USML | Master of Arts Liturgical Studies

Degree Programs and Application

Master of Arts Liturgical Studies


The Master of Arts (Liturgical Studies) is an academic degree which provides the graduate with the scholarship to serve as a resource to ministries at diocesan and parochial levels. This degree also qualifies the student to teach in secondary-education programs or for further graduate study at the doctoral level. The program is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

I. Prerequisites:

1. A bachelor’s degree.

2. At least 18 hours of course work in theology, philosophy or religious studies, though this may be waived or reconsidered if an applicant presents significant pastoral experience.

3. Language competency examinations in Latin and one modern language must be completed before the end of the first quarter of study.

4. Official transcripts from all college and graduate programs attended.

5. Three letters of recommendation: from a pastor or religious superior; from a professor or academic instructor, preferably in theology or a related field; from an employer or supervisor in ministry.

6. A Personal Statement explaining the applicant’s interest in the program and professional or ministerial goals.

II. Course Requirements

The Master of Arts (Liturgical Studies) normally requires four consecutive semesters of study. The first academic year (September to May) is normally spent in residence. Courses may also be taken on a part-time basis. Students complete written and oral comprehensive examinations, language competency examinations and a thesis.

A. Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination will be taken during the student’s sixth quarter. Examination dates are arranged in consultation with the Director, examiners and student. The examinations are designed to enable the student to demonstrate mastery of program material.


B. The Master’s Thesis

Students develop a topic in liturgical or sacramental theology, conduct research and write a scholarly essay under the direction of a faculty advisor. The Master’s thesis must be approximately seventy-five pages in length and demonstrate a clear understanding of Catholic sacramental principles and of the Sacred Liturgy. See the Liturgical Institute’s Academic Bulletin for more information.

C. Coursework for the 2012-2013 academic year. (Note: course titles will change for the 2013-2014 academic year as the University transitions to a semester system from a quarter system, but all course content will remain the same).

Three credit courses: 

Christian Initiation

Eucharist: Origins and Structure

Matrimony and Orders

Reconciliation, Anointing, Death

Liturgical Year and Liturgy of the Hours

Sacramentals, Blessings, Devotions

Liturgical Traditions East and West

Liturgical Documentation and Law

Liturgical Art and Architecture

Sources and Methods in Liturgiology

History of Sacramental Theology

Theology and Spirituality of the Liturgy

History and Spirituality of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite


Two credit courses:

Sacramental Aesthetics

Music and Worship

Eucharist: Theological Issues

Word of God and Liturgy

The Liturgical Movement

Ritual, Symbol and Worship

Principles of Sacramental Theology

Liturgy and Cultural Adaptation

Liturgical Preparation and Training

Thesis writing


Back to Degree Programs

To see this video you need to upgrade to the latest HTML5 compatible browser or download Adobe Flash Player.