Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What do grads do with theology degrees?
    Alums of the School of Theology and Seminary are prepared for a variety of ministry positions in parishes, diocesan offices, and social ministry including hospital chaplaincy and prison ministry.
  2. Can I try some courses before I go through the admissions process?
    Many students begin non-degree which exposes them to the content for graduate theology and provides opportunities to visit with faculty and classmates. This is especially beneficial if prospective students are uncertain about which degree program is best for their situation.
  3. Can I earn a degree online?

    Yes, our Master of Arts in Theology and our Master of Arts in Ministry can be earned fully online, with the exception of the spiritual direction concentration for the MAM which requires two on-campus summer courses. For our other degrees, a student may earn half of the degree credits online in in a synchronous or asynchronous format.  

  4. How long does it take to earn a degree?
    1. The M.Div. is a three year program of study which includes Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and Field Education credits.
    2. The M.T.S. is a two year program of coursework. 
    3. The Liturgical Music and Pastoral Ministry degrees are two year programs pending skill development.
    4. The Th.M., Master of Theology, is a one-year preparation program for doctoral studies.
    5. The certificate program range from one to two years.
  5. Do I have to live on campus?
    Students are not required to live on campus.However, participation in student life is encouraged and commuters are expected to make an effort to join in graduate activities, especially Convivium, a weekly session which includes prayer and lunch with faculty, staff, and students.
  6. Do I have to take the GRE?
    Unless an applicant already has graduate coursework, he/she is required to submit the scores from either the Miller Analogy Test (MAT) or Graduate Record Exam (GRE) as part of the admission requirements. [Due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 virus in the Spring of 2020, the requirement for the GRE or MAT will be waived until testing centers reopen. Some applicants may be asked to take the GRE or MAT at a later time if their admission cannot be determined without test scores.
  7. Can I contact a current student for questions?
    It is very possible to connect prospective students with currently enrolled students.  Such an appointment is generally set up as part of a formal campus visit schedule.
  8. How much financial aid is available?
    1. Tuition scholarships are awarded to degree seeking students when they are approved for the degree program. The scholarships range from 25% to 100% of the tuition based on the admission documents and conversations with the applicants.
    2. Full time, degree-seeking students also qualify for a 20% work award.
    3. Graduate Assistantships, which may include a living stipend, are also available.
    4. Student loans are determined by the Saint John's Financial Aid following the online submission of the FAFSA.
  9. Is it possible to work full time and go to school full time?
    Some students do work and go to school full time but this combination is not recommended.  The required reading and written assignments are time consuming, and it is often difficult to juggle schedules for the classes, study, work, and family or community.
  10. Does Saint John's teach mainline Catholic doctrine?
    The professors at Saint John's are respectful of the teachings of the magisterium and do not put forth anything as church teaching that is not church teaching. Roman Catholic professors are required to have the mandatum from the local bishop.  The bishop of the Saint Cloud Diocese, like most who have schools in their diocese, has decided to handle this requirement as a personal matter between the bishop and the individual faculty member.