The Catholic University of America

Master of Arts in Catechetics

The Master of Arts in Catechetics introduces the student to scholarship and research in the areas of religious education and catechesis, with a special emphasis on liturgical catechesis. The degree program prepares the student for advanced and doctoral studies as well as for teaching and administrating in programs of religious education on all levels. The program is designed to give the student a solid academic foundation in the discipline while offering the opportunity for elective courses to further vocational aims.

In addition to the general and specific requirements for obtaining a civil degree, the Program in Catechetics requires the following:


Beyond the requirements for admission to the School of Theology and Religious Studies, the following are additionally required:

  • An appropriate bachelor's degree that includes at least twelve credit hours of undergraduate or graduate religious studies and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above. These should include courses in biblical, sacramental or liturgical, historical-systematic, and moral theology. Upon review of the candidate's previous studies, certain prerequisite courses may be required.
  • Up to six graduate credit hours from other accredited institutions at a grade level of 3.0 or above may be applied to course requirements for the master's degree upon recommendation from the academic area director and the approval of the Dean of Graduate Studies in the School of Theology and Religious Studies.
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons able to evaluate an applicant's ability to successfully complete graduate studies
  • A report of scores on the General Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examination. 
  • Students whose native language is not English must meet the university requirements for proficiency in English.

Course Requirements

The Master of Arts degree consists of a minimum of 36 credit hours including either a thesis (6 credit hours) or two major research papers completed in coursework on the 600 or 700 level. Students are to maintain a 3.3 GPA.

  • TRS 751F: Foundations of Catechetics (3 credits)
  • TRS 743A: Liturgical Catechesis (3 credits)
  • TRS 751H: Trinitarian Catechesis and Baptismal Creed (3 credits)
  • TRS 751B or 751C History and Theory of Catechetics I or II (3 credits)
  • TRS 651B: Personality and Religious Development I (3 credits)
  • Scripture (6)
  • Elective courses related to Catechetics; Biblical, Liturgical, Sacramental, Historical-Systematic, or Moral Theology or Spirituality. (6 credit hours).
  • Two major research papers demonstrating an ability to incorporate sources written in Latin and French are to be written in connection with the above listed coursework on the 600 or 700 level, each must be on a topic directly related to the study of Catechetics, or an M.A. thesis (two semesters of directed thesis) which counts as six (6) of the above listed required 36 credits. These papers become part of the student's file.
  • Completion of the Proseminar for master students

Language Requirement

Reading competence in both Latin and French are required by the end of the second semester of course work.

  • Latin: Reading knowledge of Latin must be demonstrated by successful completion of the Latin Proficiency Exam administered by the Department of Greek and Latin or by a course in Patristic or Medieval Latin.  Ordinarily, the Latin requirement should be satisfied during a student's first semester in the program.
  • A Major Modern language: Reading knowledge of French required because of its extensive literature in catechetics.  The student must demonstrate his/her proficiency by passing an examination administered by the Department of Modern Languages.

Comprehensive Exam

The M.A. comprehensive examination is normally taken during the student's last semester of study. It is based on course work and an M.A. reading list. The M.A. comprehensive examination consists of eight questions from which the student answers four.  It takes place on two days for four hours on dates specified by the University academic calendar. The examination is evaluated as one unit on a pass/fail basis.