choose courses according to their needs. 

Courses may be chosen from the following:

  • STM 531 Christian Thought I
  • STM 532 Christian Thought II
  • STM 551 Religious Education and Spiritual Formation
  • STM 562 Justice Advocacy and Social Transformation
  • STM 571 Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • STM 581 Spiritual Practices in/for Ministry
  • STM 641 Ministerial Ethics
  • STM 681 Preaching and Presiding
  • STM 771 Clinical Pastoral Education I

Pastoral Integration-3 Credits This level enables students to integrate their learning through field experience and theological reflection. 

  • STM 591 Field Education I 

Major Ministerial Project (Required for Graduation) 

A Pastoral Project is the exit requirement for the MA in Ministries Leadership. Through it, students demonstrate their competence in integrating the cognitive, affective and practical aspects of the program in the form of a concrete project. Using the methodology of practical theology students identify a need, research it appropriately, implement a pastoral response and evaluate it. They then reflect on their experience in light of the courses they have taken and develop an integrative statement. Students present their work for evaluation to a panel consisting of at least two peers and three faculty members. Students must be registered for at least one credit hour and successfully present their major project before the mid-term date of the semester they plan to graduate. 


Graduation Requirement

The Master of Arts in Ministry and Leadership program requires a total of thirty-six (36) graduate credit hours. For graduation, students need to earn a B or better in every course and attain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Individual advising and answers to questions about courses are available by contacting Program Coordinator.


For More Information

School of Theology and Ministry
(305) 628-6751