Master of Arts in Liturgy (MAL)

This degree program is similar to the MALS in that it is designed for those who plan to work in a parish or diocesan chancery, but is considered a terminal, professional degree rather than an academic degree. To that end, foreign languages and a thesis are not required. Students complete written and oral exams at the end of their curriculum. It may be completed online over two academic years, on campus over five summers, or on a part-time basis.

Learning Outcomes

Students earning the MA in Liturgy will be able:

  1. to demonstrate advanced familiarity with Catholic teaching on the sacred liturgy, especially in articulating
    •  how the central elements of Catholic teaching and practice (lex credendi) are rooted in and related to the liturgical and sacramental traditions of the Church (lex orandi)
    • an understanding of the development and diversity of the Church’s liturgical history and tradition through a close reading and interpretation of the primary literary sources for liturgiology
    •  an integrated understanding of the canonical, pastoral, theological, historical, and spiritual dimensions underlying the current rites of the Catholic Church
    • the value of approaching liturgical studies from a sacramental perspective
  2. to advance the renewal of the Sacred Liturgy by fostering authentic liturgical participation and formation rooted in the ideals of the twentieth-century liturgical movement, the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the writings of recent popes, and the achievements of the post-Vatican II era.
  3. to demonstrate an appreciation for the musical, artistic, ritual, and architectural dimensions of worship and how liturgical beauty contributes to the goals of the New Evangelization.
  4. to demonstrate theologically-informed skills necessary for practical liturgical leadership and the ability to make decisions about pastoral practice rooted in the principles of sacramental theology.


1. A bachelor’s degree.

2. At least 18 hours of course work in theology, philosophy or religious studies. Provisional acceptance may be granted upon request for applicants without these prerequisites.

3. Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate programs attended.

4. 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.

5. A personal statement explaining the applicant’s interest in the program and professional or ministerial goals.

6. Students for whom English is a second language must demonstrate research and writing ability in English. A minimum TOEFL score of 550 is required for admission.

Course Requirements

The Master of Arts in Liturgy can be completed in one of three ways:

  • online full-time during four consecutive semesters in two academic years;
  • on campus over five consecutive summers;
  • on a part-time basis.

The six-week summer session consists of two consecutive units of three weeks each. Four courses will be completed in that time. In order to graduate, students must successfully complete written and oral comprehensive examinations.

The comprehensive examination, comprised of written and oral sections, is normally taken during the student’s final semester. Examination dates will be arranged in consultation with the Liturgical Institute Director and the student. The examination is designed to enable the student to demonstrate mastery of program material.


Academic Year/Online

Sacraments of Initiation Liturgical Year and Liturgy of the Hours Art, Architecture and Aesthetics Ritual, Symbol & Music
Sacraments of Healing Sacramentals, Blessings, Devotions Sources, Principles and Methods Liturgical Preparation and Training
Sacraments of Vocation Liturgical Traditions East and West Word of God and Liturgy Project Guidance
Eucharist: Origins, Structure and Controversies Liturgical Documentation and Law The Liturgical Movement Project Writing

Summers Only

Christian Initiation Sacramentals, Blessings, Devotions Sacramental Aesthetics Word of God and Liturgy Project Guidance
Reconciliation, Anointing, Death Liturgical Traditions East and West Principles of Sacramental Theology The Liturgical Movement Project Writing
Matrimony and Orders Liturgical Documentation and Law Ritual, Symbol and Worship Liturgy and Cultural Adaptation
Eucharist: Origins and Structure Liturgical Art and Architecture Music and Worship Liturgical Participation
Liturgical Year and Liturgy of the Hours Sources and Methods in Liturgiology Eucharist: Theological Issues Liturgical Preparation and Training