Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary

Dean: Dale Launderville OSB

Rector: Michael Patella OSB

Faculty: Nickolas Becker OSB, Charles Bobertz, Kathleen Cahalan, William Cahoy, Brian Campbell, Kristin Colberg, Shawn Colberg, Martin Connell, Katherine Lilla Cox, Carolyn Finley, Daniel Finn, Kim Kasling, Jeffrey Kaster, Patricia Kent, Dale Launderville OSB, Michael Patella OSB, Anthony Ruff OSB, Columba Stewart OSB, Barbara Sutton, Rebecca Van Ness, Johan Van Parys, Axel Theimer

The School of Theology and Seminary of Saint John's University, founded by Benedictines in 1857, offers the following degrees: the Master of Divinity, the Master of Theological Studies, the Master of Arts in Ministry, the Master of Arts in Liturgical Music, and the Master of Theology.
The School also offers a number of Certificate Programs and Holy Land and Early Christian World study trips.

Mission

Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary, rooted in the Roman Catholic and Benedictine traditions and the ecumenical and liturgical heritage of Saint John's Abbey, fosters study and prayer in a community of learners.

As a community of faith and hope, we, the faculty, staff, and students of Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary, worship God and celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.

As an academic community relying on the wisdom of the same Holy Spirit, we root ourselves in the Christine tradition, and interpret that legacy in light of the Roman Catholic and Benedictine heritage passed on to us by Saint John’s Abbey with its rich theological, liturgical, and ecumenical history. We commit ourselves to academic, spiritual, pastoral, and professional formation so we might serve the Church in lay and ordained ministry and thus use our diverse gifts for the transformation of our world. We dedicate ourselves to a life-long pursuit of wisdom so we might progress in Christian faith and “run on the path of God’s commandments, our hearts expanding with the inexpressible delight of love” (Prologue, RB).

Graduate theology courses

Courses in the 400s, listed below, are designed for students in the theology programs of the School of Theology and Seminary. Undergraduates may register for them with the permission of the instructor, chair of the CSB/SJU theology department and of the dean of the School of Theology and Seminary. Courses in the 500s are open only to students in the School of Theology and Seminary.

For more information about the School of Theology and Seminary and the courses listed below, please contact: Director of Admission, Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary, Saint John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321-7288, or call 320-363-2964.

Admission Requirements: M.A., M.Div., M.T.S.

Graduate Degrees

At Saint John's, we understand that God calls each person to serve in a unique way. We offer degrees to students preparing for all kinds of ministry and service to the church, from parish or pastoral ministry to teaching to further academic study.  To help meet the needs of individuals who are not able to come to campus, Saint John's brings people together in innovative learning environments in online coursework. 

Master of Theological Studies (48 credits)

The Master of Theological Studies immerses students in the wisdom of the theological tradition. Students gain a solid theological foundation that prepares them for advanced theological study and for teaching and leadership roles in Christian communities.

Collegeville Core

  • History of Christianity (6 credits total): a two course introductory sequence
  • Sacred Scripture (6 credits total): New Testament Electives (3 credits); Old Testament Electives (3 credits)
  • Monastic Studies/Spirituality and Church History (3 credits total): Monastic Studies/Spirituality
  • Systematic Theology (6 credits total): Moral (3 credits); Doctrine (3 credits)
  • Liturgy (3 credits total): 3 elective credits chosen from courses in Liturgy

Focus Area (9 credits total)

Students select a focus area which includes three courses (nine credits) in a given area and completion of the Comprehensive Examination in that area.

  • Sacred Scripture
  • Systematic Theology
  • History of Christianity
  • Liturgy
  • Monastic Studies/Spirituality

Electives (12 credits total)

Students may take electives in any area of the catalog

Comprehensive Examinations

Reading for Comprehensive Examinations (3 credits total)

  • Run as independent study, preparation of focus area booklist.
  • Students prepare by reading and studying area of focus booklist.
  • Culminates in submission of annotated booklist and summary of research to exam board.

Comprehensive Examinations:

  • Students will sit for an oral examination on focus area booklist.
  • Students will submit one approved Graduate Paper completed in the semester for which it is written.
  • Graduate Papers are approved by the course instructor for whom they are originally written.

Master of Divinity - Lay Ministry (78 credits)

The three year Master of Divinity program for lay ministry candidates readies students for church leadership as lay ecclesial ministers. The program guides students through discernment of their call to ministry, their gifts, limitations, and pathway to ministry.

Collegeville Core

  • History of Christianity (6 credits total): a two course introductory sequence
  • Sacred Scripture (12 credits total): New Testament Electives (6 credits); Old Testament Electives (6 credits)
  • Monastic Studies/Spirituality and Church History (6 credits total): Monastic Studies/Spirituality (3 credits); Church History (3 credits)
  • Systematic Theology (15 credits total): Moral (6 credits); Doctrine (9 credits)
  • Liturgy (3 credits total): 3 elective credits chosen from courses in Liturgy.

Pastoral Ministry Tracks

  • Pastoral Ministry (24 credits total): Pastoral Ministry (21 credits); Integration Seminar (3 credits)

Electives

  • Students may take electives in any area of the catalog (3 credits total)

Field Education

  • Practicum (9 credits total): Clinical Pastoral Education (3 credits); Field Education (6 credits)

Master of Divinity - Priesthood Studies (109 credits)

The education and formation of priesthood candidates assists them to discern their gifts and to prepare for a ministry of service to their communities and to the people of God as ordained monks.

Collegeville Core

  • History of Christianity (6 credits total): a two course introductory sequence
  • Sacred Scripture (12 credits total): Johannine (3 credits); New Testament Electives (3 credits); Old Testament Electives (6 credits)
  • Systematic Theology (21 credits total):
    • Moral: Fundamental Moral (3 credits); Christian Social Ethics (3 credits); Survey of Moral Theology Topics (3 credits)
    • Doctrine: Christology (3 credits); Trinity Faith/Revelation (3 credits); Ecclesiology (3 credits); Christian Anthropology (3 credits)
  • Monastic Studies/Spirituality and Church History (15 credits total): 15 elective credits in Monastic Studies, Spirituality, and church History courses.
  • Liturgy (12 credits total): Eucharist (3 credits); Liturgical Celebration (3 credits); Liturgical Presiding (3 credits); Sacrament and Worship (3 credits)
    • Optional additional courses: Liturgical Arts (3 credits)

Pastoral Ministry

  • Pastoral Ministry (18 credits total): Evangelization and Catechesis (3 credits); Pastoral Care (3 credits); Homiletics (3 credits); Intro to Ecclesial Law (3 credits); Church Administration (3 credits); Integration Seminar (3 credits)
    • Optional additional courses: Ecumenism (3 credits)

Field Education

  • Practicum (12 credits total): Clinical Pastoral Education (3 credits); Field Education (9 credits); including but not limited to 3 credits cultural immersion in either Hispanic Ministry, Asian Ministry or African Ministry.

Spiritual Formation

  • Spiritual Formation (12 credits total - 3 credits each year)
  • Biblical History and Sites (1 credit) - May Term trip to the Holy Land.

Master of Arts in Ministry (36 credits)

The Master of Arts in Ministry grounds students in the theological tradition and prepares them for service in parish and social ministries. By pursuing this course of study, students will grow in their capacity to communicate the good news of Jesus Christ to those who hunger and thirst for justice and peace.

Collegeville Core

  • History of Christianity (6 credits total): a two course introductory sequence
  • Sacred Scripture (6 credits total): New Testament Electives (3 credits); Old Testament Electives (3 credits)
  • Systematic Theology (6 credits total): Moral (3 credits); Doctrine (3 credits)
  • Liturgy (3 credits total): 3 elective credits chosen from courses in Liturgy

Pastoral Ministry Tracks

  • Pastoral Ministry (12 credits total): students select a track area which includes four courses towards a particular ministry.
    • Youth and Family Minister
    • Liturgical Leader/Coordinator
    • Spiritual Director
    • Pastoral Care Giver
    • Deacon

Field Education

  • Practicum (3 credits total):
    • To teach students to reflect theologically on their ministerial experiences, while spiritual direction and communal prayer nurture student's spiritual lives.

Master of Arts in Liturgical Music (42 credits)

The Master of Arts in Liturgical Music prepares students to serve the church as pastoral leaders in the musical dimensions of worship. The program integrates musical training with academic study of the liturgy and formation in practical aspects of parish musical leadership.

Theological Component (15 credits total)

  • Required: Initiation and Eucharist (3 credits); Rites of Healing/Vocation (3 credits); Liturgical Song (3 credits)
  • Choose one (3 credits): History of Christianity; Scripture; Systematics
  • Choose one (3 credits): Liturgical Year; Sacrament and Worship; Liturgy of Hours; Intro to Pastoral Liturgy

Musical Tracks (10 credits total) - Choose one

  • Organ: Organ (6 credits); Voice (2 credits); Service Playing (2 credits)
  • Composition: Composition (6 credits); Keyboard (1 credit); Voice (1 credit); Organ (1 credit)
  • Vocal/Choral: Voice (6 credits); Keyboard (1 credit); Organ (1 credit); Choral Lit (1 credit); Vocal Ensemble (1 credit)

Conducting (3 credits total)

  • Choral Conducting: VoiceCare Basic (1 credit); Conducting Technique I (1 credit); Conducting Technique II (1 credit)

Applied Liturgy and Music (8 credits total) - 4 semesters

  • Seminar in Liturgical Music and Chapel Choir (2 credits)

Electives (1-4 credits total)

  • Students select from liturgy, theology, or liturgical music

Formation (3 credits total)

  • Practicum

Master of Theology (24 credits)

The Master of Theology (Th.M.) degree is a postgraduate, pre-doctoral program which prepares students for further studies. The program is designed to provide students with a strong foundation in a foreign language, thesis research, and writing.

Prerequisite:

  • A Master of Arts Degree, a Master of Divinity Degree or equivalent
  • A 3.5 grade point average for all previous theological coursework

Electives (15 credits total)

  • Coursework from the student's area of research interest and need.

Research Seminar (3 credits total)

  • The research seminar is designed to direct and guide students in advanced theological research in preparation for writing a thesis. Students will be engaged in dialogue and critiques of each other's work in order to enhance understanding of theological research and writing.

Thesis (6 credits total)

  • Foreign language sources and quotations from at least one foreign language must be used in the thesis.

Foreign Language Reading Proficiency

  • The student must have a reading proficiency in a foreign language - modern or classical, any language with substantial theological literature. Language reading proficiency must be demonstrated by the end of the program.

Dual Degree Program

Saint John’s Graduate School of Theology offers advanced standing to undergraduate students who are earning a minimum of a 3.2 grade point average in theological coursework at the College of St. Benedict and Saint John’s University.  Students in the 5-year dual-degree program start working at a graduate level while finishing their undergraduate degree.  Students may choose the Master of Arts in Ministry degree (M.A.M.; 36 crs.) or the Master of Theological Studies degree (M.T.S.; 48 crs.). Students completing the MTS must also complete a Comprehensive exam as part of the degree.

Below are examples of how the B.A. + M.A.M. and B.A. + M.T.S. credits could be distributed within 5 years.

M.A.M.:

3 credits earned as Theology major with satisfactory GPA

3 credits fall term senior year

6 credits spring term senior year

12 credits fall term after graduation

12 credits spring term after graduation

36 credits Total

M.T.S.:

3 credits earned as Theology major with satisfactory GPA

3 credits fall term senior year

6 credits spring term senior year

6 credits summer after graduation

12 credits fall term after graduation

12 credits spring term after graduation

6 credits summer

48 credits Total

Course Descriptions

DOCT courses

HCHR courses

LANG courses

LTGY courses

LMUS courses

MONS courses

MORL courses

PTHM courses

SPIR courses

SSNT courses

SSOT courses

THY courses