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Bachelor of Sacred Theology

Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.)

Offered in affiliation with The Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception, at the Dominican House of Studies, in Washington, D.C., which is authorized by the Vatican's Congregation on Education to grant this graduate-level first-cycle ecclesial degree.


Mount St. Mary’s Seminary is a school of faith, discipleship and learning that prepares men for the Catholic ministerial priesthood. We strive to be a spiritual place that fosters a way of life and provides an atmosphere for excellent priestly formation in all its aspects: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral.

  • Undergraduate Major
  • Undergraduate Minor
  • Graduate Degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Accelerated Undergraduate
  • Adult Undergraduate
  • Special Program

S.T.B. Program Purpose

The degree of Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) provides the student with a solid, Thomistic, organic, and complete instruction in theology at the basic level. As a first-cycle graduate-level ecclesiastical academic degree, it enables graduates to pursue further studies in the sacred sciences. The degree is a prerequisite for further pursuit of an ecclesiastical licentiate degree, and is also accepted for further study in universities of the European Union where the M.Div. is not recognized.

See the catalog for additional details about the S.T.B. program.

Download Seminary Catalog (.pdf)


The S.T.B. degree program aims to provide seminarians with a solid, Thomistic, organic, and complete instruction in theology at the basic level.


S.T.B. candidates will

  • Achieve a basic but solid, Thomistic, organic understanding of theology
  • Integrate their understanding by a capstone comprehensive examination

S.T.B. Course Content

  • A minimum of 100 semester credit hours of coursework is required with the following distribution:
    • 21 credits Foundational
    • 21 credits Systematic
    • 21 credits Scriptural
    • 15 credits Moral Theology
    • 12 credits Church History
    • 10 credits Sacramental
    • 8 units Pastoral
  • A demonstrated reading knowledge of New Testament Greek and Ecclesiastical LatinA minimum 3.00 cum GPA in all coursework being applies toward the S.T.B. degree.
  • Satisfactory completion of the two-part S.T.B. comprehensive examination (described in the “Academic Norms” section of the Seminarian Handbook). The subject matter is material covered in the courses in Systematic and Sacramental Theology, Moral Theology, and Scripture.

M.Div./S.T.B. Combination

Qualified students at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary may enroll in a dual-degree program combining the S.T.B. with the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree, our fully accredited basic professional degree oriented towards ministerial leadership.

Learn more about our Seminary dual-degree program offerings.

Dual Degrees

Educational Resources and Learning Strategies

Residency and Fees

  • The residency requirement for the S.T.B. degree is eight semesters.
  • A $100 per semester S.T.B. fee is billed each semester after matriculation in the S.T.B. degree program.
  • A non-refundable $25.00 diploma fee (check payable to the “Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception”) is due prior to taking the comprehensive examination.

S.T.B. Admissions Requirements

The following prerequisites for admission will be evaluated by the seminary academic dean, who may, in individual cases, allow the student to remedy particular deficiencies during the first year of the program:
  • A bachelor’s degree (B.A./B.S./or its equivalent) from an accredited college or university
  • Superior achievement and the ability to pursue graduate work as indicated by the transcript of previous studies (with a minimum GPA of 3.00)
  • An undergraduate foundation in philosophy, including a minimum of 36 credit hours. Courses should include: ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary philosophy, logic, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, natural theology, philosophical anthropology, political philosophy and cosmology.
  • A reading knowledge of Latin

Transfer of Credits into the S.T.B. program  

Students may transfer up to 30 credits taken from an ecclesiastical faculty or other institution granting canonical degrees through affiliation with an ecclesiastical faculty into the S.T.B. degree program.
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