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TAPS Curriculum

The Master of Arts in Theological and Pastoral Studies degree requires 36 credit hours of graduate work. Coursework is generally offered in a traditional semester format. Fall and spring courses are offered in the late afternoons and evenings, following the regular academic calendar. Courses offered during the summer are structured in an intensive format designed to meet the needs of working adults. At least once a semester students meet with an advisor and evaluate the goals they set at the time of their assessment in the areas of academic course work, pastoral skill development and spiritual growth.

Course of Study

Core Requirements (19 credits) Credit Hours

TPS 610 Foundations of Theology - 3 Credit Hours
TPS 641 Christian Scriptures - 3 Credit Hours
TPS 642 Hebrew Scriptures - 3 Credit Hours
TPS 643 Pastoral Care and Counseling I - 3 Credit Hours
TPS 644 Liturgy and Sacraments - 3 Credit Hours
TPS 700 Final Integration Project - 3 Credit Hours

Specialization Core Requirements (6 credits)
TPS 654 Ministry and Spirituality - 3 Credit Hours
TPS 655 Pastoral Care and Counseling II - 3 Credit Hours

Dedicated Electives (9 credits)
Theology - 3 credits of the following:
TPS 661 Christology 3- 3 Credit Hours
TPS 662 Christian Anthropology - 3 Credit Hours
TPS 663 Ecclesiology - 3 Credit Hours

History - 3 credits of the following:
TPS 670 Church History - 3 Credit Hours
TPS 671 History of the Ecumenical Movement - 3 Credit Hours

Ethics - 3 credits of the following:
TPS 680 Social Justice - 3 Credit Hours
TPS 681 Moral Theology - 3 Credit Hours

General Electives - 3 credits

Audit Sheet

TPS Audit Sheet

Course Descriptions

TPS 610 Foundations of Theology (3 Credits)
This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the academic study of theology, as well as to the discipline of theological reflection.The course serves as an orientation to the TPS program, acquainting its students with the program's philosophy, content and methodology, and with its academic resources.This course also provides students with a solid academic foundation upon which to build as they pursue a graduate degree in Theological and Pastoral Studies. Topics covered include the following areas: theological method, scripture and tradition, Revelation, Christian Anthropology, Christology, ecclesiology and sacramental theology.The course provides students with exposure to the primary writings as well as to secondary interpretations of a number of key contemporary theologians.

TPS 641 The Christian Scriptures (3 Credits)
This course introduces the student to the study of the Christian Scriptures. It addresses the nature of revelation, inspiration and hermeneutics. Students are given an overview of the Christian Scriptures and of the methodologies used to approach the scriptures.

TPS 642 The Hebrew Scriptures (3 Credits)
This course deals with the texts and contexts of the Hebrew Scriptures. It will employ methods of contemporary biblical scholarship to trace the origins and development of biblical writings from the events through the oral tradition to their final written form in the Bible.

TPS 643 Pastoral Care & Counseling I (3 Credits)
The course work enables students to identify, articulate, and explore pastoral issues. Class sessions are devoted to identifying, developing, and practicing pastoral counseling skills in a supervised setting.

TPS 644 Liturgy and Sacraments (3 Credits)
Students will study the liturgical act, ritual and symbol and their communal context. The theology of sacraments will include their historical understandings and development as well as current questions reflecting issues in various cultural contexts.

TPS 654 Ministry and Spirituality (3 Credits)
This course will explore how the primary responsibilities of the minister are inextricably tied to the minister's spiritual life, namely her/his struggle to live in the light of the Gospel. It will trace the history of spirituality that underlies contemporary ministry in the church through a discussion of the following themes: scripture, journeying, contemplation and lectio divina, asceticism, mysticism, solitude and community, friendship and Eucharist.

TPS 655 Pastoral Care & Counseling II (3 Credits)
The purpose of this course is the formation of ministerial identity, the practice of theological reflection and the acquisition of specific ministerial skills related to the focus of the practicum. It involves a ministerial/learning contract, a mentor, supervision and regular seminars. It may be taken any time after the second summer session.

TPS 661 Christology (3 Credits)
This theological study of the person, mission and ministry of Jesus will begin with testimony of the Christian scriptures and continue throughout the historical developments that shaped the classical formulations of Jesus' identity and the Church's faith. Contemporary thought from liberationist, feminist, and global perspectives will also be included. Throughout the course the implications for ministry will be sought.

TPS 662 Christian Anthropology (3 Credits)
This course is directed to a study of what it means to be human: the relationship of human beings to God, to the world, and to one another; the problems of evil and suffering and the foundations of hope offered by Christian faith in this context; and the fundamental issues of creation, sin, and grace.

MM 663 Ecclesiology (3 Credits)
A study of the theology of church, or ecclesiology, will lay the foundation for a deeper understanding of the origins and nature of the church and its mission in today's world.

TPS 670 Church History (3 Credits)
This is a graduate level survey course that will introduce students to the major religious, cultural, and political figures and events that have shaped the history of Christianity. The course will provide students with an overview of the history of Christianity from the origins of the church through the present day.

TPS 680 Social Justice (3 Credits)
Social Justice will introduce students to the theology and practice of social justice, primarily through the lens of Catholic social teachings.Learning in the course will focus on foundational theological issues such as scriptural and natural law sources of authority, the contribution of the social sciences to social justice solutions, and the principles of Catholic social teaching.

TPS 681 Moral Theology (3 Credits)
This course examines the moral framework of Christian life, its constitutive elements and various approaches. Church teaching, norms and guidelines along with current issues and questions will be presented. Applications to the ministerial context will be emphasized.

TPS 688 Special Topics (1-3 Credits)
Special topic workshops will be offered to non-matriculating students seeking enrichment and/or professional updating opportunities as well as graduate students who wish to focus on a special area.

TPS 700 Final Integration Project (3 Credits)
This practicum involves the design and implementation of a project which meets a ministerial need in a particular setting. The project is to make a contribution to the community and reflect the integration of the knowledge and skills acquired in the course of the TPS program. Class meetings will address theology of ministry and the practice of theological reflection. When completed the project and its written report must give evidence of a level of proficiency that meets the requirement and competencies of the TPS Program.