25 Reasons to Consider an MAT at Saints Cyril and Methodius
1. Advanced degrees are useful for employment, job advancement and open doors to future potential career opportunities.
2. Very affordable (and your tuition qualifies as Lifetime Learning Credits towards your income tax refund).
3. Your credits may transfer.
4. Online courses available.
5. Attend part-time or full-time.
6. Daytime and evening courses available.
7. Lay a foundation for further advanced studies (PhD, other Master degrees).
8. Acceptance into the MAT program: Seminaries are like law schools in the sense that a seminary does not require any particular major in your undergraduate degree.
9. Prepare for careers in many different fields:
a. Working with church-related organizations.
b. Social services.
d. Missionary work.
e. Becoming a leader in a Christian organization.
f. Teach at a Catholic secondary school.
10. Bishops ensure content is authentic Catholic teaching.
11. Accredited by The Association of Theological Schools (February 2008) – this place Ss. Cyril and Methodius on the same level with any other theological school in the US. Seminary received reaccreditation in 2012 for a period of seven years before the next required self-study and re-accreditation in 2019.
12. Degree authorized by Pennsylvania Department of Education (April 22, 2003).
13. Over 60-year history.
14. Only free-standing Byzantine Catholic seminary in the United States.
FAITH BASED REASONS: CHANGE THE WAY YOU SEE THE WORLD
15. Prepare for catechist/religious instructor, lay theologian, or design a ministry.
16. Without knowing the real truth of your faith, you’ll start to believe the heresies.
17. The Seminary community: discuss faith and interact with Seminarians, clergy and other Christians, not skeptics.
18. Learn about faith from ordained clergy who have made faith their vocation and qualified lay professors.
19. Deepen your understanding of your relationship with Jesus Christ though examining scripture, liturgy, theology, etc.
20. We need tools for living: each person and each generation will evaluate the role of faith in their lives, in light of their own experiences – one needs a firm grasp of faith basics in order to reach reasonable conclusions and make sound decisions.
21. Better ability to explain faith– clearly and convincingly – to family, friends and others with confidence.
22. Personal enrichment – once you learn something new, you’re never the same person.
23. Play a larger role in the Church: one Catholic Archbishop predicted, “The presence of the Church in the society of tomorrow we be lay lead, but (lay) lead by men and women who have a profound understanding of what faith in Jesus Christ entails.”
24. Some of us find something new that moves or pushes us each time we are in church, read something in scripture or have conversations about faith with family or friends. Seminary classes offer the opportunity to explore these interests.
25. If our vision of religion is minimalistic and if our knowledge of what the faith is all about is deficient, we trivialize the role of faith in our life – it won’t be strong enough to transform our lives.
Practical, Sensible and Spiritual
I was drawn toward earning an M.A.T. at SS Cyril and Methodius Seminary for reasons that were practical, sensible and spiritual.
First, like any further education, earning a graduate degree from an accredited institution is both practical and a wise investment. It not only lays the foundation for future studies, but also positions me for any type of work I’ll do with Christian organizations or in academic related fields. I initially had the perception that only priests or deacons could attend the Seminary, but once I realized there’s no such thing as a “typical” Seminary student, I quickly applied.
When I say it’s also sensible, I’m referring to how my Seminary experience impacts the major decisions in my life and influences what’s important to me. Personally, I think it’s essential to consider, “Where should I look for answers?” I was realizing that the people making the most sense were the faithful and theologians of Eastern Christianity – the two types of people I encountered and spent time with at Cyril and Methodius. When they discuss God’s plan for our lives, it’s far better than what other philosophies or life styles offer.
On the spiritual level, I concluded that believing things just because someone else says it’s true is easy, but that type of faith cannot apply to my life or help me. If our knowledge of scripture, liturgy or spirituality is not strong, then none of those things can transform us or be relevant in our lives.
Loved many things about the Seminary…
The program at BCS is a priceless treasure. It has widened my understanding of the apostolic tradition. It is relevant to my vocation as a married man. All the courses that I have taken have been relevant to my future.
Entering into the Byzantine Catholic Seminary, I was always thrilled by the peaceful and welcoming atmosphere, perfect for class activities. It is a small-sized learning environment conducive for research and theological reflections. The free parking lots made it so easy for me to walk into the classrooms in less than two minutes. Classrooms are accessible and highly equipped to meet the challenges of the contemporary technologies. Professors are from various walks of life and faith groups, making it more integrated for me to identify with various faith traditions. My years at Byzantine Catholic Seminary enabled me to appreciate diversities that exist in various faith groups in keeping with the spirit of ecumenism.
Professors at BCS are easily approachable. They are totally devoted to the integral growth of students. They are available for questions and clarifications from students. Every semester, the academic Dean always provided flexibility in scheduling for academic meetings and class registrations. Seminarians in the Master of Divinity program are polite and accepting of the students in the Master of Theology program.
Obtaining the Tools to Teach…
I am presently completing my studies for the Master of Theology degree from Saints Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary. I plan to use my MAT for teaching and believe my education at the Seminary enhances my ability to do this. As the professors at the seminary are teaching me, they are also showing me how to teach others. The educational tools provided have ranged from the standard research paper, developing and presenting classroom lectures, constructing historical interviews, book reviews, poster presentations, group projects and even a Socratic dialogue! I am confident I have been exposed to comprehensive scholastic experiences I can share with future students.
I also plan to obtain a doctoral degree. My exposure to the level of expertise that the Seminary professors exhibit has inspired me to strive for the level of excellence they hold in their particular fields.
While Also Growing Spirituality…
In addition, I will leave the seminary with a deepened faith. As I develop an expanded understanding and appreciation of scripture, apostolic and patristic writings, theology and philosophy, my attitude and way of life are changing. I see the world with an evolving Christian mind and heart.
Deepen Your Faith…
I came to the Byzantine Catholic Seminary as an ecumenical student, not from an Eastern Christian tradition. However, I knew that I wanted to study liturgical theology and I was interested in the Byzantine tradition and the seminary’s Master of Arts in Theology program seemed to be a good fit. I had previously taken courses at both evangelical and Anglican seminaries and I soon found out what a good fit the BCS was. Almost immediately, I felt I was “home.” I felt a warm and gracious welcome from the faculty and staff and sense of camaraderie from the other students, both seminarians and graduate students. The spiritual life of the seminary and the mentorship of the faculty were also hugely important to me.
Enhance Your Credentials…
I have spent my entire adult life working in Christian higher education. Because of my commitment to ongoing theological education, during my time of study at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary, I was promoted to Director of Distance Learning at the Anglican seminary at which I work. Since graduation, I have also been made an adjunct professor, teaching online for a private evangelical liberal arts college in New York State.