Newman Guide Seal 2023

Strengthen your personal formation and enhance your understanding of the Catholic tradition by earning a Master of Arts in Catholic Studies online or in-person from a Cardinal Newman Society recommended college. 

With our Master of Arts in Catholic Studies, students develop the capacity of mind to form a connected view of things informed by the truths of the Catholic faith. You’ll compare various disciplinary approaches to reality and their inherent contributions to a rich interdisciplinary understanding of God and creation, which allows students to apply this tradition to current professional, moral, and intellectual challenges.

As you grow in your personal formation, you’ll integrate what you learn in courses into your life. Our supportive academic community unites students and faculty throughout coursework and other opportunities for connection.

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!

Hear about our program from Catholic studies faculty and students.

At a Glance

1.36 Billion
Number of Roman Catholics worldwide

Program Length

18 Months


  • Online with one-week institute at the main campus in Bismarck, ND
  • Evening at our main campus

Tuition per Credit


Is This the Degree For Me?

Who It’s For

  • College graduates who’d like to further and deepen their academic study in preparation for a doctoral degree
  • Catholic Educators
  • Catholic Clergy
  • Professionals working for Catholic charities and nonprofits
  • Other professionals who seek to excel in a parish or educational institution where expertise on Catholic thought is an asset
  • Any person seeking personal formation and spiritual and intellectual growth

Career Paths

  • University Professor
  • Catholic Educator
  • Catholic Charity Manager
  • Church Leader
  • Faith-Based Nonprofit Director

What You’ll Learn

Focused on the history of the Catholic faith, its teachings over the centuries, and its role in the past, present, and future, our MA in Catholic Studies provides a deep and detailed examination of Catholicism and the Church. When you graduate, you’ll be prepared to:

  • Analyze important texts and thinkers in the Catholic intellectual, spiritual, and cultural tradition to create a coherent vision of the Catholic tradition
  • Assess challenges to liberal education and construct a vision of education that encourages the flourishing of human persons based on students’ understanding of the history of Western education
  • Understand the various disciplinary approaches to reality and their inherent contributions to a rich interdisciplinary understanding of God and creation and apply this tradition to current professional, moral, and intellectual challenges

When teachers begin to see the importance of whole-person formation in the classroom, real learning can start to take place. Mary’s MA in Catholic Studies has opened my mind to new avenues of delivering content to students—by giving students an education that incorporates interdisciplinary influences, we can help them come to understand more about the Truth of the world and their place in it. Giving our students an education in virtue and faith is ultimately the greatest lesson and gift we can give them. This program equips you to do that unlike any other.

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!

The Catholic Tradition (3 credits)
With the aid of various disciplines, journey through the profound thought and culture of the Catholic intellectual tradition and encounter that tradition’s depth and beauty.

History of Western Education (2 credits)
Explore the changing nature and purposes of Western education from the Greek philosophical tradition and Jewish revelatory tradition to the Christian synthesis of both. Discover the drama of its developments, including challenges by modernism and contemporary issues.

John Henry Newman the Educator (2 credits)
Encounter Saint John Henry Newman through his life and writings and examine how his view of education arises from this life as friend, scholar, tutor, professor, and priest; relate this Catholic vision to your task as an educator. 

Principles of Catholic Education (2 credits)
Master principles of Catholic education: faith and reason, the mind’s fulfillment in truth, and human flourishing as the purpose of education. Apply these principles to education today, such as current trends, use of technology, theories of instruction and assessment, etc.

Capstone Seminar (3 credits)
Synthesize content from your course of study to produce an essay or other project to show the integration of knowledge gained from your study into other aspects of your life.  

Elementary Latin I & II (6 credits)
Study the basic syntax and vocabulary of Ecclesial Latin, as seen in prayers, hymns, and Mass. This course may be waived by passing a proficiency exam. 

In addition to the courses listed above, elective courses are required for this program.

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.

Donald J. Bungum, PhD
Associate Professor of Philosophy and Catholic Studies
My work focuses on epistemic authority, epistemic virtue, suffering, and theodicy.

Scott Cleveland, PhD
Director of Catholic Studies
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
My work focuses on virtue, emotion, happiness, philosophy of religion, and philosophical theology.

Nathan Kilpatrick, PhD
Associate Professor of English and Catholic Studies
My work focuses on the intersection of literature and Catholic culture since Vatican II, personalism, genre studies, and narrative theology.

Kathleen Kirsch, PhD
Assistant Professor of Classics and Catholic Studies
My specialty is fourth-century Christian Latin poetry, especially the work of Prudentius. In my research, I show how he articulated his faith in language and imagery comprehensible to his contemporaries. In this way, he engaged in a “New Evangelization” in his era. My secondary research area is manuscript studies, especially paleography and textual criticism.

Father Dominic Bouck
Chaplian and Instructor of Catholic Studies
I was formed in the Dominican Friars of the St. Joseph province in Cincinnati, Washington, D.C., and New York City. After completing temporary vows I returned to the diocese where my formation was completed at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.

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 institutionally accredited colleges and universities recognized by the US Dept. of Education 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.

  • Next Step Scholarship: If you recently earned your bachelor's degree from the University of Mary, you may be eligible to take one graduate course of your choice tuition-free. That's a $1,740 value.
  • Catholic Educators Scholarship: At Mary, we support and seek to promote Catholic education at all levels. If you work full-time at a K-12 Catholic school, you may qualify for up to $5,000 toward your master's tuition.
  • Graduate Scholarship for Newman School Alumni: Open to graduates of colleges and universities recognized by The Cardinal Newman Society in the annual Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. This exclusive award clocks in at $400 a term, up to 5 terms.
  • Graduate Scholarship for Catholic Ministry Staff: In gratitude for their service to the Church, we offer current full-time employees of Catholic parishes and dioceses up to $400 per semester in funding.

To learn more about our scholarships, you can visit the scholarship page or contact the admissions representative for this program.

Get Started Today

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