Aquinas Institute of Theology appears in our ranking of the 20 Best Master’s in Pastoral Counseling Online Degree Programs.
The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies at Aquinas Institute of Theology prepares students to minister in a pastoral setting. Through courses that include integrative seminars, biblical studies and the supervised practice of ministry, students develop a personal pastoral identity. In order to enter the program, students should have preparation in liberal arts. A background in Scripture, theology and philosophy are also beneficial. Courses required for the program include:
Students are taught from within the rich Catholic and Dominican tradition with students combine their human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation. They learn to engage dialogue and forge partnerships in diverse cultural, religious and theological communities. Students learn to preach in the footsteps of Dominic as well as to teach in the spirit of Aquinas. They also learn the passion of Catherine of Siena in order to become leaders in their field of study.
The program incorporates strong academics, field education, and spiritual formation so that students are able to develop a ministerial style that is all their own. Students are able to exchange information with students of other dominations both in the classroom and at seminaries throughout the area. They participate in a wide range of committees to help determine academics and the development of the curriculum.
In 1900, the Dominican Order chose to found a new house of studies in River Forest, Illinois, rather than expanding the one they already had in Washington, DC. In 1912, the House of Studies was designated a Studium Generale and the Master General of the Dominican Order established the Central Province of St. Albert the Great. The purpose of the school initially was to prepare members of the Central Province for the priesthood. In 1923, the facility moved to the campus of Dominican College of St. Rose of Lima in Dubuque, Iowa.
After the move, the university grew rapidly and, in 1956, St. Rose of Lima and the Studium Generale were combined into the Aquinas Institute of Philosophy and Theology. The school began accepting women in 1967 and, in 1968, the school became one of the first five Catholic Schools to be accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada.
In 1981, Aquinas moved to St. Louis, Missouri, where it partnered with Saint Louis University where it remained until 2005. That year, it moved to a former factory in Midtown St. Louis.
Today, Aquinas Institute of Theology is a Roman Catholic graduate school that carries forward an 800-year old Dominican tradition. Aquinas teaches men and women, both lay and ordained to be hopeful about their faith, faithful to the church and servants to God’s world.
Today, Aquinas is guided by Catholic Faith and the Dominican mission. The purpose of the institute is to prepare men and women for careers as teachers, preachers, ministers, and leaders. The school offers doctoral and master’s degrees for those who wish to seek a greater understanding of their faith or themselves. Programs are designed to meet the changing needs of the Catholic church. Students gain an understanding of the breadth and depth of ministry while also preparing to counsel the grieving, minister the sick and comfort the lonely.
Aquinas Institute of Theology is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. An accredited college indicates that the school meets goals and standards set by the Commission that indicate the quality of education students receive at the school. In addition, earning a degree at an accredited college or university ensures that credits will transfer between schools and that you have a higher chance of being accepted to high-quality graduate programs. In addition to regional accreditation, programs offered by the school may be accredited by industry-specific associations or commissions.
In order to attend Aquinas Institute of Theology, students must complete an online application. Two writing samples that include a personal assessment and a reflection paper. Students must provide three letters of recommendation along with either MAT or GRE scores. Official transcripts from all institutes of higher learning attended are also required. All students must submit to an interview in person, phone or web conferencing. Some programs require additional admissions materials. Students should speak to an admissions counselor before applying.
Regular tuition at Aquinas Institute of Theology is $735 per credit hour. Tuition for the Master of Arts in Health Care Mission is $810 per credit hour and the Doctor of Ministry is $788 per credit hour.
Aquinas tuition is affordable because of the generosity of their benefactors. Tuition covers only a portion of instructional costs as religious orders, trustees, alumni, friends, and foundations bridge the gap between what students pay and what instruction actually costs. Aquinas understands that each student has a unique financial situation and offer a wide range of plans to help cover the cost of attendance.
Students may be eligible for scholarships and grants that include a Presidential Scholarship. Students may also qualify for federal Stafford loans as well. In order to qualify for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA). In addition, students who plan to attend the MAHCM or DMIN program must complete specific financial aid forms to be eligible.
Aquinas Institute of Theology is one of the few institutes of higher learning that focuses on graduate studies only with a Dominican focus. Students who graduate from Aquinas Institute of Theology are well-prepared for leadership roles in their field of study with an understanding of ministry to diverse communities. Students at Aquinas Institute of Theology value the community experience they are provided as part of their education, feeling a unique integration of mind and heart, theory and practice, academic and pastoral training.