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The Licentiate of Sacred Theology (STL) with specialization in Sacramental Theology is a research degree which trains students to teach a wide variety of courses, from adult education to graduate courses. The STL also prepares graduates for scholarly research in the field of sacramental and liturgical theology as well as for teaching in Catholic seminaries, universities, and colleges. Admission to the STL program requires a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (STB), a Master of Divinity (MDiv) or equivalent.


The Licentiate of Sacred Theology with a sacramental specialization is a degree of the Liturgical Institute using core courses of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology and electives from the Liturgical Institute's curriculum. Students also join in the Liturgical Institute's daily worship and social activities.


For detailed information on the Licentiate program, see the Bulletin of the Pontifical Faculty of Theology of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake, available on the University's website at or by calling 847.837.4542.


As a canonical degree of the Ecclesiastical Faculty of Theology, the STL is accredited by the Congregation for Catholic Education of the Holy See.



  1. An STB or MDiv (or equivalent: 66 semester hours of Roman Catholic Theology and 33 semester hours of Philosophy) with a 3.2 academic average in systematic courses and a 3.0 cumulative average.

  2. Official transcripts from all college and graduate programs attended.

  3. Three letters of recommendation: from a pastor or religious superior; from a professor or academic instructor, preferably in theology or a related field; from an employer or supervisor in ministry.

  4. Language competency examinations in Latin and one modern language must be completed before the end of the first semester of study.

  5. A Personal Statement explaining the applicant’s interest in the program and professional or ministerial goals.

  6. An example of scholarly work such as on complete research paper of at least 15 pages (not including bibliography) written in the last five year.





Course Requirements


The STL is structured around a cycle of four courses that provide in-depth study of the Christian theological tradition from the New Testament to the present. Special attention is given to Doctrine of God, Christology, Theological Anthropology, Spiritual Theology, and Sacramental Theology. The specialization in Sacramental Theology requires 15 additional credits, and a thesis which treats a question in sacramental or liturgical theology. The STL generally requires two years of study. The second year, but not the first, may be completed during summer sessions, meeting from mid-June to mid-July.


Licentiate Examination


The examination covers areas of concentration in the program, including New Testament foundations, Catholic dogmatic tradition and six selected theologians.


The S.T.L. Thesis


The licentiate thesis is written in the major area of specialization and may be compared to a substantial scholarly essay. Its length normally about seventy-five typewritten pages. See the Liturgical Institute’s Academic Bulletin and the Bulletin of the Ecclesiastical Faculty for more information.




  • History of Christian Thought I

  • History of Christian Thought II

  • History of Christian Thought III

  • History of Christian Thought IV

  • Fifteen semester credit hours taken from the Liturgical Institute curriculum

  • Thesis Proposal

  • Thesis Writing


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