Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

MA in Pastoral Studies - General & Four Concentrations

Available Online

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) degree program prepares students for ministerial service in a variety of contexts. Embracing four areas of development—human, spiritual, intellectual, and ministerial—the program guides students in the development of their own pastoral identity through an integrated exploration of theology and pastoral practice.

Through graduate coursework, focused contextual experiences, and an integration project, students explore and work to develop those personal qualities necessary for faithful service, spiritual practices grounded in God's Trinitarian life, theological knowledge and intellectual skills, and the pastoral abilities appropriate to their gifts and ministerial context. The MAPS degree at the Institute of Pastoral Studies offers students a systematic and broad foundation for a variety of ministries and the tools necessary to engage critically and constructively the challenges and opportunities of our contemporary context.

Courses are available online, in person at Loyola's downtown Chicago campus, or in Rome, Italy. Students who enroll in the master's degree can study under the general MAPS program or focus their studies in one of four areas of concentration: church management, digital communication, health care chaplaincy, and  religious education.

In addition, for the MAPS concentration in Healthcare Chaplaincy: 

  • An understanding and personal integration of methods of pastoral care appropriate to the healthcare setting, supported by a conceptual foundation of theology and ethics.
  • A readiness to complete successfully the process for certification as a Board Certified Chaplain (BCC) with The National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC).

In addition, for the MAPS concentration in Religious Education:

  • The ability to administer religious education programs in a variety of contexts and engage, catechize, and educate groups of all types.

In addition, for the MAPS concentration in Church Management: 

  • The ability to engage in general business operations related to budgeting, project management, human resources, marketing, and organizational development and change.

In addition, for the MAPS concentration in Digital Communications:

  • An understanding and integration of best practices in communications using digital media into their ministerial context and work.

Related Links

To learn more about the master's degree in pastoral studies, please visit our request for information form or attend an online information session.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice program at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC, 20001, (202) 887-6791.

The US Department of Education requires any institution offering distance education/online programs to students outside of its home state to acquire authorization from the states in which students reside. Regulations vary from state to state. While Loyola University Chicago is authorized, exempt or pursuing authorization in most states, some restrictions apply. Please see our State Authorization page for the most up-to-date information.