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MA Theology Online for Diaconate Candidates
Online Master of Arts (M.A.)

Theology - For Permanent Diaconate Candidates

Offered through the Center for Diaconal Formation, the online M.A. in Theology degree for permanent diaconate candidates prepares students to be heralds of the Gospel and to take on leadership roles as ordained ministers in their local parishes, diocese institutions and the Universal Church.

The intellectual formation is a complete and robust theological education in harmony with the teaching of the magisterium. The program is delivered in a collaboration with sending dioceses and can customized based on diocesan needs and requirements. 

The program offers an educational and formational experience that addresses the intellectual norms established in the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. All courses meet industry quality standards, and our degree is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

Candidates must receive the approval of their bishop to participate in online classes as part of a learning cohort.

Online Theology M.A. for Deacons

This master program for deacon candidates prepares students to be heralds of the Gospel through our robust graduate-level program.

Peter Barcellona

"Each class I've taken draws me deeper into the knowledge of my faith. It has given me a more profound understanding of our Catholic faith and has taught me to use the knowledge I've gained to continue working in social justice and other ministries."

Peter Barcellona '15
Deacon, Senior Public Health Investigator, and a 2015 Recipient of the Student Service Leadership Award - Watch His Video »


The online M.A. in Theology program for permanent diaconate candidates is a 12 course, 36-credit graduate program which nourishes the spiritual, human, and pastoral formation. Course curriculum integrates the student’s intellectual formation with the ministry of the deacon.

The program offers courses including: 

  • Sacred Scripture
  • Church History
  • Moral Theology
  • Systematic Theology
  • Worship

In addition to the degree component, there are four additional courses which include homiletics, canon law, and spirituality that lead to a Certificate in Diaconal Studies. These four specialized courses are delivered in collaboration with the diocese and can be provided online for credit or as non-credit bearing courses.  

View detailed curriculum »

Faculty Listing

The following is a selection of faculty from the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology (ICSST), who often teach diaconal candidates. Click to read more about all our ICSST faculty »

Joseph Laracy posing
Rev. Joseph R. Laracy
Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology
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a photo of Prof. Justin Anderson posing
Justin M. Anderson
Professor and Chair of Moral Theology
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Patrick Manning posing
Patrick R Manning
Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Director of the Seton Hall University Center for Catholic Studies
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McCarren posing
Rev. Msgr. Gerard McCarren
Rector/Dean, and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
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In addition to graduate-level academic programs, the Center for Diaconal Formation collaborates with Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology and the Institute for Christian Spirituality to offer workshops, lectures and presentations that focus on Christian spirituality, new evangelization and parish services.

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