The Liturgical Studies and Sacramental Theology (S.T.L.) focuses primarily upon the liturgical historical development of services with an accentuation upon the theological development through the centuries as the vehicle of a living theology of Christian Worship.

The Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.) involves the development of appropriate methods of scientific investigation in theology, specialization in one area of theological concentration through a thesis, and a set of written and oral comprehensive examinations. The Licentiate in Sacred Theology has a long history that helps explain its present significance in this program and university. All its candidates must have completed a previous academic program calculated to engender a basic familiarity with the long history of Christian theological endeavors.


  • Possession of the S.T.B. degree from an ecclesiastical university or faculty or a comparable M.Div. or an M.A. or M.T.S. with coursework that is equivalent to that required for the S.T.B. at Catholic University. Such coursework must have been completed with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.
  • The results of the Graduate Record Examination, GRE, or Miller Analogies Test, MAT. However, GRE scores (vs. MAT) are necessary for applicants to be considered for most university scholarships.
  • Non-native English-speakers should demonstrate evidence of English proficiency through submission of Test of English as a Foreign Language, TOEFL, scores or through some comparable means.
  • At least three academic letters of recommendation.
  • A reading knowledge of Latin.


  • The residency requirement for the S.T.L. is four semesters.
  • Each student admitted to study in the program must indicate, at the time of initial registration, the major field of concentration he or she intends to follow. At that time the student will be assigned an advisor for assistance in course selection as well as in the initial consideration of a thesis topic and director.
  • Students must satisfy 24 credits of coursework, plus six credits for the thesis after it has been approved.
  • Each student must take and successfully complete at least 24 semester hours of coursework on the 700 level or on the 800 level. These required credits must be taken in the student's chosen field of concentration.
  • Up to six semester hours in another school or department may be taken; such courses are to be in the student's area of concentration.
  • All students are required to take and successfully complete, during their first semester of registration in this program, the noncredit course Proseminar in Research and Dissertation Methodology.
  • In addition to the minimum 24 credit hours of course work, each student must prepare and obtain final approval of a written thesis on a research project. The candidate will be expected to register for S.T.L. thesis guidance for each of three successive semesters, beginning with the second semester of enrollment in the S.T.L. program.
  • Candidates for the S.T.L. degree in theology must fulfill the following language requirements by the end of the semester before the candidate takes the comprehensive examination.
  • Latin: Successful completion of the Latin Proficiency Examination administered by each semester. The Latin prerequisite must be satisfied by the end of the first fall semester in the program.
  • Greek; Successful completion of a research project or reading course involving biblical Greek, or an examination in biblical Greek.
  • Modern Language: A reading ability in either French or German must be demonstrated by a satisfactory translation of a theological passage in a test administered by the School of Theology and Religious Studies, or an extensive project that uses the modern language under the direction of the instructor in a course; this project must be approved by the area director. Theological usage in German also has a third option which is to satisfactorily pass TRS 501 “Theological German.” A different modern foreign language may be substituted for French or German where the needs of the student’s research call for this, subject to the agreement of the director and reader and with the approval of the Ecclesiastical Degrees Committee.
  • A thesis between 75 and 100 pages which demonstrates the ability to proceed further in scientific theological research. The thesis should give evidence of training in research and make a contribution to theological knowledge involving a limited, yet significant, problem of investigation. It must prove the candidate's familiarity with basic methods and techniques of research, technical mastery of the limited subject matter, and ability to exercise sound theological judgment and formulate accurate conclusions.

Comprehensive Examinations

  • The student must successfully complete comprehensive examinations both written and oral, which evidence relative mastery of the chosen field of concentration.
  • To qualify for the comprehensive examinations, the student must maintain at least a 3.00 cumulative average. The comprehensive examinations may be done when the thesis has received the approval of the director and reader, but not before mid-point of the final term of residency.