Catholic Theological Union Learn@CTUCatholics on CallCatholic Common Ground Initiative
Follow CTU on Facebook
CTU Twitter feed
CTU on LinkedIn

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.

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
Request More Information