Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS)
The University of Saint Mary of the Lake is now offering an online or in-person Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) degree program for both lay students and Deacons. The program is designed for part-time students, offering two evening courses each semester and one course each summer. Three-credit courses are held from 7-9:45 pm and two-credit courses are held from 7-9:10 pm. The course of study for the MAPS degree is a total of 41 credit hours.
This degree helps the University actualize its mission and vision for lay formation in the Catholic Church by providing graduate level theological education in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The program serves, among others, students in preparation for lay ministry in the Archdiocese of Chicago and current pastoral ministers and Deacons seeking to continue their intellectual formation. Also, an online USML MAPS degree program with a rich ministerial formation component is now offered for students who reside outside of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Students are formed in the Catholic tradition so that they are able to evangelize and catechize the community and the culture, interpreting Scripture according to the mind of the Church and with an accurate historical awareness. They learn the sacramental and theological perspectives of the Catholic Church and learn to communicate these perspectives in teaching. The Catholic moral tradition is a particular emphasis so that students are able to respond to questions of ethics.
Students also experience a focused program of human formation which includes input from the social sciences as well as the spiritual sciences. Elements include a psychological evaluation, meetings with the formation adviser, a formation program, and spiritual direction.
Deacons who have completed the Institute for Diaconal Studies program are invited to enroll in the USML MAPS degree program. These Deacons are granted a significant level of advanced standing and a tuition discount.
USML MAPS Course of Study
|Canon Law (2)||Christology (3)||Foundations of Catholic Doctrine (3)||Old Testament (3)||Spiritual Theology (2)|
|Capstone Thesis Project (1)||Church History (3)||Lay Leadership of Prayer (2)||Pastoral Care (2)|
|Catholic Social Teaching (2)||Ecclesiology (3)||Moral Theology (3)||Pastoral Research Methods (1)|
|Christian Anthropology (3)||Field Placement (2)||New Testament (3)||Sacramental Theology (3)|
The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies program is accepting applications for the 2023-2024 academic year. To apply please submit a complete application form, three recommendation forms, and the application fee. Deadline: August 15, 2023.
For students who are seeking to apply for the MAPS program but do not have a bachelor’s degree, please complete the Petition for Prior Learning Assessment prior to the MAPS application. It’s helpful to use a worksheet for preparing the petition.
If you are simultaneously applying to the MAPS program at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, please note the following:
- The recommendation forms for both the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formation Program and the MAPS Degree are the same. You need only complete the recommendation forms for the MAPS degree.
- Only one application fee of $75 is required.
Director-Level Certification, Renewal of Certification, and Ministerial Practicum
Please refer to the Certification web page for detailed information.
Students who feel called to becoming certified as a chaplain either in the Catholic faith or on a national level can do so by following the guidelines on the following web pages:
- Certification as a professional chaplain: Association of Professional Chaplains
- Certification as a Catholic chaplain: National Association of Catholic Chaplains
A MAPS Handbook is provided to all participants as a way of communicating the various elements of the process and expectations of the Institute for Pastoral Leadership for all participants. All participants are required to read the Handbook and commit to the expectations contained therein.
Academic Information and Forms
Spiritual Direction Information