Bachelor of Sacred Theology

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The Bachelor of Sacred Theology (Latin: Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus; abbreviated S.T.B.) is a graduate-level academic degree in theology.

The Bachelor of Sacred Theology is offered by a number of Pontifical Universities. It is sometimes offered as a graduate degree, for students who have already completed a B.A. or other first degree. It can also be offered as an "ecclesiastical degree", granted directly by church hierarchy after one has completed requirements in addition to those necessary for a civil degree, but which are required for ordination.

Within the Catholic Church, the S.T.B. is the first of three ecclesiastical degrees in theology (the second and third are the Licentiate of Sacred Theology and Doctor of Sacred Theology respectively), and as such is granted by pontifical faculties under the authority of the Holy See. It is awarded upon successful completion of the first cycle, a three-year course of studies that aims for a comprehensive competence in theology.

Despite its name, the S.T.B. is a graduate degree, at least in the United States. While acceptance to an S.T.B. programme always requires at least two prior years' undergraduate study of philosophy, as well as knowledge of the Latin and Greek languages, in the United States a completed undergraduate degree is generally required for admission to an S.T.B. programme. Thus it is roughly equivalent academically to an M.Div. (although the S.T.B. has a more academic focus while the M.Div. has a more pastoral focus), and the two are sometimes granted together.

Faculties which offer the degree Bachelor of Sacred Theology include The Catholic University of America, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium), Tilburg University (Netherlands), Pázmány Péter Catholic University (Budapest), [1] and the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines. [2]


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