Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

MA in Pastoral Studies

The program in Pastoral Studies embraces four areas of development—intellectual, ministerial, human, and spiritual. 

MA IN PASTORAL STUDIES
The program provides a uniquely systematic and in-depth education in pastoral ministry. It provides a broad and deep foundation in religious thought and lays the groundwork for an effective and well-informed pastoral practice.


MA IN PASTORAL STUDIES WITH A CONCENTRATION IN CHURCH MANAGEMENT
The optional concentration in Church Management is designed to equip lay church leaders with skills in administration, accounting, marketing, organizational development, and human resources.


CERTIFICATE PROGRAM IN CHURCH MANAGEMENT
The certificate is ideal for those looking for foundational knowledge in church management. The program can be completed in approximately one year (full-time), with five courses from the Institute of Pastoral Studies and Quinlan School of Business.


MA IN PASTORAL STUDIES WITH A CONCENTRATION IN DIGITAL COMMUNICATION
The optional concentration in Digital Communication is designed to equip lay church leaders with skills in marketing, communication, digital media, and digital story-telling. The curriculum includes courses from the Institute of Pastoral Studies and the School of Communication, as well as a final integration project.


MA IN PASTORAL STUDIES WITH A CONCENTRATION IN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
The optional concentration in Religious Education is designed to equip lay church leaders with skills in religious education, catechetic, evangelization, and enculturation. The curriculum includes contextual education and a final integration project. The program is designed specifically for those who would be the director of religious education at a parish/church.


MA IN PASTORAL STUDIES WITH A CONCENTRATION IN HEALTH CARE CHAPLAINCY
The optional concentration in health care chaplaincy is designed to equip lay ministers with the skills to become certified chaplains with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. Students might also become certified by other agencies. The curriculum includes four units of Clinical Pastoral Education and a final integration project designed to help you prepare for Board Certification.

The degree offers full- and part-time enrollment

  • Average time to completion (full time): 2 years
  • Average time to completion (part time): 4 years
  • The program can be completed completely online, completely onsite, or a hybrid of both.

The MA in Pastoral Studies includes a common core of classes. Beyond your core classes, you can choose from concentrations in health care chaplaincy, youth ministry, digital communication, or religious education. You can also opt for a general track that will prepare you for ecclesial or entrepreneurial ministries.

You will complete a 3-credit Contextual Education placement as well as a capstone integration project that synthesizes your learnings. You can also complete 1 unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) for your Contextual Education.
If you choose the Health Care Chaplaincy concentration, you’ll also take four units of Clinical Pastoral Education in lieu of Contextual Education, and complete a specific health care integration project designed to help you prepare for the Board Certification process.

Once you complete your studies, you will have built a strong resume for a career in a variety of settings such as youth ministry, campus ministry, retreat work, digital media and ministry, urban ministry, social justice work, religious education, and health care chaplaincy work. Recent graduates are in careers in a variety of churches, schools, and hospitals.
Career services are available—learn more at LUC.edu/career.

IPS continues the centuries-old Catholic and Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, a personal and community approach to education, and social relevance.
The MAPS program allows you to complete your degree fully online, onsite, or a mixture of both.
The MAPS Health Care Chaplaincy concentration is designed to help students meet the competencies for Board Certification with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.

  • Study abroad: We encourage you to widen your pastoral experience with an international immersion. Study abroad is open to full- and part-time students; courses in Rome are scheduled for every summer.
  • Student organizations include: As an IPS student, you are welcome to participate in the IPS Student Engagement Committee.

Our faculty members are respected leaders in their fields, and they integrate research and practical experiences into the classroom. Their interests include health care ethics, moral theology, ecclesiology, spirituality, Catholic social teaching, pastoral care, and theological approaches to economics.
MAPS faculty work with organizations such as the Catholic Health Association, the National Association of Catholic Chaplains, the Association of Professional Chaplains, the Society of Christian Ethics, the Journal of Moral Theology, the National Institutes of Health, the American Academy of Religion, the Karl Rahner Society, and the Catholic Theological Society of America.

Begin the financial aid process by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.ed.gov.
IPS has limited funds available for financial assistance. Options include merit-based scholarships, need-based grants, sponsored
matching grants, Mission Grants, Loyola University Campus Ministry Assistantship, the Chicago Archdiocesan Lay Ecclesial Ministry Program, and/or graduate student worker positions at IPS. Learn more at LUC.edu/ips/admission/finaid.

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