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Master of Arts (M.A.)

Master of Arts (M.A.)


The Jesuit School of Theology offers the Masters of Arts (M.A.) degree in cooperation with the Graduate Theological Union (GTU). The Master of Arts (Common M.A.) is a two-year program leading to an academic degree in theology. The program provides ecumenical and interreligious learning opportunities, and students have access to courses offered throughout the consortium, as well as many courses at UC Berkeley. The GTU Common M.A. student is required to affiliate with a member school. Students select a specific academic field or Area of Study as the focus of their M.A. work.

The primary academic base for the M.A. student is the school of affiliation, chosen according to the applicants study interests and/or denominational ties. The Common M.A. student affiliates with JST and chooses a JST faculty advisor appropriate for their intended program of study. The Common M.A. is an exciting opportunity to explore theology and religion in response to the challenges posed by contemporary cultures. Our students seek to understand the issues and hope to make a difference with their pursuits.

Degree Objective

The purpose of the program is to provide a basic understanding of theological or religious studies for further graduate study or for general academic purposes.

Admissions Requirements

Navigate to the Master of Arts (M.A.) admissions page for more details about applying to this program. Unlike with other JST programs, when applicants apply to the Common M.A. program they apply to the Graduate Theological Union for admission. The M.A. admissions page directs applicants to the GTU admissions page.


  1. Applicants to the Common M.A. program must have completed a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution by the time they intend to enroll in the program.

Degree Requirements

  1. Course work. The Common M.A. is a two-year degree program requiring a total of fourteen 3-unit academic courses plus six units of thesis work.
  2. Language Requirement. All M.A. students are required to demonstrate proficiency in at least one modern foreign language early in the second year of residence. Non-native speakers of English may, with permission, certify English as their second language.

Credit Distribution for Coursework

Master of Arts students affiliated with the Jesuit School who are in continuing registration status may take a maximum of six units of course work each semester. Continuing registration students normally should not take courses in the semester they defend their thesis.

COURSE 1: Biblical Studies               COURSE 9: Elective      

COURSE 2: History                            COURSE 10: Elective

COURSE 3: Theology                         COURSE 11: Elective

COURSE 4: Ethics                              COURSE 12: Elective

COURSE 5: Area Course                    COURSE 13: Elective

COURSE 6: Area Course                    COURSE 14: Elective

COURSE 7: Area Course (4000)         COURSE 15: Thesis Writing

COURSE 8: Area Course (4000)         COURSE 16: Thesis Writing

*Students must take at least two courses outside of the Member School of Affiliation. (For graduates Spring 2011 and beyond.)

M.A. Areas of Concentration at JST

  • Art and Religion
  • Biblical Studies
  • Christian Spirituality
  • Cultural and Historical Studies of Religion
  • Liturgical Studies
  • Systematic and Philosophical Theology