Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) degree program is designed to educate students for active ministry in the Church. It provides intellectual formation of the highest caliber in a wide range of subjects from Scripture and Theology to specialized ministries such as parish administration, prison chaplaincy, and pastoral leadership.

While the JDI’s courses have been specifically tailored to the guidance in the USCCB’s National Directory, the MAPS program is open to all those preparing to serve the Church as deacons, lay ministers and educators. The MAPS curriculum helps students develop a true ministerial professionalism, and supports them in completing a Master’s thesis or pastoral project.

MAPS Degree Requirements

36 total credit hours in courses offered by the JDI or accepted as equivalent by the Academic Dean. Within these 36 credit hours, each student must earn:

  • 8 credit hours in Scripture (BI course codes);
  • 8 credit hours in Theology (including at least one course in Moral Theology (MO course codes), one in Pastoral Theology (PA course codes), and one in Doctrinal Theology (DO course codes));
  • 6 credit hours in the Master’s thesis-writing process (Capstone Writing Seminar, Summer Pro-seminar workshop, and Thesis Direction); and
  • 14 additional elective credits.

The Master’s Thesis-Writing process begins with the Capstone Writing Seminar, where students work in a small group to develop the thesis draft. Once the draft is complete, students will be registered in the Thesis Direction course, where they will work with a thesis director to complete the paper. After a student has completed the Capstone seminar, he or she will be expected to make a presentation of their work as part of the Summer Pro-seminar. Since the Capstone Writing Seminar is usually in the Spring, the finishing process may look like this:

Spring term:                Capstone Writing Seminar

Summer Term:            Thesis Direction and the Summer Pro-seminar

Already a Josephinum Diaconate Institute Student

Often, when a student has taken a number of courses with us during time in formation or over a number of years, he or she will want to convert that coursework into a degree. All of the JDI courses, with the exception of a few introductory courses, can be counted for credits in the MAPS program. Deacons, deacons’ wives, lay ministers and educators have often chosen to enter the MAPS program after earning credits. If you would like to inquire about earning the MAPS degree, please click here or contact the academic dean here.

Recent MAPS Degree Recipients

  • Deacon Stephen Hilker, February 19, 2021
  • Deacon Mark Sciullo, February 19, 2021
  • Deacon Michael DeRois, April 9, 2021