The Master of Pastoral Theology Program

The Master of Pastoral Theology Program engages students in critical theological reflection on ministerial practice as preparation for active ministry in society.  It is a non-thesis graduate program. The program integrates preparation for pastoral ministry with the study of the Christian theological practice. The coursework focuses on biblical, historical, systematic, and moral theology with special emphasis on the Roman Catholic tradition.

Graduates of the MPT program may go on to pursue work as ministers in churches or other places of worship; as educators in K-12 schools, colleges and seminaries; as chaplains in hospitals, correctional facilities, ministries, military bases, and other institutions.

Students may also choose to enhance the MPT degree with one of the two specialized certificate programs offered:

Permanent Diaconate Education

This program provides the academic preparation required for ordination of a permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. Students of this program are required to take 10 courses (26 credit hours) in addition to the required coursework for the MPT.

This program is sponsored by the Diocese of Honolulu and the schedule of courses coincides with the academic needs of the diocesan deacon formation program. It is a cohort-based program.


Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Direction

This interdisciplinary program that explores the foundational issues underlying effective counseling, particularly as it impacts pastoral counseling and spiritual direction.  Students of this program are required to take 8 courses (24 credits) in addition to the required coursework for the MPT.

* This is a cohort program that requires a minimum number of students in order for classes to be held.


Review core curriculum requirements, elective courses, and requirements for areas of concentration

Prospective Students

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We welcome applicants who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Successful applicants show a record of accomplishment and professional promise. Applicants are admitted at any time during the year. Courses begin four times per year.

Admission Requirements

The MPT admissions committee makes acceptance decisions after reviewing transcripts, resumes, and personal statement essays. The application process may include an informal interview. Accepted applicants come from a wide variety of undergraduate majors.

Admission Criteria

Admission will be based on previous academic preparation and life experience, potential for success within a graduate program, and personal qualifications that contribute to the student’s success within leadership ministries. Students may be admitted into the program during any of the four (4) terms.

Students judged by the program admissions committee to already have the requisite knowledge taught in the Core Foundation courses in Biblical Theology, Systematic Theology and Philosophy, may begin the program during any of the four years of the Academic Program for the training of the Permanent Deacon Candidates. Students needing the prerequisite course work may begin in the Spring of the year that a new Diaconal Cohort begins their academic program, unless other arrangements for completing the coursework can be worked out.

Application Requirements

Applicants for the Master of Pastoral Theology (MPT) program must possess an undergraduate degree, with preference given to applicants with an undergraduate degree in theology or religious studies with an emphasis in Christian studies.

Application Requirements

To apply, please submit the following to the PACE Graduate Programs Office:

  • An Online Application and Application Fee of $40
  • Two Letters of Recommendation that testify to the potential for academic success of the candidate in the MPT program
  • Two original copies of transcripts from all post-secondary institutions
  • Letter of Intent explaining why you wish to pursue a MPT degree and how you plan to use your degree
  • Reflection Essay: A one page reflection essay on an article from a scholarly journal assigned by the MPT Admissions Committee.

When all these materials are assembled and reviewed by the MPT Admissions Committee, the Committee will meet to determine the advisability of accepting the candidate into the MPT Program and notify the candidate.

Contact Us

Applications and questions regarding the admissions process should be sent to: 

Graduate Programs
The Office of Professional and Continuing Education (PACE)
Phone: (808) 739-4663
Office: Kieffer Hall, Room 1

All correspondence regarding the MPT program specifically should be addressed to:

Rev. Paul Fitzpatrick, SM
Director, Academic Formation of Permanent Deacon Candidates and Graduate Programs in Theology
Phone: (808) 739-8341