The Master of Arts in Theology program at Barry University serves those individuals seeking a degree in preparation for teaching theology in secondary school systems, assuming the position of Director of Religious Education, pursuing further study in doctoral programs, and seeking personal enrichment in theology. The Master of Arts in Theology requires 36 credits and provides students in the field of theological and religious education and in the pursuit of a doctoral degree with a rigorous theological foundation geared to their specific needs.
The purpose of the M.A. in Theology degree program is to provide a foundational understanding of the theological disciplines of the Christian tradition for the professional education credential and/or further graduate study through:
- Rigorous academic engagement in the areas of biblical, systematic, liturgical/sacramental, and moral theology
- Theological research through historical methods in Scripture, systematic, sacramental/liturgical, and moral theology
- Integrated theological reflection on experience
- Theological engagement with diverse cross-cultural contexts and a global worldview.
The Capstone Process for the Master of Arts in Theology consists of Written Comprehensive Examinations and an Oral Examination on the contents of comprehensives.
Students complete Written Comprehensive Examinations in five theological disciplines: Hebrew Scriptures, New Testament, Systematic theology, Sacramental/Liturgical theology, and Moral theology. The Department provides students with questions and a reading list for examinations at the time of their matriculation into the program. On the day of the examination, the student is given one question from each area.
Using historical critical method, as well as contemporary, contextual/practical theological perspectives, students are expected to integrate course content as well as other bibliographic resources into each theological area. The written exams are timed (one hour per question) and proctored by the Comprehensive Examination Committee of the Graduate Theology Committee. Students then sit for Oral Examination on the contents of the Written Comprehensives. This examination is conducted by at least three members of the Graduate Theology Committee and may take up to one and a half hours. Examiners question students on the theological content of the written examination.