Grow in your faith and leadership.

Christians are called to “go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Lay people can do so as professionals or volunteers in churches and schools or in their everyday lives at home, work, and the larger communities to which they belong.

The Master of Pastoral Studies program at Loyola University New Orleans provides the biblical, theological, and spiritual grounding on which to build specializations in youth ministry, spirituality, and pastoral care. It also enables people of faith to connect ministry to the environment, digital culture, and the working world.

This online degree program is practical, transformative, international in scope, and open to students of all faiths. It prepares students to work in a variety of contexts, including parishes, schools, diocesan offices, secular workplaces, and the helping professions, such as healthcare and social work.

MPS or MRE: Which is right for you?

Both the MRE and MPS emphasize the importance for the educational process of forming students and faculty into a community of learners. Loyola’s Master of Religious Education is a religious-education focused degree designed for those interested in faith formation, not only in schools and churches but in any setting that can be conceived of as educational. The MRE degree does not provide a license or certification but may qualify graduates for teaching positions, depending on the employer’s requirements. Loyola’s Master of Pastoral Studies requires the same core courses but also allows students to specialize in a wider range of focus areas, which qualify graduates for a wider range of jobs — in churches, schools, and beyond — such as with youth and the environment, in non-profits, and the helping professions. Students have ample opportunity to explore both degrees, and applicants can begin in one program and move to the other if they wish, as the core requirements are the same. Students are encouraged to work with their academic advisor to choose the degree that suits their career goals.

Top 50 Catholic Colleges, College Choice

Discover your full potential.

Loyola’s 100% online Master of Pastoral Studies program will prepare you with the skills and knowledge needed to advance in a wide range of careers that spread the Good News, bringing people closer to God and their communities, in jobs like:

  • Youth Minister
  • Church/Diocesan Administrator
  • Chaplain
  • Retreat Director
  • Healthcare Worker
  • Anyone interested in integrating faith into work or daily life
  • Music Minister
  • Pastoral Associate
  • Director of Spiritual Care
  • Social Worker
  • Non-Profit Leader

Flexible online courses, taught by experts.

Loyola’s online Master of Pastoral Studies consists of 36 credit hours taken in graduate-level department courses.

Courses include:

  • Introduction to Practical Theology
  • Jewish Roots of Christian Faith: Introduction to the Old Testament
  • Spirituality, Morality, and Ethics

Download the degree program course listing (DPCL) for the Master of Pastoral Studies to view program requirements in a helpful worksheet format. For a full list of courses and course descriptions, click below.

Apply in 3 easy steps.

We know you’re busy, which is why we’ve made applying to Loyola’s online programs as simple as possible. Follow these three steps to start on a path that will transform your career and your life.

Step 1: Talk to us.

Fill out the request form to talk to a dedicated enrollment specialist who will answer any questions you have about the program you’re interested in, how online learning at Loyola works, financial aid, or the application process.

Let's Talk

Step 2: Apply.

Complete your online application in as little as 5 minutes! Get started.

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Step 3: Submit your documents.

An enrollment specialist will help you determine exactly which documents you need to submit and will even help you get your transcripts from past institutions!

Visit our admissions page to learn more or feel free to give us a call at (504) 577-2855.