Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

MA in Pastoral Studies - Online Curriculum

Loyola University Chicago's Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) offers courses leading toward the M.A. in Pastoral Studies via online distance-learning. Students can take all or part of the 36-hour master's degree program through online courses.

Founded in 1964, IPS is one of the first and most prestigious education-for-ministry programs in the nation. It is one of the few university-based programs that offers an online curriculum identical to its on-campus courses. Students are able to take as many as three courses online each semester. The courses are also available for non-degree seeking student. While students can complete the entire degree completely online, students always have the option of also taking courses in Chicago, if they so choose.  These on-campus courses are offered daytime and evenings during the week, on weekends, and through intensive courses during the summer.

The structured online curriculum, designed to provide a solid first-degree experience in education for ministry, includes courses in scripture, pastoral theology, and ministerial skills, with possible concentrations in Church Management, Healthcare Ministries, and Religious Education. For more information on any of these concentrations, click here.  Required courses for the Masters in Pastoral Studies degree include:

  • IPS 570 Introduction to Theology and Ministry
  • IPS 402 Church and Its Mission
  • IPS 417 The Literature of Ancient Israel
  • IPS 416 Christian Origins: An Exploration of the New Testament
  • IPS 530 Christian Doctrine and Its History: Grace, Christ and the Spirit
  • IPS 541 Liturgy and the Christian Sacraments
  • IPS 553 Christian Moral Theology and Ethics
  • IPS 555 Human Person and Psychological Development