Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies

Curriculum Overview

Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies

Curriculum Planning Worksheet for MAPS

This traditional curriculum, designed to provide a solid first-degree experience in education for ministry includes courses in scripture, pastoral theology, and ministerial skills, as well as numerous concentrations, including one in Healthcare Ministries. This MA in Pastoral Studies forms the basis for the MDiv degree. Students have the option at any point during their degree program or upon completion of their degree program to apply for the MDiv degree, and all of these courses will count toward their MDiv degree.

36 semester credit hours: 12 course

  • 8 core theology courses—24 credit hours
  • 3 elective ministry area courses—9 credit hours
  • Contextual education courses -3 credit hours

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Intellectual Development

Intellectual development seeks to expand the pastoral minister's understanding and appreciation of faith. It consists in theological studies, and draws also upon a wide range of other disciplines: philosophy, the arts, psychology, sociology, culture, and language studies.

Ministerial Development

Ministerial development cultivates the knowledge, attitudes and skills that directly pertain to effective functioning in the ministry setting, or to the pastoral administration that supports direct ministry and draws also upon a wide range of other disciplines: counseling, medical ethics, business administration, leadership, organizational development, and law.

Three courses—9 hours

Chosen from course offerings to address elements in pastoral ministry competencies in areas such as:

  • Promoting or organizing action on behalf of justice
  • Youth ministry
  • Pastoral presence and care for the sick and the dying
  • Parish ministry
  • Health ministries

Contextual Development

The contextual development is where the ministry student brings together all four developmental aspects of the degree program. It is the place to integrate the theological, ministerial, personal and spiritual learnings of this degree in the context of the lived everyday ministry setting. Here, in a structured program that combines on-site mentoring and supervision located in actual ministry practice with peer and faculty weekly reflection sessions, the student achieves and realizes that sense of professional and personal competency as minister.

These field learning settings can be directly related to the student's present work situation or can be selected from placements IPS has cultivated. Because of the ability to operate in a blended and on-line teaching manner, these placements can be located in the resource rich area of Chicago or other settings around the nation or the world.

  • IPS 578 Contextual Ed Preparation
  • IPS 579 Contextual Ed Introduction
  • IPS 580 Contextual Education (3 Hours)
    Contextual Education is the experience during the student's ministerial education that directly engages pastoral practice in the context of ministerial studies. Simultaneously, the student refines pastoral skills, ministerial theology and vocational identity. Contextual Education consists of 10-15 hours per week of ministry at a site, reflection with a site supervisor and as well as a weekly peer reflection seminar on campus. In the weekly seminar students review learning contracts, prepare and reflect on pastoral events, and exercise peer evaluations.

Human Development

Human development seeks to enhance the pastoral minister's human qualities and character, fostering a healthy and well-balanced personality, for the sake of both human growth and ministerial service.

Spiritual Development

Spiritual development aims to arouse and animate true hunger for holiness, desire for union with God through Christ in the Spirit, daily growing love of God and neighbor in life and ministry, and the practices of prayer and spirituality that foster these attitudes and dispositions.

Integration Project

Students complete the program with IPS 593, the zero-credit Integration Project, in their final year.