The Catholic University of America
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Pursuing an M.A. in Church History

The goal of the M.A. in Church History is to prepare students for careers in religious education and for advanced study on the doctoral level. Students in the M.A. program are expected to think critically about the ways in which the Church has been studied over the centuries. In order to do this effectively, students are expected to acquire training in the original languages and to conduct their research in the primary texts. The program allows for students to complete coursework in related fields and disciplines.


  • Students should have earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and completed coursework in religious studies, theology, and history.
  • Additional preparation in these areas may be undertaken during the course of study.



You must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours, which include the following:

  • TRS 622 Ancient and Medieval Church History.
  • TRS 621C Church History from the High Middle Ages to the Present.
  • TRS 724 The Writing of Church History.
  • Two (2) seminar courses in which research papers are required and for which at least a grade of B is received. At least one of these seminars must be in the Church History academic area.



  • M.A. students must demonstrate reading competence in both French and German by the end of the second semester of coursework.
  • Competency in 1 additional language may be required depending upon the student’s area of concentration (e.g. Greek or Latin for early and Medieval church history). This is to be determined either by passing an examination administered by the Department of Greek and Latin or by receiving a grade of B or better in an approved language course in the Department of Greek and Latin.

Comprehensive Examinations

ThumbChurch history students are required to pass two written comprehensive examinations. One (four-hour) examination will be in the major area of concentration, and one (four-hour) examination will test the student's general knowledge of historiography from 100AD to the present, including Early, Medieval, Renaissance, Early Modern, and American Church History. The examinations will be prepared under the direction of the student's advisor and the Church History academic area.


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Contact Information

For more information about the M.A. in Church History, contact the area director, Dr. Susan Wessel at or 202-319-6423.