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Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies

Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies
(48 credit-hours)

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) degree is intended for those who wish to prepare for ministerial leadership in the Church, those with some ministerial experience, and those who want to improve effectiveness in their current ministries. Each student’s background and experience is considered in creating a meaningful course of study. The program combines theological study, a focus on developing pastoral skills, and the integration of these two areas. Students beginning the MAPS program may petition to receive advanced standing for previous work. Non-credit ministerial training and years of ministerial experience may also qualify toward advanced standing or toward “credit for non-credit.” This is determined based on transcript evaluation, an interview with the director of the program, and the approval of the Academic Dean.

Download the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies Program Manual

Distance Learning Option

The MAPS degree program can be completed in a distance learning format. Through online, blended, and summer courses students are able to earn their degree with minimal on-site requirements. For more information about online learning at CTU, visit the Click to Connect Online Resource Center.


Students can use elective credits to focus their studies in an area such as Biblical Studies, Inter-Cultural Studies and Ministry, Hispanic Ministry, Pastoral Studies, Liturgical Studies, Spirituality, or World Mission.


  • All applicants for the MAPS program should have an undergraduate degree or its equivalent.
  • It is also recommended that applicants have three consecutive years of ministry experience in a situation of responsibility, leadership, and continuous involvement, such as a parish catechetical leader, liturgical coordinator, youth minister, or RCIA director. If an applicant does not have ministry experience, it can be built into their MAPS degree program.
Course of StudyCredit-hours
Foundational and Introductory Requirements: 
Foundations: Theology and Practice of Ministry2
Foundations: Religious Experience in Context2
Introduction to Old Testament2
Introduction to New Testament2
Total Hours8
Area Requirements: 
Christology (or Christology and Culture)3
Ecclesiology and Mariology3
Introduction to Moral Theology3
Sacraments I or Sacraments II3
Bible Elective - Old Testament
(Prereq: Intro. to Old Testament)
Bible Elective - New Testament
(Prereq: Intro. to New Testament)
Trinity and Mission: The God of Jesus Christ3
Lay Leadership of Prayer and Preaching
(Prereq: Sacraments I or II)
Total Hours24
MAPS Program Requirements 
Ministry Practicum (one semester supervised ministry, CPE, summer immersion experience, or previous ministry experience)2
Total Hours4
Total Degree Hours48

This course of study reflects the standard M.A.P.S. degree. Students should discuss their course of study with the program director and their academic advisor to tailor it to their individual goals.

Additional Program Requirements

  • The following three non-credit workshops are required prior to registration for Ministry Practicum: Virtus Training, Issues in Human Sexuality, and Professional Standards.
  • Students must complete a Ministry Practicum, that may involve a semester of supervised ministry, CPE, a summer immersion experience, or credit for previous ministry experience.
  • Students must complete the Capstone Paper or Project.
  • Participation in appropriate spiritual formation program.

Degree-Specific Admissions Requirements

In addition to meeting the general admission requirements, applicants for the MAPS program should have:

  1. Three letters of recommendation from persons who can attest to the applicant’s character and suitability for graduate study and ministry. Letters of recommendation should be sent directly to the Admissions Office. Note: Applicants from participating religious communities need to provide a letter from the community affirming their support to pursue this degree.
  2. Official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended by the applicant. Transcripts are to be sent by the Registrars of these schools directly to the Admissions Office.
  3. Undergraduate background in theology and/or philosophy is recommended, but not required.  Students without an undergraduate degree must take the 14310 MAPS Colloquium course to receive extra attention and skills development as they begin their study.


For more information contact:

Office of Recruitment
Tel: 773.371.5433
E-mail: or
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