The Master of Catechesis degree (MCat) is a professional degree and differs from the MA in Catechetics. The purpose of the MCat is to prepare students to be practitioners in the field of Catechesis rather than researchers in the field of Catechetics. Catechesis prepares students for “handing on” the Christian tradition; Catechetics trains students to research and develop models and theories of Catechesis.
Purpose of the Program
- The Master of Catechesis, a professional degree concentrating on catechesis and the Catholic tradition, is designed for adults intending to or presently serving the Church. Applicants in roles of parish pastoral leadership or teaching positions in catechesis and the new evangelization on the parish or diocesan level, or in parochial schools, and volunteer lay ministers can profit by an in depth examination of the catechetical, liturgical, and theological teachings of the Church. This degree provides a broad background fostering a professional approach to catechesis with an interdisciplinary approach that draws upon theology, scripture, liturgy, spirituality, history of catechetics, and psychology within the context of contemporary culture.
Goals of the Program
- to provide opportunities for students to develop a capacity for critical and constructive theological reflection to enable them to pass it on
- to develop and sharpen skills for designing, implementing, and assessing age-appropriate catechesis programs in a parish context or parochial school
- to provide foundational courses in theology, scripture, personality and religious development, liturgical catechesis, and spirituality
- to provide opportunities to prepare and participate in liturgical prayer and sacramental rites
- to familiarize students with the content of liturgical and catechetical church documents
- to provide a supervised evaluations of one’s present ministry or provide an internship with supervision for those not presently engaged in a catechetical ministry.
- Students will be able to engage in theological reflection in written and oral presentations
- Students will demonstrate an ability to apply catechetical principles by implementing a catechetical project at a local parish or place of ministry
- Students will be able to articulate a basic understanding of the Catholic Theological tradition, scripture, personality and religious development; liturgical and sacramental rites, and Christian spirituality
- Students will be able to articulate the basic content of the general and national catechetical directories
- Students will have opportunities to prepare liturgical experiences for catechetical program at the parish.
- Students must complete 30 semester hours of course work
- Students must maintain a 3.0 or above grade point average
- Students must meet with their academic advisor at least once a semester to discuss the student’s progress in the program
- As part of the ministry supervision or internship, students must design ministry project after 18 credit hours of course work and implement and write up the experience (between 20-25 pages) before completing the degree
- Students will prepare a portfolio
- Graduates of the program will be consulted on their preparedness for ministry
- Information regarding graduates’ ability to find ministerial employment, the number of years graduates continue in ministerial appointments will be sought annually
- 30 semester hours for student’s holding a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 12 credits in theology, liturgy, biblical studies, or related field.
- Required courses or equivalent 3 credit courses:
- TRS 504A Introduction to the Old Testament
- TRS 504 B Introduction to the New Testament
- TRS 630 A Foundations of Christian Moral Life
- TRS 650 Foundations of Liturgy and Sacramental Theology
- TRS 651 Personality and Religious Development
- TRS 751F Foundations in Catechetics
- TRS 756 Pastoral Theology
- TRS 743A Liturgical Catechesis
- TRS 747 Liturgical Spirituality: Christian Ritual and Transformation
- Parish internship over two semesters (6 credits)
- Proseminar for Master students
- Faculty with primary responsibilities in the degree program
- Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies: Mark Morozowich, SEOD
- Catechetics Academic Area Director: Margaret Schreiber, OP, D.Min, STD
- All faculty of the School of Theology and Religious Studies, particularly those who teach the required or prerequisite courses.
Educational Resources and Learning Strategies
- Courses will generally take place on campus
- Internship will take place at a parish in the District of Columbia metropolitan region
- Students in the program will have opportunities for socials, lectures, and liturgical prayer
- A minimum of two academic years
- All degree requirements must be completed within ten years
- An appropriate bachelor's degree with a minimum of 12 credits in theology, liturgy, or biblical studies. The academic area retains the right to require additional prerequisite courses that are deemed necessary for the success of applicants in their program of studies. Six semester hours of graduate level coursework with a grade of 3.0 or above taken at another institution are, with the director's approval, applicable toward the master’s degree.
- Two letters of recommendation from persons able to evaluate an applicant's ability to successfully complete graduate studies
- One letter of recommendation and support of the student beginning a degree program from the prospective student’s pastor, principal, Director of Religious Education, undergraduate professor, or diocesan leader
- Two page double spaced essay by the applicant articulating his or her call to ministerial leadership in the ministry of catechesis.
- A report of scores on the General Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examination.
- Students for whom English is a second language will be required to show proficiency in oral and written English, usually through the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).