Theology - Pastoral Theology

St Patricks Pontifical University Maynooth

Theology - Pastoral Theology

At this level, ministers are enabled to take significant responsibility for the work of individuals and groups, and for leading and initiating mission-focused activity in a wide (and sometimes unpredictable) variety of professional levels and contexts. Students develop new skills to a high level, including novel and emerging approaches in professional ministry, especially within the areas of leadership in public prayer, pastoral care and spiritual accompaniment, and building and strengthening community. Students learn complex and advanced skills to teach in diverse settings, provide effective catechetical and faith formation, and exercise responsible stewardship of parish personnel and resources.

This level allows students to develop a critical awareness of current issues of pastoral concern informed by scholarship from the forefront of pertinent fields of theological learning, and a systematic understanding of theological knowledge as it relates to his/her experiences in life and ministry practice. Each student completes an MTh dissertation that presents a rigorous, in-depth, and critical examination of a particular pastoral area or issue situated at the interface of academic theology and contemporary ministry. In doing so, the student acquires a mastery in specialised techniques of reflection and enquiry, and methods of research, forming an ability to scrutinise and reflect on the changing ministerial landscape, articulate an informed pastoral response, while seeking to contribute to transforming ministerial practice leading to growth or change.

This MTh programme further enables students to:

examine existing procedural approaches and exercise appropriate judgment in complex planning, leading groups, and managing resources;
learn to self-evaluate and take responsibility for forming a habit of reflective practice for ministry and for continuing academic and professional development;
express a comprehensive, internalised, personal worldview, achieving self-awareness and critical reflection as these relate to pastoral ministry;
engage in critical dialogue and face the demands of making collaborative ministry work;
exercise initiative and independent thought, to interact intelligently, empathically, ethically, and professionally within their ministerial context;
differentiate appropriate ministerial approaches to formulate pastoral responses to complex situations in pastoral contexts, and act to change them.

Subjects taught

Year One
Pastoral Practice 30 Credits
PT 430: Pastoral Practice

Prayer Leadership. 10 Credits
PT 431: Prayer Leadership

Caring and Spiritual Accompaniment. 10 Credits
PT 432: Caring and Spiritual Accompaniment in Community

Theology and Pastoral Ministry. 10 Credits
PT 434: Theology and Pastoral Ministry

Organisational Leadership in Ministry Contexts. 5 Credits
PT 435: Organisational Leadership in Ministry Contexts

Healthcare Chaplaincy: Ministry of Presence and Visitation. 5 Credits
PT 437: Healthcare Chaplaincy: Ministry of Presence and Visitation

Educational Chaplaincy: Ministry of Catechesis and Faith Formation. 5 Credits
PT 438: Educational Chaplaincy: Ministry of Catechesis and Faith Formation

Year One or Two
Required Module - 10 Credits
PG 523 ‘Emancipating’ Practical Theology

Elective Module - 10 Credits
Choice module from Postgraduate Seminar options

Year Two
Thesis - 30 Credits
Minor Dissertation Pastoral Theology

Under Stream One - Pastoral Practice
Clinical Pastoral Education

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement for the programme is a primary degree in which Theology comprises at least an equal joint component. Candidates should normally have obtained at least a Second Class Honours, Grade I overall, and Second Class Honours, Grade I in Theology. Candidates should also have significant experience in ministry practice. The Faculty of Theology may also accept applicants whom it deems to have achieved an equivalent standard. They may be required to take additional courses in Theology to qualify for admission.

Application dates

Application Deadline: 01st April 2024
For EU & those living on the island of Ireland (Late applications may be considered).
01st April 2024 For non EU


2 years full-time or 3 years part-time.

Enrolment dates

Course Start Date: September 2024

Post Course Info

- Parish Pastoral Ministry
- Education and health care chaplaincy
- Catechesis & Faith Development
- Sacramental Preparation Coordination
- Retreat Ministry
- Continued academic studies in pastoral theology

More details
  • Qualification letters


  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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