Master of Catechetical Ministry

Inspire the next generation with the knowledge of Christ through the University of Dallas Master of Catechetical Ministry. 

I am constantly uplifted by how well the faculty integrates theology with pastoral realities. What I am learning is opening my eyes to the bigger reality of our faith while still resonating deeply with my own experience. 

-Lauren White, '16

Catechesis encompasses both evangelization and ongoing faith formation, both of which are integral to the Christian life and pertinent to any element of ministry. The master's degree and graduate certificate in catechetical ministry are specifically designed for those who would like to serve as directors of adult formation, parish catechetical leaders or directors of children's formation, directors of RCIA, Catholic school teachers or administrators.

The program combines theological and pastoral knowledge with practical application of catechetical principles and methods. Every student in the Catechetical Ministry program takes a set of core courses and courses focused specifically on the principles of religious education.

Master of Catechetical Ministry Degree Requirements 

Master of catechetical ministry students combine the ministry core curriculum (22 credit hours) with degree-specific course requirements (15 credit hours) to complete 37 total credit hours of course work. Additionally, students complete an annotated bibliography to help solidify and demonstrate their understanding of the theological knowledge appropriate to professional catechetical ministry.

Core Curriculum Courses

  • RPS 6110. Graduate Pro-Seminar. Required of all first-year students, this non-credit course is an introduction to the fields and methods of theological study for ministerial formation. Registration and active participation in all sessions constitute completion of the requirement.
  • RPS 6311. Liturgy and Sacraments. This course offers a critical survey of the history, theology, and liturgical celebration of the sacraments according to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, with special attention given to the role of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.).
  • RPS 6312. Moral Theology. A critical survey of fundamental moral theology, this course includes the distinctiveness of Christian morality, conscience formation, natural law, moral norms, and decision-making. It provides an entrée into special moral theology, which includes bioethics, environmental ethics, healthcare ethics, sexual ethics, and social ethics.
  • RPS 6313. Systematic Theology. This course engages students in structured reflection on the Christian communal experience of faith and how that faith is understood, expressed, and lived out in the Catholic tradition. It invites dialogue among students and with the formative elements of Catholic tradition to consider theological method (i.e., How do we do this work properly?), doctrinal clarity (i.e., What does our formative tradition teach?) and pastoral practice (i.e., How do theology and pastoral realities influence one another?). Topics of special focus include revelation and faith, God, the Trinity, Christology, Christian anthropology, and the theology of the church, including Mary and the saints.
  • RPS 6314. Church History. The focus of this course is on the development of an understanding of the church—its ministry and spirituality—through the early, medieval, Reformation, modern, and contemporary eras. In particular, primary councils, movements, and church figures are considered.
  • RPS 6320. Theological Reflection. Forming a basis of spirituality for ministers, theological reflection is a discipline designed to recognize God's activity within the context of ministry. Systematic reflection on students' spiritual journey and experiences enter into dialogue with scripture, church history, church teaching, current pastoral needs, and the lived faith experience of the people of God.
  • RPS 6321. Old Testament. This course surveys the theologies of the Old Testament in light of their historical, social, and cultural setting, with application of those theologies to contemporary ministerial and practical contexts.
  • RPS 6322. New Testament. Students survey the theologies of the New Testament in light of their historical, social, and cultural setting, with application of those theologies to modern ministerial and practical contexts.

Principles of Religious Education Courses 

  • RPS 6330. Ministry in the Church. This course explores the contemporary phenomenon of ministry in the Catholic Church from the angles of theology and pastoral practice. Theological exploration focuses on biblical visions of ministry, the history of ministry in the church, and its doctrinal underpinnings and implications, especially in ecclesiology. Pastoral consideration reflects on attitudes, knowledge, and skills necessary for effective pastoral ministry in today's church. Integrating these perspectives, the course includes discussion of issues related to the contemporary ministerial scene and critical ecclesial documents on ministry formation
  • RPS 6331. Pastoral Administration and Management. This course explores the purpose and function of a parish in the life of the church, and the role of pastoral administration within it. Students consider the theology and experience of parish life and reflect on many of the key ministries necessary for its success, including ministries of Word, worship, service and community building. Pastoral skills for planning, leadership, administration of temporal goods, communication, and managing relationships are among topics considered.
  • RPS 6336. Catechetics and the Development of Faith. This course introduces the history, theology, and practice of catechesis. This includes the methods, content, and curriculum of contemporary catechesis, with particular focus on age-appropriateness and faith and its maturation in people.
  • RPS 6338. Models of Catechesis. This survey of emerging models and approaches to catechesis includes conversation and mutual learning about approaches across the lifespan to assist those preparing for or already bearing this responsibility. Particular attention will be given to the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.) as a model for the catechetical journey, adult catechesis, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, family catechesis, intercultural catechesis, small Christian communities, and youth and young adult catechesis.
  • RPS 7380. Catechetical Ministry Capstone. Students take this course in their final semester. It provides an opportunity for them to integrate previous coursework and reading with the knowledge and skills required to address particular pastoral tasks effectively. The capstone usually is taken for three credit hours, often with seasoned ministerial practitioners providing onsite supervision. Capstone projects require detailed applications and written approval by School of Ministry faculty supervisors several months prior to registration. 

Annotated Bibliography

An annotated bibliography of texts related to the core curriculum is a graduation requirement for all master’s level programs. The goal of the annotated bibliography is to help students solidify and demonstrate their understanding of the basic theological knowledge appropriate to professional competency for pastoral leadership. An annotated bibliography consists of the formal bibliographic entry for a text and should then be followed by description of the thesis, argumentation, and significance of the work. Bibliographies consist of twenty-five works approved by a designated faculty adviser. Fifteen works have already been selected by the faculty of the Neuhoff School of Ministry to represent the core courses of the graduate degree programs. The remaining texts are to be selected by the student with the approval of their faculty adviser.

Access the Annotated Bibliography List.


Mentoring 

The MCM program also incorporates a mentoring process in which students are paired with professional ministers who provide additional support, encouragement and practical knowledge that augments and extends the classroom experience.

University of Dallas Master of Catechetical Ministry

Fully Accredited. Ready to Serve.

University of Dallas Neuhoff School of Ministry undergraduate and graduate programs are fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and in accordance with the USCCB's standards for certification and accreditation.  

SACS

The University of Dallas is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. degrees.

USCCB

The graduate programs and undergraduate degree, in content and form, are designed to ensure that successful students will be prepared to enter the ministerial workforce having met the standards set by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Commission on Certification and Accreditation, and the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers.

The master's in pastoral ministry - youth ministry program is specifically designed to educate leaders based on the U.S. Catholic Bishops' pastoral plan, "Renewing the Vision - A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry." It also correlates with the national competency-based standards for certification as developed by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry in conjunction with the USCCB.

Memberships

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