Master of Arts in Theology

The Master of Arts in Theology program offers a first graduate degree in academic theology.  This degree has, as its primary focus, theological understanding and, as its secondary focus, professional practice. Through full-time study, candidates may complete their degree requirements within a period of approximately two years.  Part-time students must satisfy the requirements of the program within six years of the date of matriculation.

The Master of Arts program has the following principal objectives:

  • to develop in students a graduate-level competence in the basic areas of theological inquiry
  • to provide a foundation for further graduate research and study


Course Requirements

Students must complete thirty-six (36) hours of course work.   These credits should be distributed in the following areas:

  • 9 credits hours in Sacred Scripture
  • 12 credit hours in Dogmatic/Sacramental/Liturgical Theology
  • 6 credit hours in Moral Theology
  • 3 credit hours in Church History
  • 6 credit hours in Elective courses (from any of the above mentioned areas)

Those students enrolled in the MAT program with a secondary focus on professional practice are strongly encouraged to include PS 543 - Theology and Methodology of Christian Ministry among their electives.

Candidates may opt for either a general program of theological study or a concentration in either the area of biblical studies or systematic (dogmatic/sacramental/ liturgical) theology.  Eighteen (18) hours constitute such a concentration. In any event, it is important that in shaping their degree program through course selection, students prepare for more advanced research by first undertaking essential, foundational courses.  Through consultation with an academic advisor, and in consideration of both the candidate's academic background and professional objectives, the student may be required to undertake courses in the following areas:

Sacred Scripture

SS 510 Scripture Methods and Pentateuch - required course
SS 519 Prophetic and Apocalyptic Literature
SS 617 Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark, and Luke
SS 717 Pauline Literature

Systematic Theology

SY 511 Foundations in Theology
SY 513 The Christian Doctrine of God
SY 611 Christology
SY 711 Theology of Church
SY 713 Theology of Creation and Grace

Moral Theology

MO 607 Fundamental Moral Theology
MO 608 Catholic Social Thought

Credits earned in such courses are included among the thirty-six (36) hours required for the Master of Arts degree.


When coursework is completed, written comprehensive examinations are taken. These examinations are designed to show the student's integration of theology with their call to serve the Church and the world.  Arrangements for scheduling these examinations are made with the Academic Dean.

Thesis or Research Papers

The research component of the program may be fulfilled in either of two ways: (a) the submission of a thesis, written under the advisement of a member of the full-time Seminary faculty; or (b) the submission of three major research papers, each written under the direction of a full-time member of the Seminary faculty.


Buffalo Seminary School