Get the formation you need to share your faith with confidence.

Founded in 1969 by Msgr. Eugene Kevane as the Notre Dame Apostolic Catechetical Institute, today the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College continues its mission to restore all things in Christ by working for the renewal of the Catholic mind. Several options are available for those who seek to understand and pass along the Faith.

Master of Arts in Theological Studies

The Christendom Graduate School offers the Master of Arts in Theological Studies degree.  To earn the MA, students must successfully complete forty-two (42) credits, including core required courses and special required courses for his or her concentration.

Students can choose to concentrate their studies in one or more of six areas of concentration:

  • Systematic Theology
  • Moral Theology
  • Evangelization and Catechesis
  • Sacred Scripture
  • Spirituality (courses available in-person only during summers)
  • Consecrated Life (courses available in-person only during summers)

Courses for the MA program may be taken on campus or online, or through a combination of both formats.

After completing degree requirements, students must travel to campus to pass a Comprehensive Exam, including both written and oral portions.

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  • PHIL 602: Philosophy of God and Man
  • PHIL 603: Philosophical Errors
  • SCRI 606: Old Testament
  • SCRI 607: New Testament
  • THEO 601: God the Father
  • THEO 602: Christology
  • THEO 603: Holy Spirit and Ecclesiology
  • THEO 604: Moral Theology


  • HIST 610: History of the Church, Part I
  • HIST 611: History of the Church, Part II
  • THEO 712: Patristics
  • THEO 605: Liturgy & Sacraments

Proficiency in Latin is required for this concentration. Students may either test out of the requirement by taking a translation exam, or, may take LATN 501/Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin.


  • THEO 720: Theological Anthropology
  • THEO 721: The Virtues
  • THEO 724: Sexual & Biomedical Ethics
  • THEO 802: Catholic Social Teachings

Proficiency in Latin is required for this concentration. Students may either test out of the requirement by taking a translation exam, or, may take LATN 501/Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin.


  • EDUC 602: The Catechetical Tradition
  • EDUC 604: Methods of Catechesis & Evangelization
  • THEO 605: Liturgy & Sacraments
  • THEO 606: Apologetics


  • SCRI 602: Pentateuch
  • SCRI 701: Prophets
  • SCRI 702: Psalms & Wisdom Literature
  • SCRI 610: Synoptic Gospels
  • SCRI 710: Johannine Corpus
  • SCRI 711: Pauline Epistles & Acts of the Apostles
  • Proficiency in Hebrew or Greek is required for this concentration. Students may either test out of the requirement by taking a translation exam, or, by take LATN 501/Introduction to Ecclesiastical Latin.

Two 3-credit elective courses may be completed for the remaining 6 credits, or, students may submit a thesis.


Delivery Methods

Each semester, a number of courses that have already been recorded will be open in the school’s online learning management system, Populi. 

While certain assignments will have deadlines, students generally have the duration of the semester to get through the course content, which is organized into weekly modules.  Faculty members monitor the classes to grade work and to answer questions.

Each Fall and Spring semester, there are in-person classes hosted on campus.  Classes are held on weeknights from either 5:00 – 7:00 pm ET, or, 7:30 – 9:30 pm ET. Each of the courses is also live-streamed, which allows students who do not live locally to attend, ask questions, and interact with their classmates. While live participation is preferred, recordings of the classes are processed and made available for those who were not able to be in attendance at the time of the lecture.

During the Summer semester, in-person classes are condensed into six week intensive courses. These courses are held at Christendom College’s campus in Front Royal, Virginia. They are typically not live-streamed or recorded. Students can reside on Christendom’s beautiful campus during these six week courses.

The Graduate School observes a cycle for when courses will be made available.  It is recommended that the student coordinate with the Graduate School to plot out a tentative schedule for the completion of their degree. More information on the academic cycles may be found linked here.

Length of Academics

The Christendom Graduate School offers optimal flexibility for students, many of whom have families, full-times jobs, and other responsibilities.  Therefore, students can take as many or as few classes as needed in any given semester, and there is no strict deadline for how quickly one must earn his or her degree.

Those who take on a full-time academic load for the whole duration of their study should be able to complete the degree in approximately five semesters. A full-time status is considered 9 or more credits in the Fall and Spring, and 6 or more credits during the Summer.


The cost of tuition for the academic year of 2023-2024 is $478 per credit. There is a $100 registration fee for each semester one enrolls, and $100 technology fees for live-streamed and pre-recorded classes.  Please consult our Financial Information page for full details.

Application Information

Deadline to Apply
Christendom Graduate School has rolling admissions, allowing students to start classes in the Fall, Spring, or Summer semesters. Applications should be submitted at least one month in advance to the start of the desired semester of entry, but applications will be accepted up until the first day of class.

Required Items

To apply for the MA in Theological Studies or the Apostolic Catechetical Diploma, applicants will need to submit:

  • A completed MA application form, which can be found on our website.
  • Application fee of $65.
  • Official copies of transcripts from undergraduate and any post-graduate studies.*
  • Two letters of recommendation: preferably one from a pastor or spiritual director who knows you, and another from a former professor attesting to your qualifications and ability to pursue graduate studies, or from a supervisor with whom you have worked.

*Depending on the institution, transcript request portals may already have Christendom College as a preset option for delivery.  Please note that selecting this option usually results in transcripts being sent to our undergraduate admissions office, which may delay your transcript being received by the graduate school’s admissions committee. Please ensure that transcripts are sent either by mail to Christendom Graduate School at 134 Christendom Drive, Front Royal, VA 22630, or, electronically to the following email address: 

Apostolic Catechetical Diploma


The Christendom Graduate School is authorized by the Holy See to grant the Advanced and Basic Apostolic Catechetical Diplomas (AACD/BACD). The diploma is awarded in recognition of the catechist’s competence in the field of catechesis and his or her personal commitment to teach Catholic doctrine in communion with the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. 

Both the Advanced and Basic Diplomas require students to successfully complete forty-two (42) credits.  The course requirements are the same as those required for the MA with a concentration in Evangelization and Catechesis, so the two are often earned concurrently.  Comprehensive Exams are not required for the completion of the Diploma.  The Basic Diploma is available for those who have not previously completed a bachelor’s degree.

Please expand the description of the MA above for more information on costs, delivery methods, and application details.  These are the same for the diplomas as they are for the MA in Theological Studies.

Master Catechist Certification


The Graduate School offers an advanced, Master Catechist Certification (MCC) leading to catechetical certification. The Diocese of Arlington recognizes those who complete this two year certification as Master Catechists. 

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  • First Spring Semester: MCC 501/ The Profession of Faith
  • First Summer Semester (online): MCC 505: The Bible AND Elective MCC 506/Fathers of the Church or Elective MCC 507/Apologetics (pick one elective)
  • First Fall Semester: MCC 502/The Celebration of the Christian Mystery
  • Second Spring Semester: MCC 503/ Life in Christ
  • Second Summer Semester (online):  Elective MCC 506/ Fathers of the Church OR Elective MCC 507/Apologetics (students may also take both if they have not completed one in previous summer)
  • Second Fall Semester: MCC 504/Christian Prayer

Finally, those students who are DREs in the Diocese of Arlington must also take an online course on Policies, Norms, and Best Practices. This course, while required for DREs, is also open to all other students of the Master Catechist Certification.

Course Delivery Method

  • Each course will consist of 8 sessions, each lasting 2 ½ hours (20 hours total). Classes meet at 9:00 am on scheduled Saturdays.
  • You may participate in the class lectures through any combination of the following modes: (i) attending class personally at the Graduate School, (ii) joining class through live-streaming, or (iii) watching the recordings at your own pace. Regardless of mode, all students have the same qualification requirements beyond class attendance.
  • In the Fall and Spring, students are required to attend a Teaching Day at the end of the semester, where live presentations will be conducted.


The cost is $100 per course for each student (billed to the student).  The parish will be charged for the remaining balance per course for each student.  If the cost presents a financial burden to the student, then the parish or the Office of Faith Formation may be approached for assistance with the recommendation of the DRE.

Opportunity for Advancing Studies

Students may take these courses for graduate academic credit (which will require additional work).  Credits may be applied to the Master of Arts degree and the Apostolic Catechetical Diploma later.

Application Information

The next Master Catechist cohort will start in the Spring of 2023. Students interested in applying to the Master Catechist Certification should complete the application form and send it to the Special Consultant for Catechetics, Colette Lienhard at the Office of Faith Formation (703-785-2319) or email:

Certificate in Evangelization and Catechesis

For those students who are not interested in a master’s degree, but who still desire an organized initiative of studies, the Graduate School offers a 15-credit certificate in Evangelization and Catechesis. Even students without a bachelor’s degree can earn a certificate, although graduate credit for the courses can only be granted to those who have submitted proof of a bachelor’s degree.

Credit earned in the certification may be applied to the MA at a later time should the student decide to advance his or her studies.

Delivery Method and Cost

Students complete courses as they are scheduled for the graduate study. The delivery methods and cost of tuition are the same for the certificate courses as they are for the graduate courses.

Application Information

To apply for a certificate, applicants can submit:

-Application form

-Official undergraduate transcripts if completing the certificate for graduate credit. Please consult with the admissions department if not taking the certificate for credit.

Required Courses

EDUC 602: The Catechetical Tradition
EDUC 604: Methods of Catechesis and Evangelization
THEO 605: Liturgy and Sacraments
THEO 606: Apologetics
SCRI 606: Old Testament*
* Another scripture course may be substituted by special permission.

Casual Studies

Anyone can sign up for any of our graduate courses that are being offered, without needing to commit to completing a degree or certificate.

Casual students may either take courses for graduate credit that can be applied towards a degree in the future, or, they may audit courses.  Auditing a class is less expensive and does not require students to complete graded work, but credit will not be applied to the student’s transcript.

Request more information

Send us a quick note and we’ll get back to you with more information about our flexible, affordable, and faithful courses.

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