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Graduate Courses

Core Courses

6110. Graduate Proseminar. Required of all first-year students, this one 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, with both on site and online options. Graded on a pass/fail basis.

6311. Liturgy and Sacraments. 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.).

6312. Moral Theology. A critical survey of fundamental moral theology, including the distinctiveness of Christian morality, conscience formation, natural law, moral norms and decision-making. It provides an entrée into special moral theology, which includes bioethics, environmental ethics, healthcare ethics, sexual ethics and social ethics.

6313. Systematic Theology. 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, the Triune God, Christology, Christian anthropology and the theology of the church, including Mary and the saints.

6314. Church History. This course offers a survey of the development of the Catholic Church through the lens of its magisterial, ministerial and spiritual components. The growth of the Church in the apostolic, medieval, reformation, modern and contemporary eras and see how this development has impacted understanding of faith and ministry in the Church today.

6320. Theological Reflection. Forming a basis of spirituality for ministers, theological reflection is a discipline designed to recognize God’s activity within the context of ministry. Systematic reflection on students’ spiritual journey and experiences enter into dialogue with scripture, church history, church teaching, current pastoral needs and the lived faith experience of the people of God.

6321. Old Testament. This course surveys the theologies of the Old Testament in light of their historical, social and cultural setting, with application of those theologies to contemporary ministerial and practical contexts.

6322. New Testament. Students survey the theologies of the New Testament in light of their historical, social and cultural setting, with application of those theologies to modern ministerial and practical contexts.

Elective Courses

Sacred Scripture

6324. Gospel of Mark. Mark is thought to have been the first gospel written, likely for Roman Christians who had experienced severe persecution under Nero. Students in this course will delve into the gospel and consider its historical setting, its portrait of Jesus and its attempt to apply the message of Jesus to a then contemporary situation: first-century Rome.

6327. Paul’s Letter to the Romans. The theology and historical import of Paul’s Letter to the Romans on topics such as Christology, justification, original sin, God’s relationship to Israel, Reformation issues and recent interpretations.

Pastoral Ministry

6330. Ministry in the Church. The contemporary phenomenon of ministry in the Catholic Church from the view points of theology and pastoral practice. Theological exploration focuses on biblical visions of ministry, the history of ministry in the church and its doctrinal underpinnings and implications, especially in ecclesiology. Pastoral consideration reflects on attitudes, knowledge and skills necessary for effective pastoral ministry in today’s church. Integrating these perspectives, the course includes discussion of issues related to the contemporary ministerial scene and critical ecclesial documents on ministry formation.

6331. Pastoral Administration. This course explores the purpose and function of a parish in the life of the church and the role of pastoral administration within it. Students consider the theology and experience of parish life and reflect on many of the key ministries necessary for its success, including ministries of Word, worship, service and community building. Pastoral skills for planning, leadership, administration of temporal goods, communication and managing relationships are among topics considered.

6333. Pastoral Aspects of Canon Law. An overview of Canon Law (Roman Rite), especially as it pertains to pastoral ministry. Particular attention is afforded to canonical dimensions of the obligations and rights of the Christian faithful, the structure, authority, mission and ministry of dioceses and parishes, sacramental ministry and penal procedures.

6334. Liturgical Leadership. A practical introduction to liturgical leadership. Focus is on the pastoral implications of the Catholic principle of sacramentality and its influence on the understanding of liturgical action and what that means in actual liturgical celebrations. Attention given to liturgical planning and to lay-presiding at devotions, the Liturgy of the Hours, the Liturgy of the Word with Distribution of Communion and Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest.

6373. Homiletics and Pastoral Proclamation. Consideration of key ways in which the proclamation of the Word communicates and builds up the essential mission and identity of the church. Students are expected to reflect theologically on the Word of God, both as listeners and as proclaimers, to understand the various roles and offices involved in proclamation of the Word and to practice the pastoral skills required for effective proclamation.

6V71. Pastoral Ministry Internship. Supervised placement in your ministry concentration providing a structured experience of field education. Working with a supervisor in your field with hands-on experience in ministry while developing yourself, your goals and your understanding of this ministry field. Graded “Pass” or “No-Pass”. Students may register for the course more than once. 

6V78. Clinical Pastoral Education (C.P.E.). This is a practicum in hospital-based pastoral care, which is available in cooperation with local hospitals whose programs are accredited by the National Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. Graded on a pass/fail basis.

6V90. Ministry Capstone. The final major initiative of the Master’s of Pastoral Ministry degree. It is designed to indicate how students have integrated coursework into ministry. This three-credit course (one credit for Youth Ministry concentration) is completed during the final semester through a hands-on experience in the ministry concentration. By completing a Capstone Project students will demonstrate the ability to think critically, integrate the theology appropriate to ministry, plan and execute a ministry and/or research project and reflect theologically on ministry. Capstone projects require detailed applications and written approval by School of Ministry faculty supervisors several months prior to registration.


6336. Catechetics and the Development of Faith. Introduction to the history, theology and practice of catechesis. Including the methods, content and curriculum of contemporary catechesis, with particular focus on age-appropriateness and faith and its maturation in people.

6338. Models of Catechesis. Survey of emerging models and approaches to catechesis including conversation and mutual learning about approaches across the lifespan to assist those preparing for or already bearing this responsibility. Particular attention given to the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.) as a model for the catechetical journey, adult catechesis, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, family catechesis, intercultural catechesis, small Christian communities and youth and young adult catechesis.

6354. RCIA for Pastoral Ministers. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults with its particular approach to the baptismal catechumenate has been called “the source of inspiration for all catechesis”. Critical analysis of the theology inherent in the ritual text that drives this “process of formation and true school of faith” through each of the four catechumenal stages. Exposure to the history of the rite, practical aspects of the catechesis that precedes and follows the ritual experiences, liturgical theology and liturgical catechesis inherent in the rite. Special attention given to Part II: Rites for Particular Circumstances, especially for children of catechetical age and application of inspirational principles of the catechumenate to pastoral practice. 


6342. Healthcare Ethics. Contemporary developments in biology and medicine confront society with new and ever-complicating moral problems, which sometimes challenge Christians’ basic sense of the meaning of life. The principles and norms of Catholic moral theology that are relevant to the questions and issues faced in healthcare today. 


6353. Documents of Vatican II. The Second Vatican Council was called by Pope John XXIII to preserve and promote the church’s heritage in a pastorally effective way in order to meet the demands of the day. Study of the Council, the four constitutions and their implementation. Survey of the Concilliar decrees and declarations and develop an understanding of their impact on the role of the laity. 

6355. Contemporary Parish. The theology, structures, leadership and ministries of today’s parish. We will look at contemporary parish models, their emerging trends, demographic changes; the theory and practice of pastoral leadership, the person of the pastoral leader and parish ministries. Grounded in an understanding of ecclesiology. Seminar format developing an understanding and theology of parish and what is needed to sustain parish life in the 21st century.


6357. History of Spirituality. Spirituality marks the inner life of the church. Throughout history spiritualities have developed in reaction to, or in support of, the outer life of the church. Survey course exploring traditional Catholic spiritualities, their main movements, personalities and contemporary expression in our spiritual lives today.

Special Topics

6V50-6V51. Special Topics. Courses offered on an occasional basis allow students and faculty to pursue special interests in areas of ministry and theology that are not offered regularly. The Dean determines the selection of topics in consultation with faculty and students. 

6V91. Directed Readings. As a course arranged between instructors and students, this tutorial allows students to undertake an in-depth reading program on a topic of particular interest. It requires a detailed proposal by students that is approved, in writing, by the instructor and the Dean.

 Study in Rome

The Neuhoff School of Ministry occasionally offers students the opportunity to earn graduate credit at the university on the beautiful Rome campus. The campus is located in the Alban hills twelve miles southeast of Rome in a locale called Due Santi, where tradition holds that Saints Peter and Paul stopped along the Appian Way. Courses are offered on an ad hoc basis and are open to new and current Neuhoff School of Ministry students, visiting graduate students, or anyone wishing to audit the course. About 40% of class time is spent on guided learning-tours in and around the city of Rome. During the evenings and on weekends, the students may experience Rome and the surrounding area on their own. Learn more about the Neuhoff School of Ministry's Rome Program.


Alumni Couple from UD’s First Graduating Class Remembered by Classmates

“You couldn’t walk by David without a sports story of some sort,” said Patrick O’Hagan, BA ’63, of David Dozier Jr., BA ’60. O’Hagan and his wife, Patricia (Hasler), BA ’63, were freshmen at UD when Dozier and his wife, Dianne (Flusche), BA ’60, were seniors, and later fellow parishioners at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Dallas. Patrick O’Hagan was a physics major taking 20 hours and didn’t know Dozier well as a UD student, but Dozier’s penchant for stories struck him even then.

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