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Master of Catholic School Leadership

Master of Catholic School Leadership 

The University of Dallas Master of Catholic School Leadership is designed to prepare you for leadership in Catholic education. Earning your Master's Degree in Catholic School Leadership will increase your flexibility and marketability, positioning you for a career as an assistant principal, principal or president of a Catholic school, an associate superintendent or superintendent, or as a member of diocesan personnel who affect the various aspects of education (i.e. budget, curricula, development and school infrastructure, grants for a diocese or state). In addition to serving each student who passes through your classroom, you will extend your influence to your school community at large, with a more robust knowledge of the Catholic tradition and practical, experience-based skills for leadership. 

Master of Catholic School Leadership Degree Requirements 

The Master of Catholic School Leadership consists of 37 credit hours. Students complete a graduate proseminar, five foundational ministry courses and seven education courses. There is also an 18-credit hour Certificate of Catholic School Leadership option

Ministry Courses

  • NIME 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.).
  • NIME 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.
  • NIME 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.
  • RPS 6314. Church History. The focus of this course is on the development of an understanding of the church, its ministry and spirituality through the early, medieval, Reformation, modern, and contemporary eras. In particular, primary councils, movements, and church figures are considered.
  • NIME 6375. Catechetics and the Development of Faith. This course introduces the history, theology, and practice of catechesis. This includes the methods, content, and curriculum of contemporary catechesis, with particular focus on age-appropriateness and faith and its maturation in people. 

Education Courses

  • EDU 5342. Foundations of Catholic Education. The purpose of this course is to increase awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the many complex factors that shape education in Catholic schools. While reading and reflecting upon relevant primary and secondary sources and engaging in thoughtful, collegial discussion, the student will explore the history, mission, identity, and value of Catholic schools. Students will review relevant Church documents, scholarly texts, and research to evaluate the health of Catholic schools, the effects of Catholic education, and the values (both promises and perils) of Catholic education in 21st century America. Special attention will be given to examining trends related to teaching and learning in Catholic environments, infusing Catholic identity into educational practice, and constructing a thoughtful, personal philosophy of education. Students will create a Catholic Education Portfolio.
  • EDU 6361. The Catholic School Principal. This course will address the unique mission of the Catholic school and the special demands placed upon the Catholic school administrator. The specific roles and responsibilities of an administrator in a Catholic school will be examined. The student will be introduced to the expectations of the position and the skills and knowledge required to meet the challenges they present. This study will include an analysis of the principal's responsibilities in the areas of leadership. Special attention will be paid to the role of spiritual leader.

  • EDU 6362. Instructional Leadership. This course examines the major issues, problems and trends in curriculum and instruction. This study will include an analysis of the leadership skills required of an administrator in the areas of instructional supervision, curriculum development, instructional evaluation, and staff development in a private or parochial school.

  • EDU 6363. Organizational Leadership and Planning. This course will examine administrative behavior and organizational structures as they relate to non-public schools. This examination will include conceptual models of strategic planning and decision-making.

  • EDU 6364. Non-Public School Finance and Development. This course will examine all aspects of the financial management of a private or parochial school. This examination will include the fiscal planning process, as well as, the development and implementation of a fiscal plan. The role of development and public relations will be addressed. Discussion will also include all aspects of budgets, marketing, fund raising, development strategy and management.

  • EDU 6365. Non-Public School Law. This course is a study of the legal issues concerned with the administration of a Catholic school. Included in this study will be an overview of Constitutional Law: Civil Law; Personnel Law; Canon Law; State and Federal Regulations; Accreditation Issues; and Government programs. Participants will be presented with precedent setting court decisions and case studies will be reviewed and discussed.

  • EDU 6366. Catholic School Leadership Internship. A supervised placement specific to Catholic school leadership, ordinarily undertaken in the last year of study, that provides a structured opportunity to enhance skills and integrate theoretical knowledge. Interns demonstrate leadership in a Catholic school environment under the supervision of an appropriate field based mentor. Students will also meet regularly with a faculty supervisor during the internship experience to ensure learning outcomes are met. Registration for this course requires prior approval.


RPS 6110. Graduate Proseminar. Required of all first-year students, this non-credit course is an introduction to the fields and methods of theological study for ministerial formation. Registration and active participation in all sessions constitute completion of the requirement. Proseminar is offered only in the fall semester – both on campus and online. It is graded on a pass/ fail basis.

What you need to know about the Master of Catholic School Leadership:

  • You can earn your Master's in Catholic School Leadership in as little as 2 years, or take your time to complete the program, in as many as 6 years.
  • Courses are taught by University of Dallas faculty and by diocesan and school leaders, providing you the opportunity to both learn about leadership in Catholic schools and from the leaders who are currently serving Catholic schools.
  • Classes are offered online and on campus, in the evenings and summers for busy, working professionals and educators. Coursework includes required reading, lectures, group work, written and oral presentations.
  • The MSCL internship provides an opportunity for students to demonstrate their leadership skills and apply their ministerial and educational knowledge in a professional context, guided by a faculty supervisor and field mentor. 
  • The University of Dallas Neuhoff Institute for Ministry & Evangelization is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and is in accordance with the USCCB's standards for certification and accreditation.  
  • Find out how much this degree costs through our Office of Financial Aid. Several scholarships are available.

Ready to take the next step?

It is simple to apply to the University of Dallas. We emphasize experience as well as academic record in the application review process, and we do not require a GRE score. Our enrollment coordinator can take you through the application process step-by-step and guide you on your path toward leadership in Catholic schools. 

Admissions Requirements

To be considered for the Master of Catholic School Leadership, students must meet the following requirements in addition to the general admissions requirements: 

  • Two (2) years of teaching experience in a catholic school.
  • Letter of reference from a supervisor. 

Apply Now!

Contact Us!

Oscar Carranza

Acting Coordinator, Graduate Enrollment and Student Services
Catherine Hall - 110