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Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

You will find answers to our most frequently asked questions below.  Please call or text any additional questions to 1-866-380-5323.

May 2018 Priority Deadline: February 5th

General Questions about MATL

Why choose a Jesuit education?

Jesuits have been educating people since 1540. Gonzaga was founded in 1887 and continues to pursue a mission of educating leaders with the capacity for reflective and critical thought. Gonzaga’s graduate programs offer you the opportunity to pursue a degree that strives to educate the whole person: intellectually, spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

Is Gonzaga’s MATL program accredited?

Yes, Gonzaga is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Schools (NWCCS). Gonzaga is also member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The program can be completed in 8 semesters or a little over 2 1/2 years.

Do I need to be Catholic to attend the program?

The MATL program welcomes all lifelong learners seeking to deepen their faith and inspire others both intellectually and spiritually. The program is ecumenical and inclusive to all.

Do I need to have a religious studies undergraduate degree (or similar)?

The program does not require you to have an undergraduate degree in theology or religious studies. Students with a degree in another discipline, but are interested in mission or ministry related fields are encouraged to apply. All students will complete an introduction to the field of theology.

Will I obtain ordination through this program?

  • This program is not a seminary program and does not secure ordination. However, in some instances, it may provide a portion of the theological education necessary for ordination.
  • The MATL program meets the National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) Chaplaincy Certification Program requirements.

Do I have to be ordained or seeking ordination to be in this program?

No, the program is open to lay-persons who work in the private sector, for non-profits, charitable organizations, in church settings or a variety of other these fields. It is also open to ordained clergy, and religious women and men who seek additional theological or leadership education, or those pursuing ordination.

What jobs do graduates pursue?

The MATL program prepares you for leadership positions in non-profit, charitable or other mission-focused work, or work in a parish or diocesan setting.  Some graduates go on to pursue a doctoral degree in ministry or theology. Others come to enrich the work to which they are already committed. The range is dynamic, illustrating great creativity on the part of our graduates.

Can I transfer into the program?

  • Graduate students may transfer credits into the MATL program with the approval of their Department Chair, the Dean of the student’s program and the Registrar’s Office. A maximum of 1/5 of program credits (usually 6 semester credits for graduate level students) may be transferred.
  • Course work must be distinctively graduate level and must have been taken within the last five years. A minimum grade of a B (P grades must be defined as B or better) must be earned. Courses previously applied to a completed degree are not transferable to the student’s current program. It is important to note that all credits are converted to semester credits and are awarded after signatures have been obtained.

The Course Experience

Is this program online or on-campus?

  • This program is designed for working professionals with the majority of coursework completely online, so you can maintain your work and family life.
  • We also take community-building seriously. You will have substantial interaction with your instructors and classmates online, and of course, during the residency experiences. Class sizes and cohorts are kept small to further foster the program’s learning community.
  • There are two summer on-campus immersions (3 days during the first summer, 5 days during the second summer).  This allows you to further build a support network and connect with your cohort.
  • Watch this video about how our flexible offerings work for you and what to expect when you come to campus.

How long are the courses?

Semesters are split into two eight-week sessions. This means you can complete two courses in one semester while dedicating your attention to one course at a time.

Why are there required visits to Spokane for an Immersion?

The summer immersion experiences are central to the program. You will participate in an on-campus orientation during your first summer. In the second summer, you participate in the Theology and Leadership Institute. This event provides you the opportunity to meet experienced professionals in mission and ministry fields and to hone practical leadership skills in a workshop environment.  Students say the summer immersion experience is one of the best parts of the program.

Where is Spokane?

Spokane is located in eastern Washington, about a half hour from the Idaho border.  Check out the Visit Spokane website for more information.

What is a cohort model and why is it used?

You will move through the program with the same group of 20 to 24 students (your cohort) to encourage an interdisciplinary, collaborative and supportive learning environment. Students in each cohort will grow together by teaching each other, learning from each other and supporting each other. One cohort is admitted each May.

“The cohort is my favorite part of this program. Working with the same people on a regular basis has allowed me to interact more fully with them in order to get the most out of my learning.” – Josh Barnes, current student

Who will be teaching my classes?

Every class is designed by our Gonzaga faculty. All theology courses will be taught by faculty who hold a PhD in a relevant field (see faculty page). Organizational Leadership courses are taught by faculty who have a PhD in the field of Leadership or who have an M.A. degree and extensive experience as a practitioner in the field.

How much time is required per week to be successful in the program?

This will vary, depending on the courses you are taking, your learning style and your course load.  We find that students commit on average 10-15 hours per week towards coursework. This may fluctuate. During a week with a major paper or project due, you might spend more time on coursework than other weeks. What remains true is that you will get out of this program what you put into it.

What type of support services will I receive?

Scholarships, Tuition Discounts & Reductions

What is the cost of tuition?

Gonzaga is committed to keeping our MATL program affordable.  Cost per credit is a discounted $700.

How can I pay for my graduate degree?

We have a number of resources to help you fund your education.

As a graduate student you qualify for Federal Student Aid. This funding is not need based, follow the link to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Gonzaga also offers payment plan options and other financial resources. For more information contact Admissions at 1-866-380-5323.

Are graduate student scholarships available?


What types of tuition discounts do you offer?

Gonzaga University provides a 35% tuition reduction to qualified persons in the Diocese of Spokane who are working full-time professionally as Catholic School Teachers, Principals and Pastoral/Diocesan Ministers in schools or parishes under the auspices of the Diocese of Spokane.

  • For more information about this tuition reduction please inquire with the admissions department at 1-866-380-5323.

Program information is subject to change.

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