Master of Arts in Liturgy (MAL)

The Master of Arts in Liturgy (MAL) program at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake (USML) allows you to delve deeper into the theoretical and practical aspects of sacred liturgy, including changes in liturgical practices, understanding Catholic law and theology, and more. Students will gain extensive knowledge of Church reforms and changes throughout time. The program also focuses on the dedicated liturgy of the church, the beauty and tradition of the church, and understanding the grace of rituals, art, and architecture.

This specialized degree program is carefully crafted for individuals passionate about serving in a parish or diocesan church. It is a terminal professional degree that provides a distinctive path for your career; in other words, this path does not allow you to pursue a PhD. If you aspire to pursue a PhD, we also offer the Master of Arts in Liturgical Studies (MALS) program.

Who Benefits from the MAL Program?

  • Priests and those who plan to work at the parish, diocesan, or secondary education levels
  • Director of Worship
  • People who specialize in religious art, architecture, music, and book publishing

Course Work

There are two ways that you can complete this program.

1. You can take classes over three years in the fall and spring and come to the summer campus for one week, fostering community and spiritual growth.

2. Five summers – six weeks each summer, no fall or spring classes. They are designed to work separately. However, you can take courses online if you can’t stay the entire six weeks.

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.


  • A bachelor’s degree.
  • At least 18 hours of theology, philosophy, or religious studies coursework (Provisional acceptance may be granted upon request for applicants without these prerequisites)
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate programs attended
  • 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