Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS)


Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS)

Introduction to Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies Program

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Pastoral Studies program is a professional degree program designed to prepare students to serve competently and effectively in contemporary ecclesial ministries and lay leadership, especially within parish settings. This includes religious education at all levels, catechetical leadership, and youth ministry. A primary objective of the program is to develop in students an understanding of ministry within the life and mission of the Roman Catholic Church. 100% of the program may be taken online.

The student must take 36 semester hours of graduate course work and complete the degree requirements with a G.P.A. of 3.0 or better. All students must complete two co-requisite courses, four core courses, four courses within the chosen concentration and two electives. All students must complete by the close of their program a Special Project, which counts as a 3-credit course. There is a six-year time limit from entry into the program for completion of the degree requirements.

Admission Requirements for the M.A. in Pastoral Studies Program

  • Applicants should follow the College Division Admissions Procedure as described in the Holy Apostles College and Seminary Catalog.
  • Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0.
  • Applicants must be able to show proficiency in English, either evidenced by previous college experience or by proficiency exam.
  • Applicants must submit three (3) letters of recommendation from individuals who can assess the applicant’s academic and ministerial abilities.
  • Applicants must submit an autobiographical essay that includes a history of the applicant’s religious and spiritual development and a resume of previous experience in ministry or other professional work, as well as a personal assessment of strengths and weaknesses for ministry.
  • Applicants will receive an entrance interview with an admissions committee.

MAPS Degree Program Goals:

  1. To educate students in the discipline of pastoral theology, with attention to Catholic social and missiological teaching, sound morals and doctrine, and worthy contemporary scholarship
  2. To equip students with current knowledge of relevant pastoral resources of all kinds, and with a practical familiarity with those resources most likely to be useful to each student’s own role of service in the Church.
  3. To foster in students a love for pastoral ministry and an appropriate confidence in their own vocations to participate in the Church’s mission.

MAPS Degree Program Learning Outcomes:

Students completing the MAPS program will be able to

    1. represent Catholic doctrine and morals appropriately and accurately in a pastoral setting, including catechesis, adult faith formation, and basic instruction in prayer and discernment
    2. interpret magisterial, theological, and ritual texts accurately, insofar as these bear on common questions in religious education and on practical concerns in ministry
    3. engage in and articulate mature pastoral-theological reflection, demonstrating prudence, knowledge of the faith, and a realistic appraisal of concrete pastoral/ministerial circumstances
    4. collaborate maturely and respectfully with others in ministry, including pastors, religious, laity, and non-Catholics
    5. demonstrate competence in one of the program specializations, namely (a) pastoral counseling or (b) pastoral theology, by performing adequately in an appropriate exercise developed for each specialization by the MAPS program director, administered by qualified faculty, and approved by the Academic Dean
    6. communicate effectively in the work of evangelization and ministry in a practical and popular way, whether by ordinary speech and writing or via the new media of social communication

MAPS: General Studies

Concentration Chair: Dr. Cynthia Toolin-Wilson (Interim Chair)

Courses provide the student with a strong understanding of pastoral issues in the areas of family life as they affect the activity of the Church in the pursuit of its missionary mandate and prepare students to provide direct assistance in the salvation of souls.

Concentration Goals:

  1. To educate students in the primary issues pertaining to family life for the purpose of their being able to engage others within them.
  2. To prepare students for the kind of engagement that will be necessary to assist others in the fostering of strong family bonds.

Concentration Outcomes:

Students with a concentration in General Studies will be able to:

  1. Identify and articulate areas of crisis in family life and propose solutions by which to address them
  2. Dialogue with others concerning the authentic meaning of prayer and vocational discernment.
Co-requisites for MAPS:Fund. of Pastoral Theology Introduction to Scripture
MAPS Core:

  1. Church in America
  2. Mission and Evangelization
  3. Pastoral Issues Concerning Human Sexuality
  4. Catholic Social Teaching

 

Concentration Core:

  1. Any Marriage and Family Course
  2. Any Marriage and Family Course
  3. Any Spiritual Direction/Pastoral Counseling Course
  4. Any Spiritual Direction/Pastoral Counseling Course

 

Concentration Electives:*

  1. Any PAS course may serve as an elective
  2. Any PAS course may serve as an elective

Marriage and Family Concentration

Concentration Chair: Dr. Cynthia Toolin-Wilson (Interim Chair)

Courses provide the student with a strong understanding of the role of the family in the life of the Church and society and the responsibilities involved in the covenantal relationship with God and spouse.

Concentration Goals:

  1. To rediscover the meaning and values of marriage and family
  2. To acquire technical skills for guiding the children of the family with both mental and physical disabilities
  3. Equip the students with spiritual/pastoral help to be offered to those going through the trauma of abortion

Concentration Outcomes:

Students with a concentration in Marriage and Family will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate marriage as a wedding with the Transcendental Other
  2. Show mastery for preparing those to embrace the sacrament of matrimony from remote and proximate stance
  3. Prudently offer support to marriages and families in crisis.
Co-requisites for MAPS:Fund. of Pastoral Theology Introduction to Scripture
MAPS Core:

  1. Church in America
  2. Mission and Evangelization
  3. Pastoral Issues Concerning Human Sexuality
  4. Catholic Social Teaching

 

Concentration Core:

  1. Marriage and the Theology of the Body
  2. D. Von Hildebrand and C.S. Lewis On Love
  3. Morals and Psychology
  4. Pastoral Care of Marriage and Family

 

Concentration Electives:*

  1. Christian Life Together in the Presence of Human, Physical, and Intellectual Impairments
  2. Missionary Discipleship: Evangelization and Catechesis

Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Counseling Concentration:

Concentration Chair: Dr. Cynthia Toolin-Wilson (Interim Chair)

Courses provide the student with a strong understanding of how to authentically engage another person in the role of counselor or spiritual director.

Concentration Goals:

  1. To equip students with technical skills and practice for spiritual direction and pastoral counseling
  2. To educate students on the role of social sciences especially psychology in spiritual direction and pastoral counseling
  3. To foster in students the need for the education and integration of human emotion
  4. To educate the students on the necessity and implications of self-awareness.

Concentration Outcomes:

Students with a concentration in Spiritual Direction/Pastoral Counseling will be able to:

  1. Respectfully guide pastors, religious, laity and non-Catholics in spiritual, personal and communitarian discernment or decision making
  2. Guide the people of God on how to cope with crisis in life
  3. Demonstrate competence in resolving psycho-spiritual problems
  4. Engage maturely people of all cultures, ages and religions in making vocational choices
Co-requisites for MAPS:

  1. Fund. of Pastoral Theology
  2. Introduction to Scripture
MAPS Core:

  1. Church in America
  2. Mission and Evangelization
  3. Pastoral Issues Concerning Human Sexuality
  4. Catholic Social Teachings
Concentration Core:

  1. Methods in Counseling
  2. Clinical Pastoral Education
  3. Theology of Social Media
  4. Spiritual Direction: Skills and Practice
Concentration Electives:*

  1. Intercultural Competencies
  2. Spiritual Care in the Hospital

 

 Core Curriculum

As the above list describes, two co-requisite classes are required of all students when they first matriculate into the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies program, and these are PAS 601 Fundamentals of Pastoral Theology and SAS 601 Introduction to Scripture.

The 12-credit hour core curriculum and 12 credit concentration curriculum required for the M.A. in Pastoral Studies Program includes the following:

Core
CHH 613 The Church in America
PAS 511 Mission and Evangelization
PAS 985 Pastoral Issues Concerning Human Sexuality
MTH 841 Catholic Social Teachings
Concentrations
Marriage and Family – 4 courses within the concentration
Spiritual Direction/Pastoral Counseling – 4 courses within the concentration

Electives – any course within the program may be taken as an elective.

As part of the 36-credit core course curriculum, students in the M.A. in Pastoral Studies Program must also successfully complete a special capstone project within their own apostolate, which counts as three (3) credit hours.

Capstone Requirement

A student may take a total of two (2) electives from within the degree program and sit for comprehensive exams OR complete a special project. If a special project option is chosen, students must take ENG 891: Academic Research, Design. Students will receive a final 3-credits for the successful completion of their special project. The Special Project guidelines are followed for this project.

Summative Evaluation

The Summative Evaluation is the capstone of the student’s academic work in the M.A. program at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. All candidates for the M.A. degree are required to complete a Summative Evaluation exercise, which may take the form of a thesis or a comprehensive exam. Full descriptions of the Summative Evaluation exercise are available on the Summative Evaluation page.

Program Director: Dr. Gregory Popcak

Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies Degree Plans


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