The Master of Divinity (MDiv) is a first professional degree. It is designed to foster basic theological understanding and develop initial pastoral competence in students preparing for priestly ministry.  The curriculum, in providing the intellectual foundation of an integral and initial formation program, involves an in-depth study of the Catholic theological tradition and a supervised practice of ministry.


All seminarians who enter into theological studies at STPSU are enrolled in the MDiv Program. Together with MDiv Program Requirements and 13 units of Ordination Requirements, seminarians who successfully complete this course of study will have the intellectual formation necessary for priestly ministry.

With STPSU’s comprehensive and integrative theological curriculum, seminarians come to embody the Church’s rich intellectual heritage so that they can communicate it faithfully and convincingly to others. Field experiences integrated with the curriculum along with coursework equip the seminarians with the administrative and ministerial skills for parish leadership through coursework and field experiences. Courses in Homiletics and preaching opportunities for our transitional deacons help form engaging preachers. Our Liturgical Theology course sequence, community liturgies, and Practicum courses expose our seminarians to the beauty of the Liturgy so that they can celebrate the Sacraments reverently.

Prerequisites for Admission:

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree, have completed 30 semester units of philosophy in the areas identified in the Program of Priestly Formation (5th ed.) and 12 semester units of religious studies. All other admission requirements as outlined in Section IV of this catalog apply.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the Catholic Faith as revealed in Sacred Scripture and Tradition and historically developed by the Magisterium.
  2. Apply prudently the principles of faith and morals to the lived experiences of the Christian faithful.
  3. Preach the Word of God faithfully and effectively. 
  4. Apply the relevant principles and norms in the reverent celebration of the liturgy and the sacraments.
  5. Demonstrate the qualities of spiritual fatherhood in pastoral ministry. 
  6. Practice responsible and collaborative leadership in parish administration.  

Program Requirements:

The first sequence of the M.Div. curriculum equips seminarians with the necessary Scriptural and Theological foundations. The second sequence, “Pastoral Foundations”, provides students with courses in Pastoral Theology and offers a Pastoral Year Internship. The Pastoral Year Internship is a 9-month full-time parish experience of pastoral ministry, typically in the student’s own diocese. This program is a six-unit program carefully monitored by a trained on-site supervisor (usually the pastor) in conjunction with the Director of the Pastoral Year Internship at the Seminary. Normally, the Pastoral Year Internship takes place after II Theology. After the Pastoral Year, students return to the Seminary for the completion of their final two years of theological training, the “Synthesis and Application” sequence.

The academic courses, which contribute to the achievement of Program Learning Outcomes, cover the following specific areas and number of credits:

Sacred Scripture16 credits
Moral and Spiritual Theology14 credits
Dogmatics (including Liturgical and Historical Theology)37 credits
Pastoral Studies (including Canon Law)36-38 credits*
Total105 credits

*Students may opt to take Pastoral Spanish/Greek/Latin in lieu of Field Education in Fall and Spring semesters of Theology I. 

Ordination Requirements:

In addition to the MDiv curriculum, all seminarians are required to complete the following 13 credits of Ordination Requirements: 

  • SS-5217: Luke-Acts (2)
  • SS-5218: Matthew-Mark (2) 
  • MT-5202: Virtues and Vices (3) 
  • SD-5213: Christology/Soteriology (3) 
  • SD-4122: Church History I: Early to Medieval Church History (3)

*Some dioceses may require additional language studies

The MDiv degree has the Pastoral Year Internship as a program requirement. If the diocese should decide not to include the Pastoral Year in a seminarian’s program, the student should earn the six credits of pastoral year through additional pastoral work during the seminary program.

To complete successfully the program, students are expected to maintain an overall Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.0. During the last semester, the MDiv student must pass an oral comprehensive exam with a score of 2.5 out of 4.0. 

MDiv Course of Study



Sequence 1: Scriptural and Theological Foundations

Year 1: Candidate's Preparation for Lector

SS-4102: Pentateuch and Historical Books (3)  SS-4104: Prophets (3) 
SD-4122: Church History I: Early to Medieval Church History (3)*  SD-4124: Patristics (2)
SL-5211: Liturgical Theology I (2)MT-4111: Spiritual Theology (3)
SD-4101: Fundamental Theology (3)  SD-4103: Theological Anthropology (3) 
SP-101/GR-101/LA-103: Pastoral Spanish I or Biblical Greek I or Latin III (3/3/2) (Electives - not required)  SP-102/GR-102/LA-104: Pastoral Spanish II or Biblical Greek II or Latin IV (3/3/2) (Electives - not required) 
FE-4101: Field Education (1)  FE-4102: Field Education (1) 

PS-4121: Homiletics I: Proclaiming the Word (1) 

Total: 12-15

Total: 13-16

Year 2: Lector's Preparation for Acolyte

SS-5218: Matthew-Mark (2)* SS-5217: Luke-Acts (2)*
SD-5226: Church History II: Late Medieval to Modern Church History (3)  SL-5203: Baptism and Conformation (2)  
SD-5211: The Trinity (3)  SD-5213: Christology/Soteriology (3)*  
MT-5202: Virtues and Vices (3)* MT-5203: Sexual Ethics and the Person (3)
MT-4101: Fundamental Moral Theology (3) PS-7311: Canon Law I: Introduction (2)
FE-5203: Field Education (1) PS-5222: Homiletics II (3)

FE-5204: Field Education (1)
Total: 15 

Total: 16

Pastoral Year

Sequence 2: Pastoral Foundations
PS- 6511: Pastoral Theology I: Introduction to Parish Ministry (2)  PS-6512: Pastoral Theology II: Introduction to Parish Administration & Finance (2) 
PS-6501: Pastoral Year (3)  PS-6502: Pastoral Year (3) 

Total: 5

Total: 5

Year 3 - Preparation for Deaconate

Sequence 3: Synthesis and Application
SS-5213: Pauline Corpus (3)  SS-4109: Gospel of John (3) 
SD:8431: Ecclesiology (3) SL-8405: Holy Orders (2)
MT-7305: Bioethics (3)  SD-8433: Mariology (2)
SL-7302: Eucharist (3) PS-7323: Homiletics III (3) 
PS-8432: Canon Law II: The Sacraments (2)  SD-7328: Sources of Renewal: A Theological & Historical Reading of the Church in the 20th-21st Centuries (2)
FE-7305: Field Education (1)  PS-8433: Canon Law III: Marriage (2)
PS-7331: Deacon Practicum (1)
FE-7306: Field Education (1) 

Total: 15

Total: 16

Year 4 - Preparation for Priesthood

SS-5213: Wisdom Literature (2)  SL-7312: Liturgical Theology II (2)
SL-8404: Penance & Anointing (2) PS-8413: Pastoral Counseling (3)
MT-7304: Catholic Social Teaching (2) PS-8414: Spiritual Direction (2)
SL-8317: Theology of Marriage and State of Life (2) SS-5215: Hebrews, Catholic Epistles, and Revelation (2)
Elective (2) Elective (2)
SD-9599: Comprehensive Exam Preparation (1) PS-8437: Priest Practicum (1) 
FE-8407: Field Education (1)  FE-8408: Field Education (1) 

Total: 10-12

Total: 11-13

Total MDiv Units: 101-115; Total Ordination Units: 13

* = Ordination Requirement