Theology - Pastoral Theology

St Patricks Pontifical University Maynooth

Theology - Pastoral Theology

Programme suitable for:
Graduates of Theology degrees seeking to specialise in some form of pastoral ministry and undertake research within the field of Pastoral/ Practical Theology. Candidates may have a significant amount of ministry experience in a given area but have not had any formal preparation for pastoral leadership. Ministers seeking professional growth and development to strengthen their leadership capacity in a changing ministerial landscape.

This level 9 programme ideally forms part of a minister's continuing journey of growth and development, strengthening his/her capacity for ministry leadership in the Church.

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.

Subjects taught

Year 1
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 1 or 2
Required Module - 10 Credits
PG 523 'Emancipating' Practical Theology

Elective Module - 10 Credits
Choice module from Postgraduate Seminar options

Year 2
Thesis - 30 Credits
Minor Dissertation Pastoral Theology

Under Stream One - Pastoral Practice
Clinical Pastoral Education

Entry requirements

Admission requirements:
The minimum entry requirement for the programme is an honours primary degree in which Theology comprises at least an equal joint honours component. Applicants should normally have obtained at least a Second Class Honours, Grade I overall, and Second Class Honours, Grade I in Theology. Applicants should also have significant experience in ministry practice. Individual and group interviews form an essential part of the selection process.

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.

Placement Education:
Students undertake between 414-429 hours of ministry practice in Teaching Placement sites (i.e., in approved community and school settings), alongside experienced mentors, for the duration of the academic year. They undertake a second, 10-12 week placement in a clinical setting by completing a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in an accredited CPE hospital.

In addition, candidates must complete Postgraduate induction, week beginning 11 September 2023.

Application dates

Application Deadline:
1st April 2023 For EU & those living on the island of Ireland (Late applications may be considered). 1st April 2023 For non EU.


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

Methods of Learning:
– In-person on campus
– Placement Education onsite in a Teaching Parish or equivalent setting
– Supervised Research

Enrolment dates

Course Start Date: September 2020

Post Course Info

Career Outcomes
- 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


  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters (Level 9 NFQ)

  • Attendance type

    Full time,Part time,Daytime

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