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The MA in Applied Catholic Theology provides a robust understanding of the fullness of the Catholic faith, uniting the Church's intellectual, liturgical, and apostolic dimensions into a coherent Catholic vision.

By completing the combined courses of our graduate certificates in Prayer and Spiritual DirectionSacred Scripture, and Marriage and Family, students will experience a rigorous, coherent course of study providing the necessary intellectual, personal, and spiritual formation to communicate the Church’s magisterial teaching effectively to youth and adults alike in our contemporary age. This degree concludes with an integrative, practical capstone experience under the guidance of a dedicated, experienced faculty mentor.

Take the First Step

Get in touch with any questions or submit a simple application for admission.
After you're admitted to the university as a candidate for graduate studies, we will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance into your academic program so you can enroll and begin your classes!

At a Glance

Growth of the Catholic population in the U.S. over the last 40 years

Program Length

16 months / 32 credits


  • Online with on-campus institutes

Scholarship & Aid

In keeping with our commitment to supporting the catholic professional seeking further education, we offer each eligible candidate up to $10,000 in scholarships.

Is This the Degree For Me?

Who It’s For

  • Directors of Religious Education (DREs)
  • Diocesan and Parish Personnel
  • Clergy
  • Volunteers involved in faith formation
  • Those looking for personal enrichment or exploring academic or ministerial doctoral programs.

Career Paths

  • Church Leader
  • Missionary Work
  • Director of Religious Education
  • Spiritual Director (with additional certification)

What You’ll Learn

  • Engage the Church’s magisterial tradition on marriage, sex, and family
  • How to apply and proclaim the Church’s teaching to wounded persons and families in our contemporary world
  • Enrich your knowledge and skills as a spiritual director by deepening your own friendship and communion with the Triune God
  • Broaden your own scriptural prayer and devotion as well as your ability to communicate its glories and depths to others in evangelism and catechesis

Program Details

Program Information

Please visit our catalog for admission requirements and a full list of our courses.

Your first step is to get in touch with any questions or submit the simple application for admission. After acceptance to the University as a candidate for graduate studies, we will assist you every step of the way toward acceptance into your academic program so you can enroll and begin your classes!

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.

The following are examples of courses that will be offered for this program. For more information regarding the full list of courses, please contact us.

Theology of the Body: Marriage and Family

Examine Pope St. John Paul II’s magisterial Theology of the Body in light of its context, origins, delivery, and reception. This course takes account of and counters alternative accounts of the human person and human goods emerging in late modernity and postmodernity which issued forth in the sexual revolution and pays special attention to the context and reception of magisterial documents such as Casti Connubii and Humanae Vitae as well as significant works by Pope St. John Paul II. It also considers the role of the Theology of the Body in evangelism and faith formation.

The Mystery of the Sacred Page

Address the philosophy and fundamental theology requisite for the proper and fruitful interpretation of Sacred Scripture with a view towards making true and faithful judgments regarding its content, as formed by the life and teaching authority of the Catholic Church.

Sanctity and Sanity: The Christian Spiritual Tradition

Explore the historical development, sweeping influence, and fruit of the Church’s spiritual and mystical tradition through the ages. Specific consideration in this course is given to the treasures of Benedictine monasticism, Carmelite spirituality, and Ignatian Discernment of Spirits. This tradition is then brought to bear upon some key obstacles to interiority presented by modern life.

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.

We welcome students from various backgrounds, including transfer students from regionally accredited colleges and universities and those with military or career and work experience. 

How do I show my previous college, military, or work experience?

  • Official transcripts (if applicable) from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 should be submitted directly to the Office of Admissions.

    • Did you graduate from the University of Mary? 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
  • Students with previous career or work experience can earn credits for prior learning.
    • You can choose to test for prior learning credits — we convert your test scores into college credit.
    • You can request a portfolio review for prior learning credits. You’ll assemble documentation to show your experience, which will be reviewed and evaluated by an experienced faculty member.
  • Military experience can count towards a degree.


  • All of our programs require you to fill out the general application form in addition to submitting the application fee and your transcripts.
  • Any program-specific requirements you’ll need to submit in addition to the items listed above can be found in our catalog.

At the University of Mary, we review every application on an individual basis, ensuring that the materials you submit are evaluated with care and attention. Reach out to us if you have any questions in filling out your application.

Each qualifying candidate will receive up to $10,000 in scholarships.

For more information about this and other financial aid opportunities, please reach out to our online admissions team at 701-355-8030 or

Get Started Today

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