Be prepared to serve the diverse pastoral needs of the Church through the University
of Dallas Master of Pastoral Ministry.
The faculty has challenged, stretched, nourished, informed and developed my faith
in a very personal way. They have been very interested in assisting my individual
faith and ministerial journey.
-Anna Marie Synder, '14
The master's degree and graduate certificate in pastoral ministry are designed to
equip those who wish to serve in parishes, dioceses or other ministerial settings
with in-depth theological knowledge and effective pastoral skills. The MPM program
offers several concentrations, each with a unique curriculum. Students select a concentration
for study and practice in a defined field of ministry.
Master of Pastoral Ministry Degree Requirements
The Master of Pastoral Ministry program consists of 37 credit hours. Students combine
the ministry core curriculum (22 credit hours) with degree-specific courses (9 credit
hours) and elective courses (6 credit hours). The core curriculum includes a capstone
project in which students have the opportunity to integrate their knowledge with pastoral
practice within a dynamic ministerial context, accompanied by a seasoned practitioner.
Additionally, students complete an annotated bibliography.
The following courses are required for all of the MPM degrees, except the Church Management
- RPS 6010. 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 entre 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 churchits
ministry and spiritualitythrough 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.
The core classes are supplemented with electives & degree- specific courses, depending
on the concentration selected. For more details on the courses required for each concentration,
we invite you to learn more about our pastoral ministry concentrations:
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.
Master of Pastoral Ministry Concentrations
Campus Ministry Concentration
The Campus Ministry concentration prepares those interested in working with young
adults faced with the challenges of high school and college life, as well as the often
accompanying questions about faith, values and vocation. Pastoral skills are developed
through course work, field education and a capstone project.
Church Management Concentration
The Church Management concentration is especially helpful for present or future parish
business administrators and diocesan business managers who desire a greater foundation
in theology and ministerial practice, as well as for priests, deacons and pastoral
associates who wish to strengthen their administrative and leadership skills.
Through field education and electives, this concentration provides ministers with
theological, pastoral, financial, and managerial skills crucial for the efficient
operation of churches and schools.
Health Care Ministry Concentration
Prepare for ministry in health care facilities through a combination of theology and
pastoral ministry courses with on site Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at accredited CPE programs in regional hospitals like Harris Medical Center in Fort
Worth or Children's Medical Center of Dallas. This program contributes to the student's
ability to meet the certification standards of the National Association of Catholic
Youth Ministry Concentration
The youth ministry concentration provides the preparation needed to address the spiritual
growth of youth in a parish or school setting. Pastoral skills are developed through
course work, field education and a capstone project.
Executive Youth Ministry Cohort
Join an exclusive, online cohort of leaders in youth ministry from across the nation.
Become powerfully equipped to stand with, by and for young people in today's rapidly
evolving culture as you plumb the depths of the Catholic faith and strengthen your
experience in pastoral ministry for the young church.
Additional MPM concentrations may be designed with the consultation and express prior
written approval of the student's advisor and the dean.
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