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Master of Sacred Theology


The Master of Sacred Theology (MST) is a qualification at Level 9. It enables students to acquire an advanced body of knowledge related to theology. The Master of Sacred Theology qualifies students to engage in advanced scholarly activity and professional work associatied with the field of specialisation chosen. It can be used in fulfilment of the admission requirements for the John Paul II Institute PhD program. The Master of Sacred Theology is offered only with a specialisation in Marriage and Family.

The Master of Sacred Theology, known in ecclesiastical circles as a Licentiate in Sacred Theology, conforms to the requirements specified for ecclesiastical universities and faculties1.

Admission Requirements

Students seeking admission to the Master of Sacred Theology must have completed the equivalent of a Bachelor of Theology or the equivalent of three years full-time study in theology at Level 7 or above. Students must also demonstrate reading mastery of one ancient language from the following list: Latin; Hebrew; Greek (Classical or Koine). They must also demonstrate reading mastery of one other modern European language other than English from the following list: Italian; French; Spanish; German.


A Master of Sacred Theology candidate who chooses to withdraw after attaining at least a passing grade in eight subjects can be awarded a Graduate Diploma in Theological Studies qualification. A Master of Sacred Theology candidate who chooses to withdraw after completing 12 subjects can be awarded a Master of Arts (Theology) qualification. A Master of Sacred Theology graduate may apply for admission to the Institute’s PhD program.


The Master of Sacred Theology degree is equivalent to three years of full-time study and a maximum of eight years of part-time study.

Course Structure

The Master of Sacred Theology degree consists of 16 subjects (48 credit points) with a Level 9 code followed by a 30,000 word thesis (24 credit points), whose topic is approved by the academic board. The final coursework subject will involve the appointment of a supervisor, who will guide the student in preparing a proposal for the thesis. Once the thesis has been submitted and passed, the student is expected to present a public lecture on the thesis topic.

Core Subjects (Compulsory)

JP 9140 Core Texts: Moral Theology
JP 9141 Core Texts: Phenomenology of Love
JP 9142 Core Texts: Theological Anthropology
JP 9143 Core Texts: Nuptial Mystery and Ecclesiology

Other Subjects

Compulsory Subjects:

JP 9125 Theology of the Body
JP 9122 Marriage in the Catholic Tradition
JP 9135 Foundations of Theological Anthropology
JP 9106 The Nuptial Mystery in Contemporary Theological Anthropology
JP 9118 Christ and the Trinity
JP 9515 Grammar of Sacramentality
JP 9123 Theo-dramatics: Foundations of Christian Morality
JP 9107 Eros, Logos and Agape
Elective Subject 1
Elective Subject 2
Elective Subject 3
Thesis Proposal Preparation

Elective Subjects:

JP 9111 Truth, Beauty and Goodness and the Theological Virtues
JP 9772 Redeeming Beauty: Approaches to Sacral Aesthetics
JP 9103 Contemporary Thomisms
JP 9350 Virtue, Ethics and Natural Law
JP 9514 Missiology of the Domestic Church
JP 9117 Love, Freedom and Identity in the Thought of Karol Wojtyła
JP 9116 Cor Novum: Towards a New Theology of the Heart.
JP 9121 Biblical Theology of Marriage and Family
JP 9513 Contemporary Theological Paradigms
JP 9780 Icons and Idols: The Theology of Images
JP 9501 Nietzsche, Heidegger and Post-Modern Philosophy
JP 9675 Theological Issues in the Psychology of Gender, Marriage and Family
JP 9345 End-of-Life Ethics
JP 9244 Beginning-of-Life Ethics
JP 9347 Theology and Practice of Natural Family Planning
JP 9783 Art and the Catholic World View
JP 9782 Sacred Liturgy
JP 9604 The Human Person in the Theology of Benedict XVI
JP 9528 Faith and Reason and the New Evangelisation


1Pope John Paul II Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana Rome, April 29 1979.

More in this category: « Master of Arts (Theology)