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Founded in 1983, the Graduate Programs in Pastoral Ministries offers small classes in both face-to-face and online blended formats tailored to our students’ ministry goals. The programs provide a strong theological foundation to an international body of students.

The Master of Arts degree in Pastoral Ministries is currently being offered in seven dioceses in California.

Santa Clara University is pleased to offer an online blended Master's Degree in Pastoral Ministries in the Dioceses of Monterey, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Sacramento alongside the predominantly face-to-face program on campus in the Diocese of San JoséThe Diocese of San Diego and the Diocese of Oakland offer the MA in Pastoral Ministries with an emphasis in Restorative Justice and Chaplaincy. The courses are taught through a combination of face-to-face, video conferencing and online experiences. We believe that training in ministry is a personal journey that must involve personal interactions. All courses, therefore, provide live video conferencing with the professor and other students, but also at least three all-day classes held face-to-face at the diocesan sites by the professor.

Classes in adjacent dioceses are offered on staggered weekends when possible to allow students some flexibility in completing their curriculum more quickly by taking courses outside their cohort. To increase flexibility for students, we have also begun to offer a limited number of hybrid courses based on the Santa Clara University campus (one per quarter).

Delivery of Classes

Classes are delivered in three modes in the Graduate Programs in Pastoral Ministries.

  • First, classes are offered in the traditional face-to-face classroom experience. Students meet once a week in the evening for ten weeks in an assigned classroom.
  • Second, classes are offered in a blended format. On three Saturdays during the ten weeks of the course, students meet for an all day session in the traditional face-to-face classroom experience. For the remaining seven weeks, the students meet with the professor online in a live session (synchronous video conferencing) once a week. These courses take place in the individual homes or other chosen location of the participants.
  • Third, any class may be taken fully in the synchronous video conferencing mode with the approval of the program Director. This option is open only to students who cannot attend a traditional face-to-face classroom session. In this case, the student may join the traditional face-to-face class through synchronous video conferencing as well as the weekly sychronous video conferencing for those courses that are offered in the blended format.


  1. You go to class.
  2. You go to class and talk with the professor and other students on your computer.
  3. You participate in class by talking to the professor and other students on your computer.

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