Graduate Certificate in Catholic Theology

Distance Learning Option Available

Undergrad/Apologetics, Graduate Theology Classes

The ICT Graduate Certificate in Catholic Theology program aims to introduce the student to the study of theology. Theology, within the context of the Catholic Church, is the academic study of the Word of God, directed at deepening one’s faith in Christ. To achieve this, the study of theology is both spiritual and academic:

Theology, for its part, gains, by way of reflection, an ever deeper understanding of the Word of God found in the Scripture and handed on faithfully by the Church's living Tradition under the guidance of the Magisterium. Theology strives to clarify the teaching of Revelation with regard to reason and gives it finally an organic and systematic form.

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian #21

Students who meet the requirements can transfer up to 18 graduate credits towards either Franciscan University’s Master of Arts in Theology and Christian Ministry program or Master of Arts in Catechetics and Evangelization program.

Graduate Certificate in Catholic Theology Program Description

Benefits of the Program

The ICT Graduate Certificate in Catholic Theology program is designed to assist adult Catholics—regardless of their age or vocation—to strengthen their love for Christ by introducing them to core theological concepts. The program will help students to:

  • Deepen their Love of Christ: The primary goal of the program is to deepen the student’s love for Christ through the study of Catholic theology.
  • Build Christian Community: Students in the program meet in-person in the ICT classroom and at a distance via video conferencing, allowing for the authentic building of community and Christian fellowship supported by instructors from the Phoenix area.
  • Strengthen their Vocation: The formation helps students to articulate their faith in order to strengthen their Christian witness through prayer and charity.
  • Prepare to Engage the Culture: To support the New Evangelization, the program helps students to live and renew the Christian life in today’s complex world.
  • Be Equipped for Service to the Church: For those who serve in Catholic Schools, parishes or as deacons, this formation helps them to articulate the faith in a variety of ecclesial situations.
  • Prepare for Further Studies: For those considering a theological degree, the program prepares them to study theology academically at the masters level.

Prospective Students

The ICT Graduate Certificate in Catholic Theology courses are graduate level; however courses are designed to be accessible to students with little or no formal theological formation.

The program is specifically geared towards:

  • Deacons
  • Youth Ministers
  • Parish Catechetical Leaders
  • Religion Teachers (Primary and Secondary)
  • Kino Institute Adult Formation/Parish Leadership Graduates
  • Adult Catholics looking to study theology
  • Youth Ministry Core Teams
  • Parish Catechists

Course of Studies

First-Year Students/Courses Offered Annually

Fall—Ministry of the Word
Spring—Word of God: Scripture and Tradition

Rotating Courses Offered on a Three Cycle (2 per year)

Philosophy for Theology, Deposit of Faith, Biblical Catechetics
Church History, Church and Sacraments, Moral Foundations


All instructors in the program are in full communion with the Catholic Church and will receive the mandatum from our local bishop and make the Profession of Faith as outlined in Ex Corde Ecclesia. Instructors have at least a masters, licentiate, or doctorate degree.


Students can expect up to two hours of readings and assignments for every hour of class. Students who complete all courses with at least a “B” average or greater will receive a Graduate Certificate of Catholic Theology from the ICT.

Schedule and Location

Courses will be on Saturdays from 9am-5pm six times each semester and offered in-person at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Parish.

Distance education option available. Classes available for live participation via video conferencing.

Tuition and Books

ICT Tuition is $1,000/course. Payment in full due by beginning of class. ICT will discuss payment plans upon request. Tuition does not include textbooks. Students are responsible for obtaining textbooks/class resources.

Course Descriptions

ICT501: Word of God—Scripture and Tradition*

This course serves as a pre-requisite to prepare for graduate studies, for deeper study in Scripture and Tradition. This course studies God's Word as it has been expressed and handed on in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition with a special focus on the central teachings of the Catholic faith (such as creation, fall and redemption, Trinity and Incarnation, the Church and the Holy Spirit). Emphasis is placed on reading primary sources, including principal Biblical texts, writings of Church Doctors and Fathers, major theologians, Magisterial documents and writings from the Franciscan tradition.

ICT502: Ministry of the Word

This course serves as a pre-requisite to prepare for graduate studies, for deeper study in the nature of catechesis and theology. This course provides a survey of the content, purpose and functions of the ministry of the word, the particular focus on the nature of catechesis and theology. "The ministry of the word, within the context of evangelization, transmits Revelation, through the Church, by using human words (GDC #50)." This course surveys the history, methods, content and contemporary practice of catechesis, inspired by God's Pedagogy of Revelation and the Response of Faith. This course introduces the student to the graduate study of sacred theology by examining the nature and mission of theology as an ecclesial vocation, in light of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's 1990 document, "Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian" (Donum Veritatis). The nature of theology is examined as a "science" in the classical sense, that is, an intellectual habit which certitude is available through rational reflection, in the light of faith, on divine revelation.

ICT 601: Philosophy for Theology

The proper task of theology "is to understand the meaning of revelation and this, therefore, requires the utilization of philosophical concepts which provide a solid and correct understanding of man, the world, and God" (The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Donum Veritatis). This course will introduce the students to the need of a suitable philosophy for theology by examining the relationship and nature of philosophy and theology as "sciences" in the classical sense. This course examines the teaching of the Church's Magisterium on "perennial philosophy" and investigates a number of the more important fundamental philosophical insights critical for theology. Topics may include: physical motion, matter, form, privation, substance, accident, being, act, potency, the good, natural law, the end of man, natural knowledge of God, among other matters. The goal is for the student to attain a genuine philosophical understanding of these realities so that what God has revealed may be understood theologically and scientifically.

ICT 602: Biblical Catechetics

"The 'study of the sacred page' should be the very soul of sacred theology. The ministry of the Word... pastoral preaching, catechetics, and all forms of Christian instruction... is healthily nourished and thrives in holiness through the Word of Scripture" (DV 24). This course focuses on the centrality of Scripture in the work of evangelization and catechesis. The content of the apostles' teaching and their use of Scripture, the scriptural basis of the catechesis of the Fathers and current magisterial documents related to Scripture and catechesis will be covered. Finally, this course explores the implementation of Scripture for evangelistic and catechetical purposes.

ICT603: Deposit of Faith

This course will explore the effective delivery of the content of the Deposit of Faith for the purpose of promoting conversion to Jesus Christ. Kerygmatic catechesis and its emphasis on the means of insertion into the Mystery of Christ will provide the foundation for this exploration. A technique for analyzing doctrine for effective delivery will be employed with specific emphasis on the way in which such a delivery informs the faith, hope and love of the prospective disciple. Finally, the challenges to employing a doctrinal delivery in the catechetical field today will be discussed.

ICT604: Church and Sacraments

This course examines the doctrines--and their sources in Scripture and Tradition--of the Church with Christ as its founder and head, the Holy Spirit as its soul, and the Blessed Virgin Mary as its model, and of the seven Sacraments. While the primary focus will be on divine revelation and teaching of the Church's Magisterium on these sacred mysteries some attention will be devoted to currently unresolved questions in these matters.

ICT605: Moral Foundations

This course explores the fundamental themes of Catholic moral theology, such as Christian discipleship, the human vocation to beatitude, freedom, law, conscience, virtue, sin, the proper understanding of human acts, and moral absolutes, in order to identify the principles of Catholic morality. The course will focus on the manner in which these principles are rooted in the New Testament teachings on Christian discipleship and are expressed by the magisterium of the Catholic Church and by theologians in union with the magisterium, while also considering current controversies and debates regarding these principles. The course will also examine how the principles of Catholic morality apply to various perennial and contemporary moral issues.

ICT606: Church History

This course provides a comprehensive overview of the two-millennium history of the Catholic Church. The major figures, spiritual movements, and theologies in the history of Christianity will be studied in this course. It will provide a perspective on the origins of the principal aspects of Christian faith, life, and worship; on the sources of division among Christians; and on other important topics essential to the understanding of Christianity.

Application and Admission

Applications Now Open

Students will apply online, and admissions is rolling.

Fall Semester — Applications open January 15
Spring Semester — Applications open September 15

Admission to Franciscan University of Steubenville Graduate Programs

While all the courses of the ICT Graduate Certificate in Catholic Theology are transferable to Franciscan University of Steubenville, acceptance into the ICT Graduate Certificate in Catholic Theology does not mean a student is enrolled in either Franciscan’s Master of Arts in Theology and Christian Ministry or the Master of Arts in Catechetics and Evangelization. A separate application for admissions to those programs is required. For more information on admissions to those degree programs, please visit

Obtaining Academic Credit

Students who transfer to Franciscan University will pay no additional cost for the credit.

Students who transfer to other universities will pay Franciscan University $450 per ICT course for 3 graduate credits. Payment to Franciscan University happens at the beginning of the ICT course.

ICT graduate courses correspond to the following Franciscan University courses:

Institute of Catholic Theology CourseFranciscan University of Steubenville Equivalent
ICT 501: Word of God—Scripture and Tradition* THE 510 Word of God: Scripture and Tradition
ICT 502: Ministry of the WordCAT 517: Catechetics or THE 519: The Ecclesial Nature and Mission of Theology
ICT 601: Philosophy for TheologyTHE 600: Philosophy for Theology
ICT 602: Biblical CatecheticsCAT 601: Biblical Catechetics
ICT 603: Deposit of FaithCAT 602: Deposit of Faith
ICT 604: Church and SacramentsTHE 607: Dogmatic Theology 2: Church and Sacraments
ICT 605: Moral FoundationsTHE 615: Moral Foundations
ICT 606: Church HistoryTHE 613: Church History

* Waived for graduates of the Kino Catechetical Institute's two-year Adult Faith Formation certificate program. Requires official transcript sent to the ICT director from Kino.

Frequently Asked Questions

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