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 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!

Hear about our program from Catholic studies faculty and students through our video playlist.

At a Glance

1.2 Billion
Number of Roman Catholics worldwide

Program Length

18 Months

Formats

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

Tuition per Credit

$575

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

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.

Carol Andreini, PhD
Professor of Classics
I enjoy teaching and researching all areas of Classical Studies, both Greek and Latin. If I had to pick a “favorite,” it would probably be ancient poetry, especially the poetry of the Augustan Age.

Ann Brodeur, PhD
Associate Professor of History and Catholic Studies
My work focuses on social and religious history of the ancient and medieval world, the history and philosophy of disability, the history and philosophy of education, history of marriage, family and the home.

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.

Philip Porter, ThD
Assistant Professor of Theology and Catholic Studies
I specialize in systematic theology, Latin patristics, the thought of St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Gregory the Great.

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.

Julie Yarwood, PhD
Assistant Professor of Catholic Studies
Assistant Vice President for Student Development
My work primarily focuses on the history of Catholics and the Catholic Church in America.

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 graduate program:

  • Official transcripts showing a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75.
    • Graduated from 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 registrar@umary.edu
  • Resume
  • Application/enrollment fee – This will be collected at the time you fill out the online application.
  • Goals statement
  • Two references (include contact information as part of the application)
  • Writing sample - Please submit an essay of 2500-4000 words that advances a thesis using arguments and evidence appropriate for the topic.

Get Started Today

Apply Online