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Master of Pastoral Ministry

Be prepared to serve the diverse pastoral needs of the Church through the University of Dallas Master of Pastoral Ministry.

The faculty has challenged, stretched, nourished, informed and developed my faith in a very personal way. They have been very interested in assisting my individual faith and ministerial journey.

-Anna Marie Snyder, '14

The master's degree and graduate certificate in pastoral ministry are designed to equip those who wish to serve in parishes, dioceses or other ministerial settings with in-depth theological knowledge and effective pastoral skills. This graduate program offers several concentrations, each with a unique curriculum. Select a concentration of interest to you for practice in a defined field of ministry.

Master of Pastoral Ministry Concentrations:

Campus Ministry Concentration

The Campus Ministry concentration prepares those interested in working with young adults faced with the challenges of high school and college life, as well as the often accompanying questions about faith, values and vocation. Pastoral skills are developed through course work, field education and a capstone project. 

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Church Management Concentration

The Church Management concentration is especially helpful for present or future parish business administrators and diocesan business managers who desire a greater foundation in theology and ministerial practice, as well as for priests, deacons and pastoral associates who wish to strengthen their administrative and leadership skills.

Through field education and electives, this concentration provides ministers with theological, pastoral, financial, and managerial skills crucial for the efficient operation of churches and schools.

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Health Care Ministry Concentration

Prepare for ministry in health care facilities through a combination of theology and pastoral ministry courses with on site Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at accredited CPE programs in regional hospitals like Harris Medical Center in Fort Worth or Children's Medical Center of Dallas. This program contributes to the student's ability to meet the certification standards of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains. 

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Youth Ministry Concentration

The youth ministry concentration provides the preparation needed to address the spiritual growth of youth in a parish or school setting. Pastoral skills are developed through course work, field education and a capstone project. 

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Additional MPM concentrations may be designed with the consultation and express prior written approval of the student's advisor and the graduate director. 

Master of Pastoral Ministry Degree Requirements: 

The Master of Pastoral Ministry program consists of 36 credit hours. Students combine the ministry core curriculum (21 credit hours) with degree-specific courses (9 credit hours) and elective courses (6 credit hours). The core curriculum includes a capstone project in which students have the opportunity to integrate their knowledge with pastoral practice within a dynamic ministerial context, accompanied by a seasoned practitioner.  

Core Curriculum Courses

The following courses are required for all of the MPM degrees:

  • TMIN 5311. Graduate Proseminar. Required of all first-year students.  It is designed to introduce new students to the world of graduate studies in theology and pastoral ministry, and to assist them in undertaking graduate level work successfully.  Students will be led through the whole process of writing for theological studies, from reading comprehension to theological analysis, from first draft to final paper.  Proseminar is offered only in the Fall semester, with both on site and online options.
  • TMIN 5310. Foundations of Catholic Biblical Interpretation. This course’s content and structure are suggested by a description of the Bible by the Second Vatican Council: the words of God expressed in human language (DV 13). Therefore, it will deal, first, with the concepts of Revelation, Transmission-Tradition, Inspiration, Biblical Truth and the Canon, which traditionally express the Church’s belief in the divine origin of the Bible. Second, it will deal with the nature of the Bible as a human document, linked to a culture rooted in specific coordinates of space and time. Finally, it will review the development and nature of modern scientific methods and approaches of biblical interpretation, together with the Church’s reactions to and positions on these methods and approaches in the last 100 years. 
  • TMIN 5330. Systematic Theology. This course engages students in structured reflection on the Christian communal experience of faith and how that faith is understood, expressed, and lived out in the Catholic tradition. It invites dialogue among students and with the formative elements of Catholic tradition to consider theological method (i.e., How do we do this work properly?), doctrinal clarity (i.e., What does our formative tradition teach?) and pastoral practice (i.e., How do theology and pastoral realities influence one another?). Topics of special focus include revelation and faith, God, the Trinity, Christology, Christian anthropology, and the theology of the church, including Mary and the saints
  • TMIN 5350. Moral Theology. A critical survey of fundamental moral theology, this course includes the distinctiveness of Christian morality, conscience formation, natural law, moral norms, and decision-making. It provides an entre into special moral theology, which includes bioethics, environmental ethics, healthcare ethics, sexual ethics, and social ethics.
  • TMIN 5360. Liturgy and Sacraments. This course offers a critical survey of the history, theology, and liturgical celebration of the sacraments according to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, with special attention given to the role of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.).
  • TMIN 73XX. Capstone. The Capstone represents a single culminating assessment in the form of a research paper on a focused topic of the student's choosing, especially one related to their chosen field of pastoral service. The research paper allows students to demonstrate the ability to assess ministerial need or practice, think critically and theologically, integrate the theology appropriate to a particular ministry, plan and execute a ministerial and/or research project, and evaluate ministry in the field. 
  • TMIN 63XX Scripture Elective.

Elective Courses

The core classes are supplemented with electives & degree- specific courses, depending on the concentration selected. For more details on the courses required for each concentration, we invite you to learn more about our pastoral ministry concentrations:

University of Dallas Master of Pastoral MinistryFully Accredited. Ready to Serve.  

University of Dallas Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts ministerial graduate programs are fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and in accordance with the USCCB's standards for certification and accreditation. 


The University of Dallas is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D. degrees.


The ministerial graduate programs, in content and form, are designed to ensure that successful students will be prepared to enter the ministerial workforce having met the standards set by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Commission on Certification and Accreditation, and the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers.

The master's in pastoral ministry - youth ministry program is specifically designed to educate leaders based on the U.S. Catholic Bishops' pastoral plan, "Renewing the Vision - A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry." It also correlates with the national competency-based standards for certification as developed by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry in conjunction with the USCCB.


The Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts is a member of the Association of Graduate Programs in Ministry and the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education.