The M.A. in Applied Pastoral Theology is an intensive ministry preparation program. You’ll learn how to put theology into practice in diverse situations and scenarios, and deepen your spirituality and your commitment to service. The program emphasizes pastoral and spiritual care with a Judeo-Christian interfaith focus. You’ll gain the diverse pastoral, communications and assessment skills needed to develop your own methods of providing pastoral and spiritual care. Students from all faiths and cultures are welcome in this program.
Students drawn to our applied pastoral theology program are interested in careers as chaplains, spiritual life facilitators, educators and other applied theology positions. Graduates may seek positions as chaplains in hospitals, hospice centers, campuses, correction facilities, military bases, retirement centers or corporations. Others are preparing to be spiritual directors, mentors, retreat directors, or spiritual life workshop coordinators. Teaching in high schools, community colleges or adult education programs draws other graduates.
For detailed application instructions, please contact the Office of Admissions.
- Marylhurst University Application for Admission
- Official transcripts from each college or university where a degree was earned
- Minimum GPA for graduate admission is 3.00*
- Student must have conferred bachelor’s degree before starting the program
- Statement of intent
- Recommendations (2)
- Admissions interview with department faculty
* Applicants with a Grade Point Average (GPA) lower than 3.0 are required to take the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and earn a minimum score of 398.
A maximum of 16 transfer credits may be applied toward the degree with department approval. Transfer credits must have a B grade or higher. Students wishing to transfer a class with a grade of pass will be asked to submit substantial evaluation of performance. Eight credits of practicum and the master’s project courses must be taken at Marylhurst.
Program Learning Outcomes
Students completing the M.A. in Applied Pastoral Theology will be able to:
- Listen and respond empathetically.
- Work as a beginning spiritual counselor or spiritual director for individuals.
- Provide pastoral and spiritual care in one or more specific settings.
- Work as a pastoral and spiritual care provider or spiritual care leader of small groups.
- Integrate psychology and theology through use of theological reflection models.
- Assess and refer persons for counseling or therapy when skills beyond one’s own are called for in the situation.
- Utilize intervention strategies.
- Develop strategies for maintaining one’s own physical, intellectual, social and spiritual wellness while providing pastoral and spiritual care for others.
- Empower others to make their own choices and to develop their own plans for a philosophy of life and a personal wellness program.
- Attain personal, spiritual, pastoral and professional maturity.
The department advises that:
- Students should gain ability to converse in and/or read Spanish or the language of people they serve.
- Students should attain a basic knowledge of Greek and/or Hebrew if they intend to teach biblical studies, to preach, to utilize the Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament) testaments extensively in their ministry or are moving toward ordination.
- Students may wish to take an elective that prepares them for a particular pastoral or spiritual care setting, a course required by their tradition, or electives for their ordination tract.
- Students preparing for the M.Div. equivalent or degree and/or for the D.Min. program are advised to take graduate-level courses in scripture.
- Students take specific electives when seeking certification with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, the Association of Professional Chaplains, or the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.
The program is designed to be completed in three years, although students may extend that time with adviser approval.