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New Completely Online MA in Pastoral Ministries Degree

New Completely Online MA in Pastoral Ministries Degree

SCU Announces Online Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministries

Santa Clara University’s Graduate Programs in Pastoral Ministries will now be offered in a fully online format.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., September 26, 2022 — Santa Clara University’s Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries will begin offering its highly regarded Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministries online starting winter 2023.

Founded in 1983, the Graduate Programs in Pastoral Ministries offers engaging classes from a diverse faculty to provide a strong theological foundation to its students. The program’s international body of students go on to become teachers, campus ministers, hospital or prison chaplains, parish directors of faith formation, community organizers, restorative justice practitioners, and more. 

Students will have the ability to tailor the program to their passions by choosing from the following offerings:

    • MA in Pastoral Ministries 
  • Optional Emphases:
      • Youth & Young Adult Ministries 
      • Latina/o Ministries
      • Restorative Justice & Chaplaincy
  • Online Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice & Chaplaincy
  • Courses for Permanent Deacon candidates
  • Non-degree option to take one or more courses of interest

This long-standing program addresses the changing needs and challenges of our times, and  seeks to transform hearts and lives by preparing its students in solid theological and ministerial groundings to engage and accompany others with competence, conscience, and compassion. 

“Our graduates regularly testify to what a transformative experience this program has been for them personally and in preparation for their diverse ministries,” said GPPM program director Joe Morris. “We are excited to offer this experience to a wider audience by offering our programs as an online option.”  

Communities need ministers who can meet and accompany others with compassion to build relationships that grow resilient individuals, families, and communities and to heal broken relationships. 

The M.A. degree —whether  in person, in a hybrid format, or fully online— will be offered to any post-undergraduate students interested in enhancing their skills as they respond to the call to minister or serve in parishes, churches, hospitals, jails or prisons, colleges and secondary campuses, dioceses, or other locations.

The degree is currently being offered to participants in six dioceses through a hybrid format where students meet in person for three Saturday meetings and online for seven weeknights.  Students from the Diocese of San José meet predominantly in person. 

Now, with the new online offering, students can participate fully online without having any in-person classroom sessions.

“We are so pleased and proud that we can offer our extraordinary pastoral ministries training to an audience much further afield than our own region and its nearby dioceses,” said Daniel Press, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Bringing these classes online is particularly important to advancing the Jesuit, Catholic mission of Santa Clara University.”

The new, fully online M.A. in Pastoral Ministries is part of a larger initiative, SCU Online, which aims to meet demand for programming such as pastoral ministries with online or online/in-person hybrid classes. It also builds on the university’s work during the pandemic to make the online learning experience more personal and interactive.

The fully online format still promises the Jesuit value of cura personalis (care of the whole person) to provide students with a personal experience and hold on to the university’s Jesuit values. Bringing classes online is one way that the program is providing increased flexibility. This online program launch comes just one month after the launch of the Online Graduate Certificate in Restorative Justice and Chaplaincy, and is part of a focus on lifelong faith formation in all course offerings and degree options. 

To learn more visit our website. Scholarships and financial aid assistance are available. Apply now.

About the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries
The Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries at Santa Clara University offers small classes in both face-to-face, online, and blended formats for those pursuing a Master's Degree in Pastoral Ministries. Tailored to students’ ministry goals, the program provides a strong theological foundation to an international body of students. Learn more at

About the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University

The College of Arts and Sciences is the heart of Santa Clara University. Our faculty integrate transformative teaching and innovative scholarship to engage students in the processes of learning, discovery and reflection as members of a community of scholars. For more information, visit


Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications | | 408-554-5121

Joe Morris | Director of Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries |

SCU Online