Catholic Montessori Theory Graduate Certificate

Master the principles of the Montessori method of education to awaken a love of learning in children.

Families today are flocking to Montessori education in order for their children to flourish in the classroom and beyond. Dr. Maria Montessori grounded her educational approach in the deep wells of the Catholic Tradition and in her own keen reflections upon the very nature of children. Montessori education, therefore, begins with children’s God-given capacities and curiosities and then crafts creative educational experiences in accord with them, allowing the body, mind, and soul of each child to blossom and thrive at every stage of development. Wonder awakens in the life of every child as they discover a love of learning and come alive to the world and to God.

Current teachers and aspiring Montessori guides will benefit from this 12-credit certificate by examining the readings of Maria Montessori and those who shaped and refined her methods, such as Saint John Henry Newman and other writers and theorists who have contributed to the long tradition of Catholic education.

Take the First Step
Get in touch with any questions or submit the simple application for admission.
We will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance so you can enroll and begin your classes!

At a Glance

Increase in publicly funded Montessori schools since 2000

Program Length

12 credits/6 courses


  • Each course includes two weeks of online instruction and one week of in-person learning with an option for video conferencing.

Tuition per Credit


Is This the Program For Me?

Who It’s For

  • Current teachers and aspiring Montessori guides interested in a faith-based and practical approach to education

Career Paths

  • Montessori Educated Guide

What You’ll Learn

Students will examine the child's everyday life in the home, society, and the Church, ultimately unveiling the child's relation to the whole world through practical applications in the classroom. Coursework will address the motor-sensory-bodily potentiality, intellectual life, moral life, and essence of the soul within the human person. 

  • Anthropological and social underpinnings of teaching content across developmental stages from infancy to late adolescence
  • The life of the authentic educator
  • The right relation of child to educator and educator to child
  • Educator understanding of the child's family
  • The child's relationship to state and Church

Program Details

Your first step is to get in touch with any questions or submit the simple application for admission. We will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance so you can enroll and begin your classes!
  • Each course includes two weeks of online instruction and one week of in-person learning with an option for video conferencing.

If you are serving or have served our country, we sincerely thank you. Our military services office is here to work closely with active duty, retired, reserve, and eligible family members qualified for military benefits. Learn how we can help you with the application process and review the benefits you have earned.

Practical Life and Cosmic Education

Explore the underlying reality of the human child as a developing subject within family life, society, and the Church. Children and adults who are living authentic lives thirst to bring beauty and goodness to all that they do. Lessons and materials in art, music, drama, poetry, language, and dance provide children with a profound sense of the dignity of their own lives and all of creation. This unfolds into a cosmic narrative regarding all of life. Through a close examination of key practical life and cosmic lessons, students will be introduced to the nature of each sensitive period of the child, how the lesson fits into the larger growth of the child, and how the lesson opens the doors to some feature of the cosmos or history. As well, students will learn how these lessons provide keys into a life of common sense and creativity, and how these various activities fulfill curricular requirements of the state and the Church.

Motor-Sensory Development

Experience materials developed by Maria Montessori and others that foster the development and refinement of the senses and motor control. These lessons will be examined across all stages of human development from the youngest stages of childhood through adolescence. Over time, these help to build a strong imagination and memory that then differentiates in signs and symbols for language and higher orders of understanding, knowledge, and wisdom. Children will learn their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as how their differences, especially as male and female, provide a complement throughout the fabric of creation and salvation.

Intellectual Development

Discover the development of the intellect in math, science, language, history, geography, and arts across all developmental stages through the lessons used in those stages for teaching math and science. It helps the child to learn the power of wonder and how to liberate that wonder by asking questions in a focused and orderly manner. Throughout history, math has helped children and young adults learn the fruitfulness of asking the right questions and pursuing answers in the light of right order and mystery, humility and patience, self-control and help from others. At the higher levels, these lessons will introduce philosophy and a deeper understanding of creation and history.

Moral Development

Determine the ways in which the human person is a moral actor on the stage of cosmic and social history. This course will introduce how Catholic Montessori lessons and materials prepare students to become attuned to conscience within personal and social life, and how to bring peace, justice, and hope into all relationships at home, in work, and with friends. It will examine this moral life as it comes alive through a variety of lessons introduced at various stages of development. Thus, students will discover how free will in its thirst for goodness unfolds at different development stages (sensitive periods). This will include living at peace with the whole order of creation; how to foster life in fields, in cities, and in families; and how to help others find their home in God’s love and mercy.

Religious Development

Examine key lessons and materials on the bible, on the life of the saints, on the sacraments, on the creeds, and on prayer, and how these open the doors to living a life as a son or a daughter in the Holy Trinity. This will introduce the child and student to the depths of the human soul and to the wonderful expanse of all creation and its salvation as it glorifies the Father through the Son and in the Holy Spirit.

Classrooms and School

Determine in this course 1) how all the various materials, lessons, and activities can be pedagogically, aesthetically, and practically set out in various spaces; 2) how to make albums and keeps records of children; 3) the importance of observations and self-correction of the guide/teachers; 4) how to host and relate to parents and visitors; 5) how to work with children throughout the room; 6) how to make the most of the entire school. Students within a Montessori classroom setting will understand how all the various kinds of lessons unite together into a whole that is rooted in the integrity of all the facets of the human soul, human civilization, and the Church.

  • Tuition: $500/credit
  • Technology fee: $43 per credit
For a full list of fees, visit our Tuition and Fees page.

The University of Mary is committed to putting your educational goals within reach. Learn what scholarships you qualify for.

The following will be needed when you have applied for admission so we can get you accepted into the certificate program:

  • Official transcripts
    • Attended the University of Mary before? Then we’ll get your Mary transcript for you!
    • At most other schools, you can request transcripts by going to the National Student Clearinghouse or by contacting the registrar’s office. 
    • Have your transcripts sent to:
      Office of Admissions
      University of Mary
      7500 University Drive
      Bismarck, ND 58504
    • Or request to send electronic transcripts to [email protected]

Get Started Today

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