The Catholic University of America

Master of Arts in Church History

The following requirements are in addition to those outlined for obtaining a civil degree


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.

Course Requirements

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

Ancient and Medieval Church History (TRS 628)
From Avignon to Vatican II (TRS 621C)
The Writing of Church History (TRS 620A)
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.

Language Requirements

Students must demonstrate reading knowledge of French or German by passing an examination administered by the Church History area, or by receiving a grade of B or better in Theological German (TRS 501).

Competency in one additional language may be required depending upon the student’s area of concentration (e.g. Greek or Latin for early and Medieval church history), 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

The comprehensive examination consists of two general examinations covering the period from 100AD to the present, as well as a major examination in the student's area of concentration.

Two of the core Church History courses listed above, TRS 628 and TRS 621C, may be taken to fulfill the requirements for the general examinations.

The major examination in the area of concentration will be prepared under the direction of the student’s adviser.