USML | S.T.L. Program Requirements

Licentiate of Sacred Theology (S.T.L.)

S.T.L. Program Requirements

  • Completion of coursework with maintenance of a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 

  •  Completion of the Schedule of Courses.

History of Christian Thought I: 33-381 (3 cr.)
History of Christian Thought II: 431-763 (3 cr.)
History of Christian Thought III: 800-1500 (3 cr.)
History of Christian Thought IV: 1500-1900 (3 cr.)
History of Christian Thought V: 1900-present (3 cr.)
Theological Research and Method Seminar (2 cr.):
S.T.L. Elective (3cr.)
S.T.L. Elective (3cr.)
S.T.L. Elective (3cr.)
Teaching Assistantship (3cr.) [optional]
Thesis Guidance (2nd semester) (2 cr.)
Thesis Writing (3rd and 4th semesters) (2 cr.)
Ongoing Thesis Writing  (1 cr.)

  • Comprehensive Exam 

i. All students are responsible for the New Testament foundations and Catholic dogmatic affirmations in each area of concentration. 

ii. Students are examined in the areas of concentration of the S.T.L. program: the Doctrine of God, Christology, Theological Anthropology, Sacramental/ Liturgical Theology, or Spirituality of Diocesan Priesthood. 

iii. For this exam, each student will select six theologians, one from each of the following periods: 

Patristic (33 - 381)
Early Middle Ages (431 - 763)
High Middle Ages (800 - 1500)
Reformation and Early Modern (1500 -1900)
Twentieth Century to Vatican II (1900 - 1965)
Contemporary Period (1965 – present)

iv. At least three of the theologians selected must be from the Catholic tradition.  

v. A list of approved theologians can be found below, under the “Required Reading List.” 

vi. Of the six theologians selected, the candidate is responsible for what two theologians write about the Doctrine of God, two about Christology, and two about Theological Anthropology, or for those in the Sacrament / Liturgical Theology concentration, two Sacramental Theologians, or for the Spirituality concentration, two Spiritual Theologians. 

vii. The student has a choice of either a written or an oral examination. The oral examination will last one hour with three examiners. The written examination will last three hours and will be based on three questions chosen from a list of five. Questions may be drawn from any of the three areas of concentration and from any of the authors selected. If a student is unable to take the oral exam on the days scheduled, he or she must take a written exam.  

viii. For those completing the STL program in the summer, the comprehensive exam will be given after the completion of course work, and ordinarily in the written format. 

ix. Grading of Comprehensive Exam: A student passes the S.T.L. comprehensive by earning at least a B (87%) based on the average of the grades given by each examiner. A student passes “with distinction” when each examiner gives a grade of 95-100%. A student fails the exam if any examiner gives a grade lower than 76%. Those who fail the examination may retake the exam once. 

x. Required Reading List


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