Specialization in Christian Doctrine - Master of Arts in Theology

Enrich yourself with a deeper understanding of the Christian faith

Join more than seven hundred Marquette graduates in theology sharing their knowledge throughout the world. Our specialization in Christian Doctrine within our Master of Arts in Theology program is a convenient, online program designed for individuals seeking to improve their understandings of the Christian faith and its connection to their personal and professional endeavors.

Christian Doctrine specialization focuses on ecumenical appropriation and communication of Christian doctrine for students teaching or aspiring to teach in Catholic high schools, those interested in contributing to other avenues of religious education or formation, those interested in serving other pastoral needs in their religious communities, and those seeking personal theological enrichment.




Credit Hours


Years to Complete*

online program delivery

      Online Program 






*based on a part-time student

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Who is suited for this program?

The Christian Doctrine specialization is designed for individuals seeking to improve their understandings of the Christian faith and its connection to their personal and professional endeavors. Students enrolled in the specialization pursue their degrees through online coursework or through a combination of online and on-campus coursework. The Christian Doctrine specialization attracts students from a variety of backgrounds, including teachers of religious studies, physicians, lawyers, business people, diocesan and parish employees, those pursuing second careers as church lay officers, and those interested in personal theological enrichment.

Online or On-Campus

The Christian Doctrine specialization can be completed entirely online or through a combination of online and on-campus coursework in conjunction with our Ph.D. program or other M.A. specializations. Both options feature courses taught by Marquette faculty members.


The Christian Doctrine specialization requires thirty credit hours of coursework, or ten courses. 

Seven of those courses must be the following core courses:

  • Old Testament Method
  • New Testament Method
  • Origen to Late Medieval
  • Late Medieval to Early Modern
  • Christian Doctrine 1
  • Christian Doctrine 2
  • Introduction to Theological Ethics

The remaining three courses are electives, which the student may choose from any of the department's graduate-level course offerings. After successfully completing all of his or her coursework, the student must write a comprehensive paper integrating what he or she has learned in his or her coursework and applying it to his or her personal and/or vocational goals. Please see our departmental policies and procedures for further information on the program's curricular requirements.

 Program Requirements

  • Articulate basic theological concepts in Scripture, Church History, and Christian Doctrine.
  • Relate historical and social contexts to the discussion of theology and evangelization.
  • Produce analyses based on critical interpretations of Christian texts and theological reflections.

In addition, applicants should possess some familiarity with the Christian Scriptures and basic Christian doctrines.

Graduate education in the humanities is affordable

The Graduate School is excited to offer all students in humanities graduate programs a $500 per credit hour rate. Take advantage of this nearly 60-percent tuition reduction in the following master of arts programs: EnglishHistoryTheology and Philosophy. This competitive rate reflects Marquette’s commitment to the humanities, which are at the heart of our Catholic, Jesuit tradition.

Take the next step towards your future

Learn more about Marquette’s Christian doctrine specialization.

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Application Deadline

Students typically begin their studies in the fall of each academic year.

Rolling admission, which means you may apply any time before the following dates:

  • Fall term - August 1 (June 1 for international applicants)

  • Spring term - December 15 (October 1 for international applicants)


Application Requirements

  • Read all application instructions prior to beginning an application.
  • A completed online application form and fee.
  • Copies from all current and previous colleges/universities except Marquette.1
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • A brief statement of purpose that includes: reasons for wanting to enter the program, vocational objectives, special areas of interest, and reasons for selecting Marquette's program.
  • Applicants without an undergraduate degree in theology: a list of all college work in theology — course work, level and instructor, even though some of this also appears on official transcripts submitted.
  • For international applicants only: a TOEFL score or other acceptable proof of English proficiency.

1Upon admission, final official transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities, with certified English translations if original language is not English, must be submitted to the Graduate School within the first five weeks of the term of admission or a hold preventing registration for future terms will be placed on the student’s record. 

Deirdre Dempsey, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies


Financial Aid

The Department of Theology draws on the university's considerable financial aid resources to offer a variety of assistance opportunities to qualified students. These resources include teaching assistantships (TA), research assistantships (RA), minority student fellowships, graduate teaching fellowships, dissertation fellowships, M.A.C.D. scholarship, Smith family fellowships, Arthur J. Schmitt fellowships, John P. Raynor, S.J., fellowships, and Marquette University scholarships. For a comprehensive listing of merit-based aid (graduate assistantships/fellowships), visit the departmental financial aid webpage.

Private scholarships may also be available. U.S. citizens and permanent residents may be eligible to apply for student loans to help fund their educational expenses as well.