USML | Degree Programs and Application

The Liturgical Institute

Degree Programs and Application

The Liturgical Institute offers a variety of options for education in liturgical studies. A unified, rites-based curriculum constitutes the foundation of the program; yet each student’s particular interests may be integrated into course work. Personalized mentoring is provided in view of the student’s ministerial and professional goals. Because the Institute focuses on preparing students for service to the Church, the musical, artistic, and architectural dimensions of worship are given particular emphasis in the curriculum. Students of the Institute participate in the “life of the liturgy” with daily Mass and the communal celebration of Morning and Evening Prayer. The program of studies is enriched by guest lectures, Institute conferences and the Hillenbrand Distinguished Lecture Series.

The Liturgical Institute offers four academic degrees which suit the needs of each student.


Not sure about the different degrees? Click below.

Which Degree is Right for Me?


For detailed descriptions of degree programs and requirements, plesae view the Academic Bulletin of the Liturgical Institute:

2013-2015 Academic Bulletin of the Liturgical Institute (PDF)


Choosing a Degree Program

Which Degree is Right for Me?

 

1. Master of Arts (Liturgical Studies) or MALS: This degree program is designed for those who plan to work at parish, diocesan or secondary education levels. The MALS program is comprised of courses entirely offered through the Liturgical Institute and covers the theoretical and practical aspects of the sacred liturgy in significant detail. It is considered an “academic” degree, and requires a reading knowledge of Latin and one modern foreign language as well as an academic thesis. Completing the MALS keeps open the possibility of further studies at the PhD level.

2. Master of Arts in Liturgy or MAL: This degree program is similar to the MALS, but is considered a terminal “professional” degree rather than an academic degree. To that end, foreign language requirements are waived and students complete a workplace master’s project rather than an academic thesis. The MAL is the degree offered in the five-summer degree sequence.

Because of their detailed coursework in liturgical studies, the M.A.L.S. and the M.A.L. are the degrees recommended for those expecting to work in a parish or diocesan chancery.

3. License in Sacramental Theology or STL: The STL is an ecclesiastical degree accredited by the Congregation for Education of the Holy See and is primarily intended for those who expect to teach at the seminary or college level. It is considered a degree beyond the MA and has been compared to an “ABD” or “all but dissertation” at the doctoral level. Entrance to the STL program requires a Bachelor’s in Sacred Theology (STB) or equivalent (66 semester hours of Roman Catholic Theology and 33 semester hours of Philosophy).
     The STL is offered in systematic theology, with most of the core coursework in the History of Christian Thought provided by the faculty of Mundelein Seminary.  The Liturgical Institute provides a sacramental theology specialization composed of 6 to 7 courses and direction of a thesis. The STL  provides a degree in Theology rather than Liturgical Studies, and as such, students take fewer courses on the practical and theological aspects of the sacred liturgy.


4. Doctorate of Sacred Theology or STD: The STD is an ecclesiastical research degree accredited by the Congregation for Education of the Holy See intended for those who plan to teach at the seminary or university level.

Master of Arts Liturgical Studies

 

The Master of Arts (Liturgical Studies) is an academic degree which provides the graduate with the scholarship to serve as a resource to ministries at diocesan and parochial levels. This degree also qualifies the student to teach in secondary-education programs or for further graduate study at the doctoral level. The program is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.


I. Prerequisites:

1. A bachelor’s degree.

2. At least 18 hours of course work in theology, philosophy or religious studies, though this may be waived or reconsidered if an applicant presents significant pastoral experience.

3. Language competency examinations in Latin and one modern language must be completed before the end of the first quarter of study.

4. Official transcripts from all college and graduate programs attended.

5. 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.

6. A Personal Statement explaining the applicant’s interest in the program and professional or ministerial goals.

II. Course Requirements

The Master of Arts (Liturgical Studies) normally requires four consecutive semesters of study. The first academic year (September to May) is normally spent in residence. Courses may also be taken on a part-time basis. Students complete written and oral comprehensive examinations, language competency examinations and a thesis.

A. Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination will be taken during the student’s sixth quarter. Examination dates are arranged in consultation with the Director, examiners and student. The examinations are designed to enable the student to demonstrate mastery of program material.

 

B. The Master’s Thesis

Students develop a topic in liturgical or sacramental theology, conduct research and write a scholarly essay under the direction of a faculty advisor. The Master’s thesis must be approximately seventy-five pages in length and demonstrate a clear understanding of Catholic sacramental principles and of the Sacred Liturgy. See the Liturgical Institute’s Academic Bulletin for more information.

C. Coursework for the 2012-2013 academic year. (Note: course titles will change for the 2013-2014 academic year as the University transitions to a semester system from a quarter system, but all course content will remain the same).

Three credit courses: 

Christian Initiation

Eucharist: Origins and Structure

Matrimony and Orders

Reconciliation, Anointing, Death

Liturgical Year and Liturgy of the Hours

Sacramentals, Blessings, Devotions

Liturgical Traditions East and West

Liturgical Documentation and Law

Liturgical Art and Architecture

Sources and Methods in Liturgiology

History of Sacramental Theology

Theology and Spirituality of the Liturgy

History and Spirituality of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite

 

Two credit courses:

Sacramental Aesthetics

Music and Worship

Eucharist: Theological Issues

Word of God and Liturgy

The Liturgical Movement

Ritual, Symbol and Worship

Principles of Sacramental Theology

Liturgy and Cultural Adaptation

Liturgical Preparation and Training

Thesis writing

 

Back to Degree Programs

Master of Arts in Liturgy

 

The Master of Arts in Liturgy (MAL) is a professional terminal degree which provides the graduate with theologically informed skills for practical liturgical leadership in a diocesan office, parish, or secondary-education program. This program is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.


I. Prerequisites:

1. A bachelor’s degree.

2. At least 18 hours of course work in theology, philosophy or religious studies, though this may be waived or reconsidered if an applicant presents significant pastoral experience.

3. Official transcripts from all college 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.

 

II. Course Requirements

The Master of Arts in Liturgy can be completed in one of two ways: a student can complete coursework over five consecutive summers or a student can take courses during the academic year, full-time or part-time. The six-week summer session consists of two consecutive units of three weeks each. Four courses will be completed in that time (totaling ten quarter credits). In order to graduate, students must take written and oral comprehensive examinations and complete a supervised project.

A. Comprehensive Examination

The comprehensive examination will normally be taken during the student’s final summer. Examination dates will be arranged in consultation with the Director, the examiners and the student. The examination is designed to enable the student to demonstrate mastery of program material.

B. The Master’s Project

Since the goals of the Institute’s MAL program include providing students with a solid foundation for understanding Catholic liturgy, skill in pastoral practice grounded in the principles of sacramental theology, and to develop facility in providing liturgical education and formation, the program requires a master’s project conducted at the student’s parish or workplace. This project is conceived and designed in conjunction with a faculty advisor and provides an opportunity to integrate classroom learning with actual pastoral circumstances.  See the Liturgical Institute’s Academic Bulletin for more information.

C. Coursework

Three credit courses:

Christian Initiation

Eucharist: Origins and Structure

Matrimony and Orders

Reconciliation, Anointing, Death

Liturgical Year and Liturgy of the Hours

Sacramentals, Blessings, Devotions

Liturgical Traditions East and West

Liturgical Documentationand Law

Liturgical Art and Architecture

Sources and Methods in Liturgiology

History and Spirituality of the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite

 

Two credit courses:

Sacramental Aesthetics

Music and Worship

Eucharist: Theological Issues

Word of God and Liturgy

The Liturgical Movement

Ritual, Symbol and Worship

Principles of Sacramental Theology

Liturgy and Cultural Adaptation

Liturgical Preparation and Training

Project Writing

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

Licentiate of Sacred Theology


The Licentiate of Sacred Theology (STL)  with specialization in Sacramental Theology is a research degree which trains students to teach a wide variety of courses, from adult education to graduate courses. The STL also prepares graduates for scholarly research in the field of sacramental and liturgical theology as well as for teaching in Catholic seminaries, universities, and colleges. As a canonical degree of the Ecclesiastical Faculty of Theology, the STL is accredited by the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See.

 

I. Prerequisites

1. An STB or MDiv  (or equivalent: 66 semester hours of Roman Catholic Theology and 33 semester hours of Philosophy) with a 3.2 academic average in systematic courses and a 3.0 cumulative average.

2. Official transcripts from all college and graduate programs attended.

3. 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.

4. Language competency examinations in Latin and one modern language must be completed before the end of the first quarter of study.

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

 

II. Course Requirements

The STL is structured around a cycle of seven courses that provide in-depth study of the Christian theological tradition from the New Testament to the present. Special attention is given to Christology, Trinitarian Theology, Theological Anthropology, Theological Method, and Sacramental Theology. The specialization in Sacramental Theology requires five additional courses, and a thesis which treats a question in sacramental or liturgical theology. The STL generally requires two years of study. The second year, but not the first, may be completed during summer sessions, meeting from mid-June to mid-July. 

A. Licentiate Examination

The examination covers areas of concentration in the program, including New Testament foundations, Catholic dogmatic tradition and six selected theologians.

B. The S.T.L. Thesis

The licentiate thesis is written in the major area of specialization and may be compared to a substantial scholarly essay, its length normally about seventy-five typewritten pages. See the Liturgical Institute’s Academic Bulletin and the Bulletin of the Ecclesiastical Faculty for more information.

C. Coursework (Note: course titles may change for the 2013-2014 academic year as the University transitions to a semester system from a quarter system, but all course content will remain the same).

History of Christian Thought I

History of Christian Thought II

History of Christian Thought IIIa

History of Christian Thought IIIb

History of Christian Thought IV

Sacramental Thought and Practice in the Twentieth Century

Classics of Twentieth Century Theology

Contemporary Thought

Thesis Writing

Thesis Guidance

Five three-credit electives taken from the Liturgical Institute curriculum.

Doctorate of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.)

Doctor of Sacred Theology


The doctoral program is a two-year program of specialized research in systematic theology. At the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, the doctoral program, like the licentiate, offers concentrations in the doctrine of God, Christology, theological anthropology, theological method, sacramental/liturgical theology and the spirituality of diocesan priesthood.

The Doctoral program ordinarily extends over two years and aims at the completion of the student’s scientific formation especially through the writing of a doctoral dissertation. The program presumes superior achievement at the licentiate level.

The Doctorate in Sacred Theology is the terminal research degree. Its focus is to perfect the skills of the candidate in the study of theology and to develop the research skills necessary for treating theological questions in depth. As a terminal research degree, the doctorate prepares students to be university professors, researchers and expert resource persons.


I. Admission

Currently two candidates are admitted annually. 

Applicants must present evidence of possessing a Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL) and competence in the languages and other research tools needed for their research.

Applicants with an STL degree from another faculty will have their work evaluated to assure that their preparation is substantially equivalent to the University of Saint Mary of the Lake STL degree. In addition to the requirements connected with the dissertation, there may be further requirements (e.g., course work, examination) according to the decision of the dean in consultation with the graduate board (Statuta, Art. 57 b).

 

II. Length of Program

The program is normally two years in duration with at least one year devoted full time to research.

III. Dissertation

 The dissertation must be on an important theological question, selected by the candidate and approved by a professor who is expert in the field with the consent of the Graduate Board.The dissertation must be a specimen of the candidate’s erudition, judgment and knowledge of Catholic doctrine, demonstrating his or her skill in positive and speculative theology and the ability to do scientific investigation which is original and contributes to the advancement of theological knowledge. It must be of sufficient length to constitute a truly scientific study. Normally, the dissertation will be not less than 150 pages or more than 400 pages. Any exceptions must have the approval of the President of the Ecclesiastical Faculty.

It is normally expected that the candidate will write the dissertation in English. With the approval of the director and the President of the Faculty, he or she may write in a language other than English. Currently, the approved languages of the faculty are English, Spanish, Italian, French or German.

Five copies must be submitted to the President of the Ecclesiastical Faculty at least two months before the public defense. The President, in consultation with the Director, will appoint two readers, experts in the field. The dissertation must be approved by the Director and at least one of the two readers.

IV. Public Defense

The candidate must pass an examination on his or her dissertation given by five professors appointed by the dean. Three of these professors will be the director and the two readers. The examination will be public, last at least 90 minutes and include questions ex corona. Successful completion of the examination requires a passing grade from at least four of the five examiners. The Chancellor of the University or his delegate will be invited to preside.

VI. Final Grade

In the case of those simply completing the dissertation, their grade will be based on the dissertation and its defense. In the case of those who earned their S.T.L. elsewhere, if further course work and/or an examination were required by the dean (see above), then the final grade for the students’ work will be based on the grades received in the seminars (¼) and the grades received for the special examination and the public defense (¾).

VII. Publication

The candidate is to consign five copies of the hard bound dissertation to the library. One copy will be sent to the Congregation for Catholic Education. The doctoral candidate publishes the corrected dissertation with University Microfilms (UMI), Ann Arbor, Michigan.

 

General Information for All Programs

Transfer of Credits

Up to 12 quarter hours or 9 semester hours of the M.A. programs’ required courses may be transferred from another institution after satisfactory evaluation of the course work by faculty of the Institute. Up to one full year of S.T.L. credits from another canonical faculty may be accepted at the discretion of the President of the Ecclesiastical Faculty and the Director of the Institute. In the area of sacramental specialization, all courses must, however, be taken at the Liturgical Institute.

 

Entrance Examinations

Applicants to the M.A. programs who have inadequate academic backgrounds in theology or religious studies may be required to pass an entrance examination before admission. Candidates are notified about this requirement by the Institute after submission of application materials. A guided reading list will be provided for entrance examinations.

 

Language Requirements

For the M.A. (Liturgical Studies) and S.T.L programs, liturgical Latin and a reading knowledge of one modern language (French, German, Spanish, Italian, or Polish) is required.  Students will be expected to demonstrate their ability to use these languages for the purpose of research. Language requirements are met by having completed, with a grade of B or better, an intermediate level course within two years previous to application, or by successful completion of a language reading examination at the Institute during the first quarter of study. Latin and Spanish courses are offered on campus and modern languages may be studied at nearby educational institutions. For the M.A. in Liturgy, there are no foreign language requirements.

 

Application

Candidates must complete the official application form in its entirety. The application deadline is May 15 for admission to the summer sessions; July 15 is the deadline for admission to the programs which begin in the fall. Late applications will be considered.

 

Interview

A personal interview with the applicant may be requested by the Institute. For this purpose, overnight lodging and meals are available at the University at no charge.

 

Housing

On-campus housing, including a single room with private bathroom, is available for single students. Telephone service and wireless high-speed internet access are available in each room. A common area with television and full kitchen is also available. The Institute provides information for married students and those who desire off-campus housing.

 

Board

Full meal services are available to on-campus students. Partial meal plans are available to off-campus residents.

 

Fees

Full-time tuition for the 2012-2013 academic year (in residence) costs $17,370.00. Part-time tuition is $579.00 per credit hour. Room and full board cost are $9,264.00 for three quarters. Tuition for the 2013 Summer Session is $5790.00. Room and full board costs are $1602.00. Fees include a one-time $50.00 general fee, and yearly fees: a $150.00 student activity fee, and a $200.00 technology fee. These yearly fees are addressed from September through May. Additional fees apply for the summer programs.

  

Financial Aid

Students in the Liturgical Institute are eligible for all government and private student aid programs. The Institute may also provide grants from the Hillenbrand Scholarship Fund upon request. For the S.T.L., full scholarships are available on a limited basis for priests of mission dioceses. Opportunities for on-campus work may be available.

 

Health Insurance

All students are required to have health insurance. Students without health insurance may purchase annual coverage through the University’s group plan. All students should provide proof of insurance.

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