Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS)


Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS)

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 are required to take the Comprehensive Examination as their Summative Evaluation.* There is a six-year time limit from entry into the program for completion of the degree requirements.

* Students enrolled in the MAPS program prior to Fall 2017, may complete a thesis, special project, or comprehensive exam.

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

  • Applicants must complete and submit an online Application Form by clicking HERE.
  • Applicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0.
  • Applicants must submit three (3) letters of recommendation: one from an Academic/Mentor; one from a Priest/Religious; and one from a Ministry Supervisor/Counselor.
  • Applicants must submit a personal essay as follows: Whereas the mission of Holy Apostles College & Seminary is “to cultivate lay, consecrated, and ordained Catholic leaders for the purpose of evangelization,” please submit a typed essay of approximately 500 words expressing your motivation to become a member of the Holy Apostles academic community.
  • Applicants must request that official transcripts be sent to Holy Apostles College & Seminary by all previously attended colleges/universities. See the Application Form for details.
  • Applicants must be able to show proficiency in English, either evidenced by previous college experience or by proficiency exam.

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.

Marriage and Family Studies Concentration

Concentration Chair: Dr. Gregory Popcak

The MAPS Marriage and Family Studies Concentration provides learners with a strong understanding of both the role of the family in the life of the Church and society and the responsibilities involved in living out the covenantal relationship between God, man, and woman. This concentration would be an excellent fit for those learners who wish to:

  • Serve as both diocesan and parish-based marriage and family life ministers.
  • Conduct effective marriage preparation and enrichment programs.
  • Promote the relational and spiritual well-being of couples and families.
  • Provide front-line pastoral support for couples and families in crisis.

Graduates will also be able to practice as Marriage & Family Life Coaches and be eligible for advanced standing to become Board Certified Coaches through the Center for Credentialing and Education.

Concentration Goals:

To equip students with the skills needed to:

  1. Effectively communicate the role the Catholic vision of marriage and family life plays in both a healthy society and God’s plan for the world.
  2. Facilitate the general emotional and relational health of couples and families.
  3. Facilitate a robust, incarnational, marital and family spirituality according to the Catholic vision of the home as the “domestic church.”
  4. Be an effective first line of support to couples and families who are struggling under the weight of internal and/or external pressures.

Concentration Outcomes:

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

  1. Communicate the social, relational, psychological and spiritual significance of marriage.
  2. Show mastery for preparing those to embrace the sacrament of matrimony from remote and proximate stance.
  3. Prudently offer support to couples and families in every stage and state in life.
  4. Provide pastoral support and develop first-line interventions for couples in crisis.

Marriage and Family Studies Concentration – Course of Study

Co-Requisites (Foundational theoretical knowledge)

  • PAS 602 Fundamentals of Practical Theology
  • DTH 645 Nature and Grace

MAPS Core (Foundational knowledge and skills for pastoral ministry)

  • PAS 683 Pastoral Counseling 1: Spiritual Helping & Accompaniment
  • PAS 511 Mission and Evangelization
  • MTH 841 Catholic Social Teaching
  • PAS 720 Nurturing the Domestic Church: Fostering Authentic Marriage and Family Life & Spiritualty

Marriage and Family Core (Essential knowledge and skills for marriage & family ministry)

  • MTH 680 Marriage & Theology of the Body
  • PAS 785 Pastoral Issues Concerning Human Sexuality
  • PAS 621 Pastoral Care of Marriage and Family
  • CLA 715 Canon Law of Marriage

Marriage and Family Recommended Electives

  • MTH 681 Theology of the Body: Sexual Difference & Complementarity
  • PAS 620 Marriage and Family in the Secular Culture

Pastoral Counseling Concentration:

Concentration Chair: Dr. Gregory Popcak

The Pastoral Counseling MAPS Concentration is intended to give learners the skills they need to help people lead more fulfilling, healthy, and godly lives and relationships. Students will acquire the skills necessary for fostering the emotional, spiritual, and relational development of people-of-faith, in addition to being able to develop ethical and effective psycho-spiritual interventions to assist people in crisis. This concentration is an excellent fit for:

  • persons in church ministry who would like to sharpen their psycho-spiritual intervention skills and be more effective, first-line responders to people needing emotional and relational support;
  • any person who wishes to practice as a Christian Life Coach and/or Board Certified Professional Life Coach;
  • licensed mental health counselors who wish to engage in ethical and effective faith-integrated approaches to professional counseling.

Although this program is not intended to prepare learners to practice as state-licensed mental health professionals, all graduates (whether or not they are currently licensed mental health providers) will have advanced standing to become a Board Certified Coach through the Center for Credentialing and Education.

Concentration Goals:

To equip students with the skills needed to:

  1. Equip learners with the skills needed to foster the emotional, relational, and spiritual well-being of the people they serve.
  2. Equip students with the technical skills needed to assist people struggling with emotional and relational problems using spiritually-integrated counseling/coaching techniques.
  3. Empower students to provide faith-integrated counseling/coaching services in an ethical and effective manner.
  4. Give students the means of pursing ongoing personal, emotional, and spiritual development.

Concentration Outcomes:

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

  1. Assist others with effective goal planning and decision making skills.
  2. Use spiritually-integrated approaches to counseling/coaching in an ethical/effective manner.
  3. Facilitate the emotional, relational, and spiritual well-being and development of the people they serve.
  4. Effectively help people deal with emotional, relational, and spiritual crises.
  5. Develop greater self-awareness and the ability to use this self-knowledge to be more effective helping professionals.

Licensed mental health professionals who complete the Pastoral Counseling Concentration may identify as Certified Catholic Pastoral Counselors (CCPC) upon graduation.

Pastoral Counseling Concentration – Course of Study

Co-Requisites (Foundational theoretical knowledge)

  • PAS 602 Fundamentals of Practical Theology
  • DTH 645 Nature and Grace

MAPS Core (Foundational knowledge and skills for pastoral ministry)

  • PAS 683Pastoral Counseling 1: Spiritual Helping & Accompaniment
  • PAS 511 Mission and Evangelization
  • MTH 841 Catholic Social Teaching
  • PAS 720 Nurturing the Domestic Church: Fostering Authentic Marriage and Family Life & Spiritualty

Pastoral Counseling Concentration Core (Essential knowledge and skills for marriage & family ministry)

  • PAS 684 Pastoral Counseling II: Spiritual Diagnosis and Intervention
  • PAS 791 Morals and Psychology
  • PAS 785 Pastoral Issues with Human Sexuality
  • PAS 621 Pastoral Issues of Marriage and the Family

Pastoral Counseling Recommended Electives

  • PAS 605 Intercultural Competencies
  • PAS 641 Methods in Counseling
    OR, if the learner is a licensed mental health provider, substitute with PAS 700 Christian Life Together in the Presence of Human, Physical, & Intellectual Impairments

Spiritual Direction Concentration:

Concentration Chair: Dr. Gregory Popcak

The MAPS Concentration in Spiritual Direction is intended to give learners the skills they need to help people experience God and their Catholic faith in a more meaningful, dynamic, and integrative manner. Learners will develop the skills necessary to assist the faithful in discerning God’s will, growing in virtue, developing a more intimate relationship with God, and experiencing the Holy Spirit at work in the blessings and challenges of everyday life. This concentration is an excellent fit for:

  • Those who are currently engaged in ministry work but who wish to be able to make a more effective use of the mystical and spiritual traditions of the Catholic faith to   facilitate spiritual growth and healing in the people they serve.
  • Persons interested in pursuing a career in diocesan and parish ministry, faith formation, spiritual care, and other lay ministry careers.
  • Licensed mental health professionals who wish to add spiritual direction services to their current practice.

All graduates will also be qualified to practice as Christian Life Coaches and have advanced standing to become Board Certified Coaches through the Center for Credentialing and Education (whether or not they are licensed mental health providers).

Concentration Goals:

To equip students with the skills needed to:

  1. Equip learners with the ability to apply insights from Catholic mystical theology to the challenges of everyday life.
  2. Equip learners with the skills needed to help the people of God cooperate more efficiently with the movement of grace in their lives.
  3. Equip learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to help the people of God engage in the clear discernment of spirits.
  4. Enable learners to facilitate spiritual growth and maturity in their own lives and the lives of the faith.

Concentration Outcomes:

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

  1. Engage in the practice of Spiritual Direction in an ethical and effective manner.
  2. Assist the faithful in discerning God’s will for their lives.
  3. Employ the skills necessary to exercise the discernment of spirits.
  4. Facilitate the development of virtue and spiritual maturity in the lives of the faithful.

Spiritual Direction Concentration – Course of Study 

Co-Requisites (Foundational theoretical knowledge)

  • PAS 602 Fundamentals of Practical Theology
  • DTH 645 Nature and Grace

MAPS Core (Foundational knowledge and skills for pastoral ministry)

  • PAS 683 Pastoral Counseling 1: Spiritual Helping & Accompaniment
  • PAS 511 Mission and Evangelization
  • MTH 841 Catholic Social Teaching
  • PAS 720 Nurturing the Domestic Church: Fostering Authentic Marriage and Family Life & Spiritualty

Spiritual Direction Core (Essential knowledge and skills for marriage & family ministry)

  • PAS 671 Spiritual Direction: Skills and Practice
  • DTH 910 Spiritual Theology
  • DTH 512 Spiritual Life in the Classics
  • CHH 631 Mystical Theology and the Church Fathers

Co-Requisites Recommended Electives

  • PAS 605 Intercultural Competencies
  • PAS 700 Christian Life Together in the Presence of Human, Physical, & Intellectual Impairments

Youth & Young Adult Ministry Concentration:

Concentration Chair: Dr. Gregory Popcak

The MAPS Youth & Young Adult Ministry Concentration provides learners with the ability to help teens and young adults apply their faith to the difficult emotional, spiritual, and relationship challenges that accompany the high school, college, and young adult years. This concentration would be an excelled fit for those learners who wish to:

  • Pursue careers in diocesan and/or parish-based youth/young adult ministry.
  • Pursue careers in campus ministry.
  • Pursue careers in family life ministry.
  • Be more effective in connecting teens and young adults with a meaningful experience of their Catholic faith.

Graduates will also be able to practice as Family Life Coaches and be eligible for advanced standing to become a Board Certified Coach through the Center for Credentialing and Education.

Because Holy Apostles wants to make sure your degree is as relevant to your ministry goals as possible, rather than a thesis, learners in the Youth and Young Adult Ministry Concentration will complete a Special Project before graduation that allows them to apply what they have learned to their particular area of interest and/or the particular people they serve.

Concentration Goals:

To equip students with the skills needed to:

  1. Help teens and young adults have a more meaningful, dynamic, and orthodox relationship to their Catholic faith.
  2. Help teens and young adults apply the wisdom of their Catholic faith to the emotional, relational, and spiritual challenges they face.
  3. Help teens and young adults enjoy healthy, godly, and chaste peer relationships and prepare to participate in godly marriage and family lives and other healthy adult relationships.
  4. Empower teens and young adults to discover their mission and charisms, and discern God’s will for their lives.

Concentration Outcomes:

Students with a concentration in Youth and Young Adult Ministry will be able to:

  1. Engage in effective and ethical youth and young adult ministry.
  2. Identify the developmental challenges of adolescence and young adulthood and develop faithful responses to those challenges.
  3. Support teens and young adults in creating healthy, godly, and chaste peer relationships.
  4. Prepare teens and young adults to live the Catholic vision of marriage and family life.
  5. Communicate the teachings of the Catholic church in a manner that is compelling to teens and young adults.
  6. Help teens to live more abundant, faithful lives of genuine service to God and others.

Youth & Young Adult Ministry Concentration – Course of Study

Co-Requisites (Foundational theoretical knowledge)

  • PAS 602 Fundamentals of Practical Theology
  • DTH 645 Nature and Grace

MAPS Core (Foundational knowledge and skills for pastoral ministry)

  • PAS 683Pastoral Counseling 1: Spiritual Helping & Accompaniment
  • PAS 511 Mission and Evangelization
  • MTH 841 Catholic Social Teaching
  • PAS 720 Nurturing the Domestic Church: Fostering Authentic Marriage and Family Life & Spiritualty

Youth & Young Adult Ministry Core (Essential knowledge and skills for Youth & YA Ministry)

  • PAS 607 Contemporary Youth Culture
  • APO 512 Apologetics
  • PAS 631 Theology of Social Media
  • PAS 785 Pastoral Issues Concerning Human Sexuality

Youth & Young Adult Ministry Recommended Electives

  • PAS 605 Intercultural Competencies
  • Special Project in Youth/YA Ministry

MAPS: General Studies Concentration

Concentration Chair: Dr. Gregory Popcak

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:

To equip students with the skills needed to:

  1. Educate students in the primary issues pertaining to family life for the purpose of their being able to engage others within them.
  2. 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.

General Studies Concentration – Course of Study

Co-Requisites (Foundational theoretical knowledge)

  • PAS 602 Fundamentals of Practical Theology
  • DTH 645 Nature and Grace

MAPS Core (Foundational knowledge and skills for pastoral ministry)

  • PAS 683 Pastoral Counseling I: Spiritual Helping & Accompaniment
  • PAS 511 Mission and Evangelization
  • MTH 841 Catholic Social Teaching
  • PAS 720 Nurturing the Domestic Church: Fostering Authentic Marriage & Family Life & Spirituality

General Studies Core (Essential knowledge and skills for marriage & family ministry)

  • Any Marriage and Family Course
  • Any Marriage and Family Course
  • Any Spiritual Direction/Pastoral Counseling Course
  • Any Spiritual Direction/Pastoral Counseling Course

General Studies Recommended Electives

  • Any PAS course may serve as an elective
  • Any PAS course may serve as an elective

 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 DTH 645 Nature and Grace

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

Core
-PAS 683Pastoral Counseling 1: Spiritual Helping & Accompaniment

-PAS 511 Mission and Evangelization

-MTH 841 Catholic Social Teaching

-PAS 720 Nurturing the Domestic Church: Fostering Authentic Marriage and Family Life & Spiritualty

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 Master of Arts program at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Beginning Fall 2017,All students are required to take the Comprehensive Examination as their Summative Evaluation. There is a six-year time limit from entry into the program for completion of the degree requirements.* A full description of the Summative Evaluation exercise are available on the Summative Evaluation page.

*Students enrolled in the MAPS program prior to Fall 2017, may complete a thesis, special project, or comprehensive exam.

Graduate Certificate in Youth and Young Adult Ministry

Would you like to:

  • Help young people have a more meaningful, dynamic, and authentic relationship with their Catholic faith?
  • Empower teens and young adults to apply their faith to the emotional, relational, and spiritual challenges they face?
  • Be a more effective youth/young adult minister or pursue a career in youth/young adult or campus ministry?

If so, the Holy Apostles College & Seminary Graduate Certificate in Youth and Young Adult Ministry can help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to make a difference in the lives of tends and young adults. This fully online, 15 credit certificate program will enable you to:

  • Understand the unique challenges today’s teens and young adults face.
  • Develop the pastoral counseling/coaching skills you need to support teens and young adults apply their faith to common personal and spiritual struggles.
  • Feel confident responding to the questions teens and young adults have about faith, life, and relationships.
  • Develop programs that can help provide a faithful community of support for adolescents and young adults.
  • Enter the MA in Pastoral Studies/Youth & Young Adult Ministry program with advanced standing.

Course of Study

  • PAS 683 Pastoral Counseling I: Spiritual Helping and Accompaniment
  • PAS 607 Contemporary Youth Culture
  • APO 512 Apologetics
  • PAS 785 Pastoral Issues Concerning Human Sexuality
  • PAS 631 Theology of Social Media

Admission Requirements

  • Please follow the Admissions Requirements for the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies.

Graduate Professional Certificate in Catholic Pastoral Counseling For Mental Health Professionals

Become a Certified Catholic Pastoral Counselor (CCPC)

Thirty-Four percent of Catholics in the US would prefer to receive counseling from a therapist who was knowledgeable about their faith and knew how to employ faith-based techniques in their clinical work. That’s almost 25 million potential consumers of mental health services whose needs are not being met by available community and church-based mental health resources.

If you are a faithful, practicing Catholic who is also either a professional psychologist, clinical social worker, counselor, marriage and family therapist or other state-licensed mental health professional, the Holy Apostles Graduate Certificate in Catholic Pastoral Counseling can help you meet this growing, unmet need for Catholic-integrated mental health services.

The Graduate Professional Certificate in Catholic Pastoral Counseling is an 18 credit, fully online, professional certificate program that will enable you to:

  • Confidently evaluate the spiritual dimensions of emotional, behavioral,  and relational problems.
  • Diagnose spiritual disorders and develop interventions that foster healthy spiritual and faith  development.
  • Develop effective, empirically-valid, faith-based interventions for emotional, behavioral, and  relational problems.
  • Employ Catholic-integrated mental health interventions in an ethical, systematic, and professional manner.
  • Identify as a Certified Catholic Pastoral Counselor (CCPC).
  • Enter the MA in Pastoral Studies/Pastoral Counseling with advanced standing.

Course of Study

  • PAS 683 Pastoral Counseling I: Spiritual Helping and Accompaniment
  • PAS 684 Pastoral Counseling II: Pastoral Diagnosis and Intervention
  • PAS 791 Morals and Psychology
  • PAS 785 Pastoral Issues with Human Sexuality
  • PAS 720 Nurturing the Domestic Church: Facilitating Authentic Marriage & Family Spirituality
  • PAS 621 Pastoral Care of Marriage and the Family

Additional Admission Requirements

  • An applicant must possess at least a master’s degree in a mental health field.
  • An applicant must possess at least an entry-level license to practice in a mental health field.
  • An applicant must be a Catholic in good standing as determined by a letter of recommendation from his or her pastor or a Catholic priest.

HACS MAPS Graduates Now on Fast-track to Become Board Certified Life Coaches

Life Coaching is a rapidly growing sector of the human services industry. Holy Apostles College and Seminary is pleased to announce that graduates of the Master of Pastoral Studies program are now eligible for a fast-track process to becoming Board Certified Coaches through the Center for Credentialing and Education, an affiliate of the National Board for Certified Counselors that certifies over 25,000 professionals globally in a variety of fields

Life Coaches are helping professionals dedicated to teaching people the skills they need to attain their personal, relational, or even spiritual goals.  Like personal trainers, who help clients achieve greater physical strength and well-being through targeted exercise strategies, Professional Life Coaches teach clients exercises that build emotional, interpersonal and character strength.

According to Success Magazine, the International Coaching Federation (the largest trade association for Professional Life Coaches) estimates that “about 41,300 active professional coaches worldwide generated nearly $2 billion in annual revenue. In North America, about 14,060 coaches earned some $707 million.”  Unlike licensed counselors and psychologists, Professional Life Coaches do not diagnose or treat mental or emotional disorders, but rather teach skills, design development training programs, and provide professional support to help clients clarify, set, and achieve personal, professional, and relationship goals.

Dr. Greg Popcak, HACS MAPS Program Director said, “Today, Life Coaches are stepping in to do a great deal of the work that pastors, marriage and family life ministers, youth ministry professionals, bereavement ministers, and other pastoral care workers have done in the past; supporting people in becoming a better, more grace-filled versions of themselves. We want graduates who pursue this path to see themselves as the soul of the life coaching profession.  I’m excited that HACS MAPS grads are being prepared to enter this field equipped with both the timeless wisdom of our Catholic faith and the knowledge of the ‘science of accompaniment’ that the coaching profession provides.  Whether they serve the Church or their local communities, MAPS graduates who become Board Certified Life Coaches will be well-prepared to facilitate the growth and development of the whole person.”

Board Certification for Life Coaches usually requires 120 hours of training in an accredited coach training program as well as 30 hours of professional supervision.  Under CCE rules, because of the nature of the MAPS degree, graduates of the program would be eligible for Board Certification with only 30 hours of coach-specific training besides completing the supervision requirement.

Dr. Popcak concluded, “Part of the mission of HACS is to train faithful leaders who are capable of being missionary disciples in the Church and in the world.  This new opportunity is just one more way HACS is helping learners fulfill their mission to be salt and light.”


X