Master of Sacred Arts

The Master of Sacred Arts combines the study of theology (primarily scripture and liturgy), philosophy, mathematics, architecture, art history and fine arts. The integration of these subjects in a single program brings to light new facets of each and highlights the relations that exist among the subjects. Thus, students receive a holistic formation rooted in a profound knowledge of each subject. Students who complete the Master of Sacred Arts will be well equipped to pursue further study in any one of the component fields. Additionally, while the Master of Sacred Arts stands as a complete program, it can be taken as a complement to other fields of study (e.g. education). Students who have already completed graduate-level work in one or more subjects included in the program may seek to transfer credits towards the Master of Sacred Arts degree. 

Pontifex University believes that an authentic Catholic education should center on beauty as a primary means of encountering Christ, His creation, and His Church, and this encounter should facilitate the supernatural transformation of the person such that their whole life reflects the divine beauty and inspires the transformation of the culture. 


Master of Sacred Arts Curriculum 



You need 30 credits minimum to obtain the MSA degree.


The mandatory subjects are as follows (21 credits):

A History and Practical Theology of Images...3 credits

The New Testament in Words and Images...3 credits

The Old Testament in Words and Images...3 credits

The Bible and the Liturgy...3 credits

The Mathematics of Beauty...2 credits

Fundamentals of Beauty in Architecture...1 credits

A Survey of Philosophy of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful...3 credits

The Philosophy of Nature and of Man...3 credits




Electives - you will require a minimum of 9 credits from any combination of the list below,

which must include 6 ‘Studio’ credits or a written thesis:


Studio: A Study of Artistic Methods for Patrons and Artists...3 credits

Studio: An Introduction to Sculpture...3 credits

Studio: (Approved workshops by arrangement eg credits


Thesis: 10,000-words, subject student choice approved by the Provost...6 credits

The Words of the Mass...1 credit

The Psalms in Words, Images and Prayer...3 credits

Sacred Music...1  credit

Christian Humanism in the Modern Cinema...1 credit

To learn more about our courses, please visit the following link:

Pontifex University's Courses

What makes this program unique?

The Master of Sacred Arts is different because of its emphasis on beauty as an aspect of all academic disciplines at all levels and stages of study. 

Beauty is not merely an accessible entry point to contemplate the truth. Rather, truth and beauty are intimately and inalienably related. What is most true is also most beautiful, and what is most beautiful is also the truest. The great works of Catholic culture and Catholic tradition are not at the periphery in the understanding of the truths of creation and the Faith, they are at its heart.

At Pontifex University the program of study manifests the truth, goodness and beauty of the Faith and of Catholic culture.

.The Master of Sacred Arts program gives the student an understanding of the theological and philosophical basis for a Christian culture with an emphasis on, but not restricted to, the visual arts.

Based upon the traditional formation given to the great artists of the past, the program includes a description of the spiritual life, technical training, and intellectual formation. 

It also includes an overview of the highlights of Christian culture from various disciplines from the beginning of Christianity to the present day. There is an emphasis on praxis as well as academic study - all students, even those who do not intend to be artists, will take studio courses in drawing, painting and geometry according to their preference.

The Master of Sacred Arts program will benefit those for whom a formation in beauty and creativity has obvious benefits such as artists, architects, and composers since it was through an examination of how the great artists of the past were trained that this program was developed. Nevertheless, the Master of Sacred Arts can benefit anyone in any field for there is no field of study or human activity that cannot be enhanced by beauty. As a program of personal enrichment, the Master of Sacred Arts will deepen faith and love for the Church. Ultimately, the goal of the Master of Sacred Arts is not simply to form artists but to draw all people to the Faith and to the worship of God in the sacred liturgy, which is central of the Christian life.

For example, the natural sciences are another approach to analyzing the beauty of creation. This program will help students of the natural sciences to place that scientific analysis back into the context of the whole of creation. Such a contextualization will serve to enhance the sense of awe and wonder at the majestic order discovered by science and will give students a greater enthusiasm for their studies. Additionally, the formation of the Master of Sacred Arts should provide students with an intuition for developing creative solutions to problems. 

The Master of Sacred Arts is also an education for educators whose responsibilities include awakening an understanding and appreciation of beauty in their own students.

The principles that this program introduces can be applied in any field or endeavor and can be adapted to teaching programs for all ages and at all levels - family, parish, homeschooling, high school, college and university..

Specializations and Doctoral Program 

Following the completion of the Master of Sacred Arts, students will be well prepared to pursue further studies whether in theology, education, or the fine arts. Pontifex University will afford students opportunities to continue their studies towards specialized graduate degrees and perhaps even a Doctoral program. 



To complete an application for the Master of Sacred Arts Program

please click the link below:

Application for Admission into Pontifex Universiy