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? (Full-Time Courseload)
    1. The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) for Lay Ministry  is a three year program of study which includes Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) and Field Education credits.
    2. The Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.)  is a two year program of coursework. 
    3. The  Master of Arts in Liturgical Music is a two year program pending skill development.
    4. The Master of Theology (Th.M.) is a one-year preparation program for doctoral studies that can be earned fully online.
    5. The Master of Arts in Theology and Master of Arts in Ministry are two year programs that can be earned fully online.
  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. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.