Grow in your faith. Grow as a teacher.

When speaking of religious educators, Pope Francis notes that they are “conscious of having received a gift, the gift of faith, and they then give that gift in turn to others. This is something beautiful. We don’t keep a percentage for ourselves! Whatever we receive, we give.” Elsewhere he says, “teaching is not just a job: it is a relationship in which each teacher must feel fully involved as a person, to give meaning to the educational task towards their students.” Religious educators feel this responsibility particularly strongly, having to be rooted not only in education theory and practice but also in Christianity’s biblical, theological, and spiritual traditions.

The Master of Religious Education degree at Loyola University provides educators — in parishes and schools, not only in religion classes but across the curriculum with a broad and in-depth exploration of the field. This online degree program is open to students of all faiths working in a variety of contexts and promotes a sense of identity, reverence, and responsibility for life and the sacred. The coursework combines the development of confidence and creativity in working out curricula and gives practice in crafting effective learning processes.

MRE or MPS: 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 MRE 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 Religious Education program will prepare you with the skills and knowledge needed to advance in a wide range of careers, including:

  • Chaplain
  • Youth Minister
  • Program Director of Ethics
  • Catechetical Leader
  • Religion Teacher
  • Director of Spiritual Life
  • Religious Education Coordinator
  • Teachers interested in religious education across the curriculum

Flexible online courses, taught by experts.

Loyola’s online Master of Religious Education consists of 36 credit hours taken as follows:

  • Core courses (18 credit hours)
  • Focus area courses (9 credit hours)
  • Elective courses (6 credit hours)
  • Capstone course (3 credit hours)

Major courses include:

  • Church, Sacraments, and Liturgy
  • Christian Origins: Introduction to the New Testament
  • Grace, Christ, and Spirit

Download the degree program course listing (DPCL) 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.

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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.