Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry

The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Pastoral Ministry graduate program at the University of the Incarnate Word is designed to prepare leaders in contemporary ecclesial ministries, especially in Catholic parish ministries, religious education, spirituality and spiritual development, youth ministry and catechetical leadership, or as a mission leader in Catholic healthcare or education.


Student Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a M.A. in Pastoral Ministry will be able to describe and integrate into ministerial practice a theology of revelation as embodied in scripture, tradition and creation, as well as a Catholic theology of God, church, sacraments and ethics. Through rigorous courses with exceptional faculty, students will be able to exercise sound practices of compassionate pastoral care appropriate to their skill levels and training.



The 36-credit hour degree plan encompasses three areas of study: scripture, theology (including the historical, sacramental, liturgical, moral and ecclesial aspects) and ministry, and normally culminates with an individually designed supervised Pastoral Project. Participants may incorporate a second field into their degree plan through other UIW graduate departments, particularly the Dreeben School of Education or the School of Osteopathic Medicine.

The M.A. in Pastoral Ministry can be completed entirely in Spanish due to our collaborative partnership with the Mexican American Catholic College.

M.A. in Pastoral Ministry Concentrations

Through a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry with a concentration in Mission Leadership, students will learn to articulate a vision of Catholic mission appropriate to their ministry setting, while shaping a vision for that setting in working for the mission.

A Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry with a concentration in Parish Leadership will teach students how to identify the theological, pastoral and socio-cultural principals and values underlying the Christian community. Students will also learn how to shape a vision for a parish or other faith community seeking to live out the Gospel together.

The Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry with a concentration in Catechesis and Formation teaches students how to oversee initial and ongoing formation for catechists, as well as how to shape and lead catechetical programs appropriate to the age, culture and other characteristics of those participating.

In the Archdiocese of San Antonio, catechists and Catholic school teachers may be eligible to earn level 2 or 3 certification credit through non-credit participation in Pastoral Institute courses and workshops. Contact Gloria Zapiain at the Mexican American Catholic College (MACC), (210) 734-2620, ext. 202, for further information and requirements.


Admissions Criteria

Find out more about requirements, standards and processes to begin your journey as a student in the Master of Pastoral Ministry program.

Graduate Admission Requirements