Stained Glass in Chapel

John Carroll University's Certificate in Theological Education is designed for high school theology teachers and open to anyone engaged in the ministry of religious education. With courses built around the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ curriculum framework, this two-year, graduate-level program will deepen your theological expertise and strengthen your classroom skills. A flexible distance-learning model allows you to participate in once-a-week classes online or on campus.

Why Choose John Carroll?

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Catholic school teachers and other religious educators are automatically eligible for scholarship awards covering one-third of tuition. The award reduces the total cost for a three-credit course to $1510. Additional financial aid is available to graduate students enrolled in the M.A. degree program.

Visit Campus

We’re ready to answer your questions—and welcome you to campus for a tour, information session, class visit, or one-on-one meeting with faculty. To find out more, contact Colleen Sommerfeld at 216.397.4284 or

Program Overview

The following core courses are offered on a two-year cycle. Students can begin coursework at any time. Depending on individual needs, other 400- or 500-level JCU courses may be substituted for up to two of these core courses.

Scripture & Revelation (TRS 400)

Approaches to understanding the Jewish and Christian scriptures as revelatory texts. Special focus on the methods essential to exegesis, biblical interpretation, and contemporary uses of the scriptures. Aligns with U.S. Bishops’ Curriculum Core Course I: The Revelation of Jesus Christ in Scripture.

Jesus & the Pascal Mystery (TRS 532)

Study of the principal developments in theological reflection on the meaning of Jesus Christ in the New Testament and in later church tradition; consideration of how contemporary Christology is both affected by and responds to crucial concerns of today’s culture. Aligns with Core Course II: Who is Jesus Christ? and Core Course III: The Mission of Jesus Christ.

Church & Sacrament (TRS 534)

Exploration of the church as “sacrament of salvation” through an examination of the sacraments of initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist), the sacraments of healing (Penance, Anointing of the Sick), and sacraments at the service of communion (Matrimony, Holy Orders). Topics include images, models, and marks of the church, as well as the historical, liturgical, and theological development of the seven sacraments. Aligns with Core Course IV: Jesus Christ’s Mission Continues in the Church and Core Course V: Sacraments as Privileged Encounters with Jesus Christ.

Catholic Moral Theology (TRS 560)

Introduction to Catholic moral theology attentive to implications for both the individual and society. Topics include moral decision making, conscience, virtues, sin, social sin, the common good, and major themes of Catholic Social Teaching. Aligns with Core Course VI: Life in Jesus Christ and Elective Course C: Living as a Disciple of Jesus Christ in Society.

Teaching Theology (TRS 581)

Pedagogy for theological educators. Topics include the nature and goals of theological education, the vocation of the theology teacher, the sociological research relevant to religious education, the developmental needs of adolescents and young adults, diversity in the classroom, and concrete pedagogical strategies. Special attention given to practical implementation of the learning goals of the U.S. Catholic Bishops High School Curriculum Framework.