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Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
Saint Louis, MO, United States
The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies prepares students for ministry in a variety of pastoral settings. Through coursework in biblical studies, systematic and pastoral theology, integrative seminars, supervised practice of ministry and other learning experiences, this program integrates theology and the practice of ministry with the development of a personal pastoral identity. 


Aquinas Institute of Theology is a Roman Catholic graduate school located in a former factory in Midtown St. Louis, Missouri. We are a Dominican-sponsored school partnering with the Jesuit-run Saint Louis University.  It’s a cozy relationship and great for students, who enjoy a close-knit community of about 200 women and men, along with the benefits of a big University in our backyard. Aquinas Institute gives students intimate liturgies and the occasional potluck lunch. Saint Louis University offers a fitness center, student center, University library and the opportunity to cross-register for classes.

Our students are seminarians, recent university graduates, retirees, accountants and soccer moms. Most students are Catholic, although several come from other faith traditions. Their presence enriches the conversation.

Aquinas Institute is a place where students know faculty members by their first names. Mixed into their graduate-level theological studies are midday prayer services and a weekly Mass during which faculty members preach, sing in the choir, or listen to student reflections. Groups gather in the lounge for lunch, where conversation bounces from movies to the magisterium.

Aquinas Institute ministry degrees strategically combine strong academics, field education with mentors in ministry, and a spiritual formation program for lay students. Our graduates are well prepared and credentialed to serve the Church in effective leadership.

Programme Structure

Courses include:
  • Scripture Elective 
  • Introduction to Theology & Theological Method 
  • Supervised Practice ot Ministry (SPM) 1 
  • Ecclesiology 
  • Christology 
  • Foundations ot Pastoral and Ethical Care 
  • Sacramental & Theological Foundations of Ministry 
  • Theology ot Worship 
  • Church History I or Church History II 
  • SPM II or Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) 
  • Foundations ot Catholic Morality 
  • Integrative Seminar 

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Credits
    52 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

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General Requirements

Applicants to the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies program should have adequate preparation in the liberal arts, including social and behavioral sciences, as well as some background in Scripture, theology and philosophy.

  • Complete the Online Application
  • Supply Two Writing Samples: Personal Assessment and Reflection Paper
  • Submit Three Letters of Recommendation (applicants from religious orders must submit one letter from your religious superior or current formation director)
  • Send the results of the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Examination (or GRE)
  • Provide Official transcripts
  • Submit a Non-refundable application fee
  • Schedule an interview with the admissions director 

Tuition Fee

  • International

    757 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 757 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.
  • National

    757 USD/credit
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 757 USD per credit and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Saint Louis

  • 1015 - 1530 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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