The Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.)
The Licentiate program, which is the second cycle of theological studies, is a two-year program of specialized study in Systematic Theology. At the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, the Licentiate program concentrates on one of the following areas: on the study of the Doctrine of God, Christology, Theological Anthropology, Theological Method, and Sacramental/Liturgical Theology (on the last area see Appendix Five, p. 42). S.T.L. courses presume a foundational understanding of these areas from earlier, S.T.B. level studies and seek to deepen the students' grasp of how the Christian community's understanding of these issues has developed.
Students may pursue the Licentiate as either a transitional or a terminal degree. As a transitional degree, the S.T.L. program introduces students to a more scientific study of theology and prepares them for doctoral studies in theology. The program develops research skills and treats theological questions in greater depth. As a terminal degree, the licentiate prepares students to be teachers and resource persons. A graduate of the S.T.L. program is prepared to teach theology in a college, seminary, or university, to function as a chaplain to various professional groups, and to act as a theological resource for a diocese and diocesan agencies.
The Licentiate program is open to all qualified students. Priority status will be given to those applicants recommended or sponsored by dioceses currently served by the University of St. Mary of the Lake.
REQUIREMENTS FOR ADMISSION TO THE LICENTIATE PROGRAM
1. Applicants must possess the S.T.B. or its equivalent. That is, c. 66 semester hours of Roman Catholic theology (often = an M. Div.) with c. 30 semester hours of philosophy preceding. An equivalent program must have initiated the student in all the major areas of Catholic Theology and in sufficient and appropriate philosophical studies as a prerequisite for Catholic theological studies. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.0 in the areas of Systematic Theology, Sacred Scripture, Ministry and Worship, Christian Life, and Church History. Ordinarily, there should be no grade lower than a B in these areas. Applicants must submit transcripts of all undergraduate and post-college academic work.
2. Applicants must submit an essay on their intellectual interests and reasons for pursuing the degree.
3. Applicants must also submit three letters of recommendation. The letters should include one from one’s pastor and two from former teachers in theology or others who can attest to the candidate’s academic abilities for doing graduate work in theology. The form for application and letters of recommendation may be obtained from the Pontifical President’s office.
4. Applicants must have demonstrated a reading knowledge of Latin and one modern language which can serve theological research. Modern languages include German, French, Spanish, Italian, and Polish. Students fulfill the language requirements by passing an examination given through the office of the President.
THE PROGRAM OF STUDIES FOR THE LICENTIATE
The program of studies for the licentiate consists of course work, the writing of a licentiate thesis, and successful completion of a comprehensive examination in the areas of specialization and concentration.
Building upon the study of the Catholic dogmatic tradition in the S.T.B., the required courses of the S.T.L. curriculum study the areas of Christology, Theological Anthropology, the Doctrine of God, and Theological Method in each historical period. A five-course sequence on the History of Christian Thought examines the development of the Church's understanding of Christology, Theological Anthropology, the Doctrine of God, Theological Method and Liturgical/ Sacramental Theology from the New Testament to 1900. Two courses examine interpretations of these areas in the twentieth century: one course focusing on major figures, both Catholic and Protestant, who had influenced theology by the time of the Second Vatican Council, and the other course exploring movements in theology since 1965. The second year of the program includes a teaching assistantship (see below), which is usually done in the fall quarter, and two one-hour colloquium courses in which students present research in progress on their licentiate projects.
In addition to the current implementation of the teaching requirement for STL students—by which the student is apprenticed to a professor who is teaching a theology course in the seminary curriculum—the teaching requirement may also be fulfilled by a student who presents a series or course of presentations or lectures, containing substantial theological content, in the context of another USML program, parochial catechetical instruction, RCIA programs, parish adult education programs, parish enrichment programs, or the like. The student must submit an outline or syllabus of the series or course to the President of the Pontifical Faculty for approval before the series or course will be accepted as fulfilling the teaching requirement.
CURRICULUM FOR THE STL
All courses are three hours unless otherwise noted, e.g., the courses on History of Christian Thought II and III are six-hour courses. In addition to the required courses, five elective courses are to be taken. The timing of the elective courses is at the student’s discretion.
1. History of Christian Thought I: New Testament - 200
2. Classics of 20th-Century Theology
3. S.T.L. elective
1. History of Christian Thought II: 200-800 (6 hours)
2. S.T.L. elective
1. History of Christian Thought III-A: 800-1500
2. S.T.L. elective [for non-M.Div. candidates]
1. Teaching assistantship
2. History of Christian Thought IV: 1500-1700
3. History of Christian Thought III-B
4. S.T.L. elective
1. History of Christian Thought V: 1700-1900
2. Contemporary Theology
3. Colloquium on S.T.L. project (1 hour)
4. S.T.L. elective
1. Colloquium on S.T.L. project (1 hour)
2. Thesis preparation
3. Preparation for the S.T.L. examination
4. S.T.L. elective [if not taken in spring of the first year--this course may be taken in any quarter of the program]
*(Please note the policy on 2nd year summer-sessions in Appendix Four.)
NOTE ON DISPENSATION FROM M.DIV. REQUIREMENTS
AT MUNDELEIN SEMINARY
In cooperation with the Academic Dean of Mundelein Seminary, certain adjustments are made for students who are completing their M. Div. requirements at the same time that they are beginning their Licentiate studies. All adjustments of requirements for the M. Div. are subject to the discretion of the Academic Dean of Mundelein Seminary.
For further information consult the Academic Dean or the Registrar.
POLICY FOR GRADING AND GPA
Grading policy for licentiate courses is the same as for the S.T.B. program. Students must complete all courses and maintain at least a B (3.0) average throughout the program. Failure in a course or failure to maintain a 3.0 average will be cause for review by the President and the Graduate Board and can be reason for dismissal from the program.
In all written assignments of whatever kind, including examinations, each student is responsible for the integrity of his/her own work. In all written assignments, any dependence on, or use of someone else’s work must be clearly noted and appropriate references given. The recycling of any assignment prepared for another course - either one’s own work, or the work of another - is strictly forbidden. Failure to follow these rules will be considered plagiarism. Any student who plagiarizes---i.e., takes, copies, or otherwise uses without proper acknowledgment the work of another, or recycles assignments from another course, one’s own or another’s---will face dismissal from the Pontifical Program.
THE LICENTIATE THESIS
The second requirement of the S.T.L. program is the writing of a Licentiate thesis. It is to be a major thesis in one of the areas of concentration: Christology, the Doctrine of God, Theological Anthropology, Theological Method, Sacramental / Liturgical Theology, or the Spirituality of Diocesan Priesthood. The topic of the research paper is to be approved by the Graduate Board, and the paper itself is to be approved by a Director.
The Licentiate thesis can be compared to a substantial scholarly article which might appear in a theological journal. Its length is normally about sixty to eighty typewritten pages. The thesis allows the student to demonstrate the ability to do theological research and to present it in a coherent way. Research involves the detailed study of an author or issue through the use of both primary and secondary sources. The research thesis concludes with a personal assessment of the findings.
The schedule for research and writing of the S.T.L. thesis for full-time students may be found in Appendix Two of the latest Bulletin. In the case of special circumstances or part-time students, individual modifications may be made in consultation with the President.
THE LICENTIATE EXAMINATION
Students are examined in the areas of concentration of the S.T.L. program: Christology, the Doctrine of God, Theological Anthropology, Theological Method, and Sacramental / Liturgical Theology. The material for the examination is divided into three sections: (1) New Testament foundations of the Church's understanding of the areas of concentrations; (2) Catholic dogmatic affirmations concerning the areas of concentration; and (3) six selected theologians.
All students are responsible for the New Testament foundations and Catholic dogmatic affirmations in each area of concentration.
In addition, each student will select six theologians, one from each of the following periods: (1) Patristic (100- 800); (2) Medieval (800-1500); (3) Reformation (1500-- 1700); (4) Early Modern (1700-1900); (5) Theologians of the Early 20th Century (active, 1900-1965); and (6) Contemporary Theologians (1965-- ). At least three of the authors selected must be from the Catholic tradition. The student will be responsible for each author's: (1) understanding of a particular area of theological concentration; (2) theological method; and (3) relation to the New Testament foundations and the Catholic dogmatic tradition. For details, see the latest Bulletin, Appendix Three.
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 sections and from any of the authors selected.
Grading. A student passes the S.T.L. comprehensive by earning at least a B (85-92/100) average, based on the average of the grades of each examiner. Passing “with distinction” means each examiner gave a grade of 95/100 or higher. A student fails the exam if one examiner (or, obviously, more) gives a failing grade (0-76/100). Those who fail the examination may retake the exam once. For complete information, see Appendix Three.