STB and STB to M.DIV. Program

The Bachelor of Sacred Theology (Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureus; STB) is a graduate-level, ecclesial degree in theology that is required for candidates seeking Holy Orders in the Open Catholic Church and may also be required by other ICSC jurisdictions for priesthood or diaconate ordination.  Traditionally, the focus of the STB is more academic, while the M.Div. is more pastoral.


STOCS students are offered two STB-to-M.Div. options.  The ordination track is a total of 83 units, the additional units focused on Sacramental Theology for sacerdotal ministry.  The other is 72 units and is designed for chaplaincy and lay leadership.  STOCS’ seminarians and lay students may complete the STB requirements entirely through STOCS online for an ecclesial degree or transfer up to 48 credits earned through STOCS to enroll in CST’s M.Div. program for the remaining 24 units needed for an accredited M.Div. degree.


For students who are planning to pursue professional employment in ministry or chaplaincy, the M.Div. is generally the “professional standard,” as the U.S. military, Veterans Administration and most healthcare agencies will require the accredited degree.


Students who are pursuing an accredited M.Div. must apply to the Claremont School of Theology.  Upon approval of the students’ application, CST will allow STOCS students to petition to transfer up to 48 units towards CST’s M.Div. degree.  A student may take courses through both schools concurrently.


Certificate Programs

STOCS also offers two different certificate programs: The Certificate in Diaconal Studies and a Certificate in Lay Leadership.  The Certificate in Diaconal Studies is primarily targeted for those students who are studying for the Permanent Diaconate.  As stated above, the laity, in concert with the clergy and the episcopacy, holds a significant voice in most ICSM churches in the Americas. The certificate program in lay leadership is meant to provide foundational studies in non-profit finance, accounting, fund-raising, social justice and proper parliamentary procedure to guide the laity in practicing the Gospel in the world.


Master of Arts in Religion

The Master of Arts in Religion (MAR), is a 48-unit course of study with a concentration in interdisciplinary/comparatives studies.  The MAR degree prepares students who desire careers in scholarly research, lay ministry, secondary teaching, college or hospital chaplaincy, or prepare for doctoral study the tools necessary to analyze theology, religious studies, history, and philosophy.  For an accredited degree, students may transfer up to 24 units completed through STOCS and must complete the second year (24 units) through CST.