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Master of Theology (MAT) Program

Master of Theology (MAT) Program

MAT Video

 

Student Testimonials

 

Chris Singel 

Practical, Sensible and Spiritual

25I was drawn toward earning an M.A.T. at SS Cyril and Methodius Seminary for reasons that were practical, sensible and spiritual.

First, like any further education, earning a graduate degree from an accredited institution is both practical and a wise investment. It not only lays the foundation for future studies, but also positions me for any type of work I’ll do with Christian organizations or in academic related fields. I initially had the perception that only priests or deacons could attend the Seminary, but once I realized there’s no such thing as a “typical” Seminary student, I quickly applied.

When I say it’s also sensible, I’m referring to how my Seminary experience impacts the major decisions in my life and influences what’s important to me. Personally, I think it’s essential to consider, “Where should I look for answers?” I was realizing that the people making the most sense were the faithful and theologians of Eastern Christianity – the two types of people I encountered and spent time with at Cyril and Methodius. When they discuss God’s plan for our lives, it’s far better than what other philosophies or life styles offer.

On the spiritual level, I concluded that believing things just because someone else says it’s true is easy, but that type of faith cannot apply to my life or help me. If our knowledge of scripture, liturgy or spirituality is not strong, then none of those things can transform us or be relevant in our lives.

 

 

Thaddeus Osuagwu 

Loved many things about the Seminary…

26The program at BCS is a priceless treasure. It has widened my understanding of the apostolic tradition. It is relevant to my vocation as a married man. All the courses that I have taken have been relevant to my future.

Entering into the Byzantine Catholic Seminary, I was always thrilled by the peaceful and welcoming atmosphere, perfect for class activities. It is a small-sized learning environment conducive for research and theological reflections. The free parking lots made it so easy for me to walk into the classrooms in less than two minutes. Classrooms are accessible and highly equipped to meet the challenges of the contemporary technologies. Professors are from various walks of life and faith groups, making it more integrated for me to identify with various faith traditions. My years at Byzantine Catholic Seminary enabled me to appreciate diversities that exist in various faith groups in keeping with the spirit of ecumenism.

Professors at BCS are easily approachable. They are totally devoted to the integral growth of students. They are available for questions and clarifications from students. Every semester, the academic Dean always provided flexibility in scheduling for academic meetings and class registrations. Seminarians in the Master of Divinity program are polite and accepting of the students in the Master of Theology program.

Helen Hockendoner 

Obtaining the Tools to Teach…

Helen HockendonerI am presently completing my studies for the Master of Theology degree from Saints Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary. I plan to use my MAT for teaching and believe my education at the Seminary enhances my ability to do this. As the professors at the seminary are teaching me, they are also showing me how to teach others. The educational tools provided have ranged from the standard research paper, developing and presenting classroom lectures, constructing historical interviews, book reviews, poster presentations, group projects and even a Socratic dialogue! I am confident I have been exposed to comprehensive scholastic experiences I can share with future students.

I also plan to obtain a doctoral degree. My exposure to the level of expertise that the Seminary professors exhibit has inspired me to strive for the level of excellence they hold in their particular fields.

While Also Growing Spirituality…

In addition, I will leave the seminary with a deepened faith. As I develop an expanded understanding and appreciation of scripture, apostolic and patristic writings, theology and philosophy, my attitude and way of life are changing. I see the world with an evolving Christian mind and heart.

Geoffrey Mackey 

Deepen Your Faith…

28I came to the Byzantine Catholic Seminary as an ecumenical student, not from an Eastern Christian tradition. However, I knew that I wanted to study liturgical theology and I was interested in the Byzantine tradition and the seminary’s Master of Arts in Theology program seemed to be a good fit. I had previously taken courses at both evangelical and Anglican seminaries and I soon found out what a good fit the BCS was. Almost immediately, I felt I was “home.” I felt a warm and gracious welcome from the faculty and staff and sense of camaraderie from the other students, both seminarians and graduate students. The spiritual life of the seminary and the mentorship of the faculty were also hugely important to me.

Enhance Your Credentials…

I have spent my entire adult life working in Christian higher education. Because of my commitment to ongoing theological education, during my time of study at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary, I was promoted to Director of Distance Learning at the Anglican seminary at which I work. Since graduation, I have also been made an adjunct professor, teaching online for a private evangelical liberal arts college in New York State.

25 Reasons to Consider an MAT at Saints Cyril and Methodius

PRACTICAL

1. Advanced degrees are useful for employment, job advancement and open doors to future potential career opportunities.

2. Very affordable (and your tuition qualifies as Lifetime Learning Credits towards your income tax refund).

3. Your credits may transfer.

4. Online courses available.

5. Attend part-time or full-time.

6. Daytime and evening courses available.

7. Lay a foundation for further advanced studies (PhD, other Master degrees).

8. Acceptance into the MAT program: Seminaries are like law schools in the sense that a seminary does not require any particular major in your undergraduate degree.

9. Prepare for careers in many different fields:

a. Working with church-related organizations.

b. Social services.

c. Chaplain.

d. Missionary work.

e. Becoming a leader in a Christian organization.

f. Teach at a Catholic secondary school.

CONTENT ENSURED

10. Bishops ensure content is authentic Catholic teaching.

11. Accredited by The Association of Theological Schools (February 2008) – this place Ss. Cyril and Methodius on the same level with any other theological school in the US. Seminary received reaccreditation in 2012 for a period of seven years before the next required self-study and re-accreditation in 2019.

12. Degree authorized by Pennsylvania Department of Education (April 22, 2003).

13. Over 60-year history.

14. Only free-standing Byzantine Catholic seminary in the United States.

FAITH BASED REASONS: CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE THE WORLD

15. Prepare for catechist/religious instructor, lay theologian, or design a ministry.

16. Without knowing the real truth of your faith, you’ll start to believe the heresies.

17. The Seminary community: discuss faith and interact with Seminarians, clergy and other Christians, not skeptics.

18. Learn about faith from ordained clergy who have made faith their vocation and qualified lay professors.

19. Deepen your understanding of your relationship with Jesus Christ though examining scripture, liturgy, theology, etc.

20. We need tools for living: each person and each generation will evaluate the role of faith in their lives, in light of their own experiences – one needs a firm grasp of faith basics in order to reach reasonable conclusions and make sound decisions.

21. Better ability to explain faith– clearly and convincingly – to family, friends and others with confidence.

22. Personal enrichment – once you learn something new, you’re never the same person.

23. Play a larger role in the Church: one Catholic Archbishop predicted, “The presence of the Church in the society of tomorrow we be lay lead, but (lay) lead by men and women who have a profound understanding of what faith in Jesus Christ entails.”

24. Some of us find something new that moves or pushes us each time we are in church, read something in scripture or have conversations about faith with family or friends. Seminary classes offer the opportunity to explore these interests.

25. If our vision of religion is minimalistic and if our knowledge of what the faith is all about is deficient, we trivialize the role of faith in our life – it won’t be strong enough to transform our lives.

Admission Process for Master of Arts in Theology Degree (MAT)

The degree of Master of Arts in Theology (MAT) is a theological program of Eastern Christian studies at the graduate level. It prepares students for lay leadership by providing a systematic theological framework and is seen as a necessary prerequisite for future doctoral level studies. The MAT degree program prepares candidates for further study, research and teaching who will be able to:

  • read the primary sources of Byzantine Catholic Tradition contextually and critically;
  • employ appropriate methodologies in the study of Sacred Scripture, Dogmatics, Theology, Liturgical Theology and Pastoral Theology;
  • undertake independent theological research;
  • engage in clear theological discourse both in writing and in speech;
  • integrate various theological disciplines and methods into a coherent and relevant vision of Byzantine Catholic faith.

Application for the Master of Arts in Theology (MAT) includes:

  • Completed application form
  • Professional resume (if applicant is working)
  • Completed essays
  • Sealed original transcripts of undergraduate degree and all other undergraduate or graduate studies.
  • Miller Analogies Test (http://www.pearsonassessments.compostsecondaryeducation/graduate_admissions/mat.html; should be submitted directly from examiners)
  • Two letters of recommendation (one should be from pastor)
  • Recent photograph

An application will not be considered complete without all elements.

Applicants can contact the Seminary Registrar for an application packet.

Completed application packets must be received by the Seminary before August 1 for MAT for fall admission or December 1 for the spring admission. The Seminary Admissions Committee will review all applications and make recommendations to the Rector. The Rector’s decision to admit or reject an application will be communicated to the applicant in writing.

Master of Arts in Theology (MAT) Curriculum

Candidates for the MAT degree must complete the required curriculum with a cumulative QPA of at least 3.0. Total credit load for MAT: 60 credits (two years full time study [approx. 15 credits per semester] or 6 year limit to complete part-time).

All MAT candidates must complete the core introductory courses (27 credits). The remaining 33 credits of study will be based on student interest in consultation with the Academic Dean. These credits can come primarily from a single area of study or can combine two or more areas of focus.

Each candidate chooses a specialization from among Biblical Studies, Dogmatic Theology, Pastoral Theology or Liturgical Theology. MAT students also must choose either comprehensive exams or a thesis project in consultation with their advisor in fulfillment of the MAT degree.

The degree can be completed in two years with full time study. Part-time students have a six year limit to complete the program. With the permission of the Academic Dean, a total of 15 hours of compatible graduate-level theological studies may be completed at other institutions. Grades below B do not transfer.

Required MAT courses (12)
Course #    Title    Credits
BS 100    Intro to Sacred Scripture    3 cr
CL 100    Intro to Canon Law    2 cr
DT 100    Intro to Dogmatics    3 cr
LT 100    Intro to Liturgy    3 cr
CH 100    Introduction to Church History    2 cr
MT 100    Intro to Moral Theology    2 cr
SP 101    Foundations of Spirituality I    2 cr
SP 102    Foundations of Spirituality II    2 cr
PH 101    Sources from Antiquity I    2 cr
PH 102    Sources from Antiquity II    2 cr
DT 201    Vatican Documents I    2 cr
DT 202    Vatican Documents II    2 cr

27credits

Concentration

Each student will decide how to focus their remaining 33 credits of study based on academic interest in consultation with MAT Advisor and Academic Dean. These credits can come primarily from a single area of study or can combine two or more areas of focus.
Electives and Directed Independent Study

Elective courses are regularly offered to allow professors and students to explore particular questions in detail or to approach issues and fields not covered in the core curriculum.

Students in all degree programs may elect to pursue an area of particular interest as a Directed Independent Study (DIS). All DIS courses must be approved by the Academic Dean upon presentation of a written description of the area and goals of the investigation, together with a bibliography. The course may be directed by a full- or part-time member of the academic faculty or, extraordinarily, by another qualified professional who must be approved by the Academic Dean. A DIS may be designed for 1, 2 or 3 credit hours. Evaluation of the work by the director should normally be based on one or more papers, projects or examinations. A student may take only two DIS courses per degree program.

Auditors and Non-Matriculating Students

The seminary welcomes qualified persons who wish to study without matriculating into one of the degree programs. Non-matriculating students enroll in courses of their choice for academic credit and are responsible for all class assignments and examinations. The option to audit a course is meant to accommodate interested individuals seeking general exposure to a subject or who may lack the time or resources necessary to complete all the work required for academic credit. Audited classes are counted as part of the student’s load, but do not count toward any degree requirements. Non-matriculating students must submit the complete application packet as required of MAT applicants.

Auditors must submit the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Professional resume (if applicant is working)
  • Two letters of recommendation (one should be from pastor)
  • Recent photograph

An application will not be considered complete without all elements.

Applicants can contact the Seminary Registrar for an application packet.

Transfer Credits

For the MAT program, the Seminary will accept 15 credits as transferable.  Credits earned in the last six years prior to application are eligible for transfer.

Applicants who have already achieved a Master’s Degree cannot use credits from the previous program towards a second Master’s Degree at BCS. BCS will only consider

transferring credits which were not used towards the awarding of a degree.

Formal application for consideration of transfer credits is made to the Academic Dean.

Duration

All programs must be completed within six years of matriculation.

Cost and Fees

The cost for MAT as well as non-matriculating and auditing students is computed per semester. The current fees are:

  • Registration Fee (one time fee) …………….. $50
  • Tuition per credit (on-campus) ………………. $375
  • Tuition per credit (online) …………………… $410
  • Audit fees per course-hour…………………… $275
  • Technology Fee (per semester/MAT) ……..$125

Technology fee (MAT students only) includes 250 pages of free printing per semester as well as unlimited use of library resources including wireless access, scanning, online databases and computers. If student exceeds 250 printed pages per semester, they will be billed at the rate of 8 cents per page.

Non-matriculating and auditing students have full use of the library printer and scanner. They will be billed monthly for these services at the rate of 8 cents per page. Financial aid arrangements may be available for priests of the Byzantine Catholic

These costs are subject to change.

Other Fees

  • Late registration fee ……………………………………………….. $ 15.00
  • Continuation Fee……………………………………………………. $ 50.00
  • Graduation Fee………………………………………………………. $ 50.00
  • Test-out Fee (per credit) ………………………………………..$ 50.00
  • Lunch fee per meal (payable by semester)………………… $ 20.00

Late Registration Fee: A $15.00 late registration fee will be assessed for students who do not register and pay their fees before the add/drop period.

Continuation Fee Policy: A $50.00 continuation fee will be charged for any degree candidate who does not enroll in at least one course at the Seminary in any semester after having been accepted into the degree program. This fee will keep the candidate’s enrollment active and is renewable for only two consecutive semesters.

Graduation Fee: As part of the process of applying for graduation, students must fill out a Graduation Form along with a check for $50.00 which covers the cost of one official transcript as well as their diploma.

Lunch fee: Non-resident students may opt to purchase a plan for the noon meal for each weekday that they attend classes at the seminary. Meals and payment may be arranged through the Administrative Assistant at the beginning of each semester.

Evening food service is not available to non-resident students. Food service observes the traditional fasts of the Byzantine Catholic Church.

Financial Aid: Students should confer with the Director of Financial Aid for questions concerning loans, loan status, and education grants.

Graduation Requirements

Students must satisfactorily complete all academic requirements for the MAT degree, have the recommendation of the Academic Dean, filed the Application for the Degree with the Office of the Registrar as announced on the Academic Calendar and fulfilled all financial obligations with the Seminary.

Graduating MAT candidates must present one of the following as evidence of their integration of the curriculum:

Comprehensive Exam

In their final semester, graduating MAT students can elect to sit for written comprehensive examinations in Biblical Studies, Dogmatic Theology and Liturgical Theology, with special emphasis on their area of concentration. These exams occur over three days and represent a comprehensive integration of learning from their Seminary experience. Complete information on Comprehensive Examinations, including questions and bibliography, is available from the Academic Dean of the Seminary.

OR

Thesis Paper/Project

MAT candidates can design and submit a research project (thesis) which demonstrates integrative theological research. The theme and scope of the project as well as the project director must be approved by the Academic Dean. This project will be judged on a pass/fail basis by a committee of two faculty members appointed by the Academic Dean.