Humanities & Fine Arts | MPT Program

Master of Pastoral Leadership

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The Master of Arts in Pastoral Leadership program enables learners to develop the skills that are the foundations of servant leadership and committed service. The MAPL program integrates theology, leadership, and stewardship skills into a comprehensive program of study. 

Program Goal
The purpose of the MAPL program is to enable students actively engaged in ministry the tools and ability to build a successful congregation.  The program is served on a trimester basis.  Each trimester is considered equal to 12 weeks, the same as a traditional semester.

Program Design
The MAPL program is a non-thesis graduate program. The course of study requires a minimum of 51 graduate credits. Preference for admission will be given towards individuals with an undergraduate degree in theology or religious studies with an emphasis in Christian studies. Applicants with undergraduate educations from unrelated disciplines will be required to take a pre-entry exam.  Applicants who do not score high in the pre-entry exam may be required to complete undergraduate pre-requisites or satisfactorily complete some or all of the 500-level foundation courses listed in the MPT program.

Online foundation course credits will not be applied to the minimum number of credits required to graduate the MAPL program.  Additionally, other pre-requisites for selected graduate courses in Education, Business, or Counseling Psychology must be completed prior to registration for courses in those programs, and are not part of the minimum 51 credits required to graduate the MAPL program.

Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Leadership will demonstrate:

  •  An understanding of Catholic theology, its contemporary expression within a Vatican II framework, and its historical development and context within the broader Christian tradition.
  • The ability to apply theological reflection to issues & needs within varied pastoral contexts for one’s community.
  • An ability to compare and contrast different theological positions and values within the Christian community
  • An understanding of the Marianist tradition of education for service, peace and justice that leads to active participation within one’s local and global environment.
  • An understanding of basic accounting and organizational competencies required for ministry
  • An understanding of leadership as a service, appropriate to one’s role in the ministry.

The MAPL degree requires the successful completion of the General Foundation courses (14 credits), the Theology Core cluster (21 credits), Morality (3 credits), Leadership core cluster (6 credits), Elective course cluster (6 or 9 credits), and the capstone course and the Pastoral Leadership Seminar (1 credit).  Students may need more credits if they are required to complete theology foundation courses, course pre-requisite, or are seeking a specialization or certification in their chosen areas of concentration.

PL/RE 601 Theology of Leadership in Ministry (2)
PL/RE 603-Theology of Communication (3)
PL 608-Non-Profit Management and Ethics (3) or PL 616/MBA 616 Not-for-Profit Accounting (3)


Scripture Requirement: (9 credits required)
RE 600/401 Prophets and Writings (3)
RE 606/400 Pentateuch and Historical Books (3)
And two of the following:
RE 607 Synoptic Gospels and Acts (3)
RE 608 New Testament Letters (3)
RE 609 Johannine Writings and Revelation (3)
RE 619 New Testament Exegesis (3)
RE 646 Introduction to the Apocryphal Books and Catholic Epistles (3)

Systematic Theology Requirement: (12 credits required)
RE 621 History of the Early Church (3)
RE 637 Christology (3)
RE 642 Ecclesiology: Its Nature and Mission (3)
RE 643 Sacramental Theology and Practice (3)
RE 647 Theology of Liturgy (3)
RE 740 Mary in the Christian Tradition (1-3) variable credit course
RE 680 Special Topics in Systematic Theology (1-3) variable credit course

Moral Theology Requirement: (3 credits required)
PL 611 Leadership in Catholic Social Thought (3)
RE 661 Approaches to Morality (3)
RE 662 Contemporary Moral Problems (3)
RE 664 Moral Theology: Fundamental and Applied (3)

Six credits chosen from PL760/MBA 600 Leading People in Organizations, PL 761/MBA 761 Leading Organizational Change, PL 733/MBA 613 Human Resources Management; PL 650/ED 790 Issues of Peace, Social Justice, & Educational Reform; or PL 778/PSY 778 Organizational Psychology

The Professional Elective Concentrations enable students to specialize in a particular area of ministry and service.
A minimum of two courses (six credits) are required in one of the following areas:
Administration and Management: (requires 12 units) MBA 510, MBA 520, MBA 601, MBA 602.
Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction (requires nine credits): PL 670, 671, 672, 673, 675, 771, 772, 773,774, 775, 778; RE 683, RE 685, RE 687, RE 689
Religious Education: RE 657, 677, 682, or 684; PL 650, PL 659

PL 791 Pastoral Leadership Seminar (1)

Recommendation for those interested in preparing for a Chaplaincy appointment in the United States Armed Forces. 
Consistent with our mission to serve the church and other constituencies in our community, the MAPL program provides students interested in completing the academic requirements for a Chaplaincy appointment in the United States Armed Forces.  Students will receive an integrated experience of theology, leadership education, and stewardship skill development to become an effective chaplain in the military armed forces, police department, or other institutional care settings. Our program of preparation within the MAPL degree requires 75 credits. You may complete this requirement within the MAPL program in the following manner:

  • Complete the regular MAPL Program requirements as outlined above (51 credits).
  • Complete the MPT Summer Intensive Theology courses (3 credits)
  • Complete fifteen credits of elective theology (15 credits). You may include the introductory theology courses at the 500-level. These may include credits transferred in from the candidate’s specific denominational polity. Transfers must be graduate-level credits from an accredited institution, with a favorable review by the program director.
  • Leadership/Management Core (3 additional credits) Nine credits chosen from MBA Not-for-Profit Management Program, or appropriate MSCP courses.
  • Chaplain Candidates must complete an additional three credits (3 additional credits) in the Professional Elective Area they have chosen (9 credits total). As an alternative to the standard areas, chaplain candidates may schedule up to nine credits of chaplaincy internships. Students may arrange for credit for paid or non-paid experiences, including regular duty assignments which deal with chaplain duties and service. Internships require a minimum of 100 hours for each credit and participation with a faculty mentor who will lead the participant through a theological reflection on the work and the role of the chaplain in the armed services, the police department, hospitals, or other institutional service settings.