Loyola University Chicago

The Graduate School


At Loyola University Chicago, theology is the disciplined study of the Christian faith. It serves the Church through its fidelity to the Christian tradition and the world by affirming all that harmonizes with the Gospel and by challenging all that does not.

The Department of Theology offers two post-baccalaureate degrees: an MA or a PhD.

The doctoral program in theology at Loyola is ideal for you if you envision a career primarily in teaching and scholarly research at an advanced level.

Students may choose from two specializations:


  • Integrative Studies in Ethics and Theology - The Integrative Studies in Ethics and Theology specialization rethinks the riches of the Christian theological tradition to meet the intellectual, societal, and ethical challenges of the 21st century. In their studies and research, students give particular attention to the ways in which Christian theology and ethics interrelate and mutually inform one another. Students in the ISET program are admitted with a primary focus in either Ethics or Theology as a disciplinary locus from which to approach this integration. 
  • New Testament and Early Christianity - The New Testament and Early Christianity specialization concentrates on the Christian Church in the period of its emergence: approximately 200 B.C.E. to 200 C.E. Students explore the Church’s roots in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Septuagint, Intertestamental Judaism, and contemporary Jewish and Greco-Roman history and culture. 

Once you complete your coursework, you’ll have an opportunity to take a two-semester non-credit course in Theological and Religious Studies Pedagogy, and serve as a teaching assistant.

The MA degree program is appropriate for you if you are seeking either a terminal degree or a degree that will prepare you for a doctoral program.

All MA students must pass a four-hour comprehensive examination. No thesis is required. MA students choose between the following concentrations: 


  • Theological Studies
  • Biblical Languages and Literature
  • Christian Ethics
  • Biblical Studies

Students may add an Education minor to the MA degree. This option provides excellent training for those who hope to teach theology in Catholic high schools.

In cooperation with Loyola’s Women’s and Gender Studies program, we also offer a joint MA in Theological Studies and MA in Women’s and Gender Studies.

The degree offers part- and full-time enrollment

Average time to completion (PhD)

•  Full time: 6 years
• Part time: 6+ years

Average time to completion (MA)

• Full time: 2 years
• Part time: 3–4 years

The Department of Theology has a truly enviable placement record, with more than ninety percent of our doctoral students finding employment in field-appropriate positions. Students secure academic and administrative positions at institutions of higher education and seminaries as well as consulting positions with well-known organizations. They also receive fellowships for further study, both in the United States and abroad.

Career services are available—learn more at LUC.edu/career.

Few graduate programs will offer you so many opportunities to work closely with such a well-published and nationally known faculty. With more than 20 full-time graduate faculty members, you’ll receive outstanding, personalized attention. The program also emphasizes collaborative and interdisciplinary study and has conveniently scheduled courses.

You are encouraged to take advantage of the academic resources at the University through departments such as Classical Studies, Philosophy, Psychology, History, and Sociology, or through professional schools and institutes at Loyola, such as the Institute of Pastoral Studies, the Law School, the Medical School, and the School of Social Work.

Members of the theology faculty at Loyola University Chicago often explore and publish in areas other than their primary research interest or particular discipline. Faculty members also present at conferences and serve on the boards of national organizations, such as the Catholic Theology Society of America, the Catholic Biblical Association of America, and the Society of Christian Ethics.

Begin the financial aid process by completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov.

The Graduate School has limited funds available for financial assistance. Financial aid from Loyola’s Financial Aid Office will not impact your ability to apply for financial aid through the Graduate School. To learn more about these financial aid opportunities, visit LUC.edu/finaid/graduateschool

Learn more about faculty, curriculum, and how to apply.