Theological Degrees

The Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception offers M.A., S.T.B., and S.T.L. degrees in Theology and, through the Thomistic Institute, an M.A., S.T.L, and Doctorate (S.T.D) in Thomistic Studies

Photo credit:  Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP

Photo credit: Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP

Masters of Arts In Thomistic Studies

The M.A. (Thomistic Studies) is a degree program offered by the Thomistic Institute of the PFIC, which specializes in the study of the theological synthesis of St. Thomas Aquinas. This 36 credit program is designed to be taken over four consecutive summers, with the possibility of a fifth summer for thesis development and defense. Students receive an intensive formation in Aquinas’s texts and ideas, and classical Thomistic thought is presented in the areas of systematic and moral theology. The course of studies also considers modern topics, highlighting the relevance of Thomistic studies for contemporary theological discourse. The degree prepares students for advanced study in the area of Thomistic thought and theology.

Licentiate in Sacred Theology In Thomistic Studies

The Thomistic Institute grants the Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) in Thomistic Studies. The S.T.L. degree includes the composition of a License thesis that prepares directly for the composition of an ecclesiastical doctorate. The program consists principally of graduate seminars. It seeks to initiate students to the study of Thomistic thought on several fronts, each of which can become the basis for thesis research:

  • Major Themes in Classical Thomistic Philosophy, Dogmatic and Moral Theology

  • The Modern Thomistic Tradition within the context of Post-Enlightenment Theology

  • The Study of Aquinas in Historical Context

  • Historical Methods for the Study of Medieval Theology

The S.T.L. is the universally required degree for advancement to doctoral studies in an ecclesiastical faculty and is a canonical degree required for professors who will teach in ecclesiastical faculties, such as any major seminary. The program requires that students have previously obtained a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.).

Doctorate in Sacred Theology In Thomistic Studies

The Doctorate in Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) is a specialized degree program in Thomistic studies. It offers a terminal degree (the ecclesiastical doctorate) that is granted by the authority and in the name and Holy See. Candidates may specialize either in the domain of Thomistic systematic theology or Thomistic moral theology.

The program consists of two parts. First, the candidate must complete a specialized S.T.L. program consisting of 36 credits, a tesina, and a lectio coram. This program has specific course content that is historical and systematic in kind, and which is ordered toward doctoral research in Thomistic theology. This stage normally takes two years to complete. Second, the candidate must complete the official proposal, research and composition of the doctoral thesis, which are subject in various stages to both internal and external examination.

For more details on these academic programs, and for information on how to apply, visit the PFIC webpage, or contact us.