Advanced Graduate Certificate Programs


Holy Apostles Advanced Graduate Certificates

Philosophy & Theology – Beginning Fall 2017

The Advanced Graduate Certificates (AGC) in Philosophy and Theology are established for the purpose of providing students with doctoral-level work in preparation for a Ph.D. program and are particularly useful in assisting students who enroll in a research doctoral program in the US or Europe at the conclusion of their studies.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: the AGC is currently in review by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, a process that will continue through March, 2017. No AGC doctoral level courses will be offered in the spring, but students are welcome to take the MA-level electives during this short break. 

Grounded in the Thomistic Synthesis, the AGC in Philosophy provides a context in which to examine the rupture between Scholasticism and the Modern Project. Students who enroll in the certificate program will come to understand how and where things fell apart and how we might reclaim from the modern-day ruins of our Western civilization the Golden Age of Scholasticism. This was an age in which we enjoyed the fullness of reason as informed by the fullness of faith and found within that relationship the fullness of truth, Who is a person, Jesus Christ.

A person who earned an Master of Arts or Post-Masters Certificate from Holy Apostles in theology can audit AGC courses IN THEOLOGY; a person who earned an Master of Arts from Holy Apostles in philosophy can audit AGC courses in philosophy. The audited courses cannot be changed into credit courses at a later date.

Program Goals:
  • This program will advance student understanding of philosophy in the Thomistic tradition.
  • This program will cultivate research skills on the doctoral level.
  • This program will engage students in writing philosophically with excellence.
Program Objectives: 
  • Students will study systematic and moral philosophy.
  • Students will survey and evaluate relevant literature.
  • Students will write several 15- to 25-page papers demonstrating clarity of expression. 

Advanced Graduate Certificate in Philosophy Program – 30 credits 

Advanced Graduate Certificate in Philosophy Plan

Applicants interested in pursuing the AGC in Theology or Philosophy must have a corresponding MA in their program of interest. Applicants who do not have an MA in Theology or an MA in Philosophy, preferably from a Catholic college or university, will be required to first complete the MA program in order to be eligible for the AGC. Applicants whose M.A. program did not include a thorough introduction to Scholastic philosophy or theology are required to take an additional six credits of pre-requisite courses in their respective discipline.

AGC Philosophy has two “concentrations” – Systematic Philosophy and Ethics.

Core courses for AGC Philosophy:

PHS 930 Skeptical Skepticism Dr. John Finley (*Note: Course name will be changing)
PHS 940 Being in Nature Dr. John Hittinger
PHE 950 Radical Autonomy vs Participated Theonomy Dr. Randall Colton
PHE 960 Politics: Scholasticism and the Enlightenment Dr. John Hittinger

Systematic Philosophy emphasis courses:

PHS 982 Selected Readings I
PHS 984 Selected Readings II
PHS 986 Selected Readings III
PHS 988 Selected Readings IV

Ethis emphasis courses:

PHE 982 Selected Readings I
PHE 984 Selected Readings II
PHE 986 Selected Readings III
PHE 988 Selected Readings IV

Electives – 6 credits

  • Any in cognate relation to their emphasis area

Capstone paper

*PAS 891 Methods in Teaching may be taken as an elective if student has not taken the course for a previous graduate degree.

How To Apply

To apply for this certificate program, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Rex, Director of Graduate Admissions, at erex@holyapostles.edu or 860-632-3066.

Grounded in dogma, the AGC in Theology provides a context in which to examine the three Persons of the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – and their intimate relationship to humanity through Mary and her son, Jesus Christ. Students who enroll in the certificate program will learn to articulate the fullness of our salvation history as persons created in the image and likeness of God.

A person who earned an Master of Arts or Post-Masters Certificate from Holy Apostles in theology can audit AGC courses IN THEOLOGY; a person who earned an Master of Arts from Holy Apostles in philosophy can audit AGC courses in philosophy. The audited courses cannot be changed into credit courses at a later date.

Program Goals:

  • This program will advance student understanding of theology in the Thomistic tradition.
  • This program will cultivate research skills on the doctoral level.
  • This program will engage students in writing theologically with excellence.

Program Objectives:

  • Students will study dogmatic and moral theology.
  • Students will survey and evaluate relevant literature.
  • Students will write several 15- to 25-page papers demonstrating clarity of expression.

Advanced Graduate Certificate in Theology Program – 30 credits

Advanced Graduate Certificate in Theology Plan

Applicants interested in pursuing the AGC in Theology or Philosophy must have a corresponding MA in their program of interest. Applicants who do not have an MA in Theology or an MA in Philosophy, preferably from a Catholic college or university, will be required to first complete the MA program in order to be eligible for the AGC. Applicants whose M.A. program did not include a thorough introduction to Scholastic philosophy or theology are required to take an additional six credits of pre-requisite courses in their respective discipline.

AGC Theology has two “concentrations” – Dogmatic Theology and Moral Theology

Core courses for AGC Theology:

DTH 930 Soteriology Fr. Randy Soto
DTH 940 Pneumatology Dr. Cynthia Toolin-Wilson
DTH 950 Protology and Eschatology Dr. Marianne Seigmund
DTH 960 Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church Fr. Peter Kucer, M.S.A.

Dogmatic Theology emphasis courses:

DTH 982 Selected Readings I
DTH 984 Selected Readings II
DTH 986 Selected Readings III
DTH 988 Selected Readings IV

Moral Theology emphasis courses:

MTH 982 Selected Readings I
MTH 984 Selected Readings II
MTH 986 Selected Readings III
MTH 988 Selected Readings IV

Electives – 6 credits

Any in cognate relation to their emphasis area

Capstone paper

*PAS 891 Methods in Teaching may be taken as an elective if student has not taken the course for a previous graduate degree.

How To Apply

To apply for this certificate program, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Rex, Director of Graduate Admissions, at erex@holyapostles.edu or 860-632-3066.

This page will be continuously updated as new questions are asked or additional facts established regarding the two programs.

  • What is the difference between the Advanced Graduate Certificate and the Post-Masters Certificate?

1) The AGC is available for both the theology and philosophy programs while the PMC is available only for the theology program.
2) The AGC is structured as a research certificate grounded in a dogmatic core selection of courses all at the 900 level while the PMC is taught using the MA-level (mostly 500-700 level ) courses with a core identical to the MA in Theology for those who haven’t completed the MA from HACS.
3) The AGC will serve as a gateway into our eventual Ph.D. program while the PMC coursework terminates in a certificate alone.
4) The AGC emphasis area is designed on the tutorial system, meaning that students will complete the equivalent of 12 credit hours (or 4 courses) engaged in directed study work directly pertaining to their future Ph.D. dissertation project. The PMC concentration area allows students to choose any four classes from the MA courses in their area of concentration or any classes from across all areas for those pursuing a concentration in general studies. That means, the PMC allows students to go deeper or broader in theological studies on the same course-work level as they did their MA.
5) The AGC capstone project is equivalent to a dissertation proposal while the PMC capstone project is simply a long 30-page paper in the student’s area of concentration.

  • Are the courses considered doctoral level?

The courses in the AGC have been labeled as 800- and 900-level in order to be considered doctoral level. They are designed to engage the student in significant research work to prepare the student for a Ph.D. program, the approvals for which we’re currently pursuing. Students who complete the AGC can roll all of their credits into the Ph.D., once it gets approved by all relevant parties, and enter that program with a couple of courses in research design and teaching methods in addition to comprehensive exams and a dissertation to go.

  • AGC Admissions

Applicants interested in pursuing the AGC in Theology or Philosophy must have a corresponding MA in their program of interest. Applicants who do not have an MA in Theology or an MA in Philosophy, preferably from a Catholic college or university, will be required to first complete the MA program in order to be eligible for the AGC.

  • Can AGC Courses be audited?

A person who earned an Master of Arts or Post-Masters Certificate from Holy Apostles in theology can audit AGC courses in Theology; a person who earned an Master of Arts from Holy Apostles in philosophy can audit AGC courses in philosophy. The audited courses cannot be changed into credit courses at a later date.



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