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School of Theology and Ministry

Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry (M.A.)

boston college school of theology and ministry

With its focus on intellectual, pastoral, and spiritual formation, the Master of Arts in Theology and Ministry (M.A.) program is particularly well suited to lay students who plan to pursue ecclesial ministries in parish, college campus, high school, health care, or social service settings. It combines intensive study of theology, pastoral development, active engagement in spiritual formation, and a supervised ministry placement you and a faculty advisor will select based on your interests. 

In order to give its students integrated preparation for their work and careers, the STM also offers dual-degree master’s programs in partnership with Boston College’s School of Social Work (M.S.W.); Lynch School of Education (M.A., Counseling); Carroll School of Management (M.B.A.); and Connell School of Nursing (M.S.).

Highlights of the M.A. program include:

  • Theological, ministerial, and spiritual formation in a two-year, 48-credit program
  • Choice of standard ministry, religious education, or Hispanic ministry tracks
  • Most students complete the M.A. program in two years; our dual-degree programs typically demand three years
  • The Hybrid M.A. program can be completed through a combination of online and on-campus coursework
  • Thesis project required

Supervised ministry

The M.A. program includes Contextual Education—field experience in which you observe and explore ministerial work in different contexts, deepen practical skills, and examine how your experience relates to theological study. Veteran supervisors oversee your work, and weekly meetings provide a forum for STM students to reflect on and synthesize ministry experiences within a classroom setting.


Our faculty is devoted to your holistic formation—your academic success, practical development in ministerial work, and the cultivation of your faith and spiritual expression. Recognized experts on theological matters, our faculty members consider their STM jobs ministries—a service to the Church and to the world.

Spiritual and Community Life

Deepening your faith through study, praxis, and prayer is an essential part of the STM experience. Opportunities for spiritual formation are abundant within our academic programs and ministerial practice. You can enrich your faith life through spiritual direction, retreats, workshops, and immersion experiences. The school provides financial assistance for many of these programs.

Common career paths

STM alumni who have completed the M.A. program have gone on to successful careers in:

  • Parish ministry and religious education
  • High school or university ministry 
  • High school teaching
  • Hospital chaplaincy
  • Prison ministry