Denver, Colo., Sep 16, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A new Catholic university has announced the launch of their Masters of Sacred Art degree program, which is available online. The program will include the study of theology, philosophy, architecture, film, music and art, and is available through Pontifex University, a Catholic University established in 2015 by the Solidarity Association of the Christian Faithful.

“The goal of Pontifex is to guide students along the path, the Way of Beauty, which leads to the supernatural transformation in Christ, so equipping one to serve Him,” David Clayton, provost of Pontifex, said in an announcement. “The Masters of Sacred Art (MSA) offers the same formation that enabled the great Catholic artists of the past to create works of radiant beauty that are at once noble, elevating and accessible to the many, drawing all to God,” he said.

The two-year program is an online course, with occasional regional workshops in the United States, Italy or the Holy Land, and includes special access to the Vatican museum and the restoration workshops as well as an optional graduation Mass in the Vatican. Residential programs are available in the U.S., Italy and the Holy Land. The program seeks to provide training and formation for artists, priests, religious, laity or “anyone looking to create beauty as a sign of hope in today's world.”

The idea for the program has been forming for about 20 years, ever since Clayton, at the time a recent convert to Catholicism, decided to become an artist but could not find any training programs in which to pursue sacred art. The result of his years of research on the subject culminated in both a book, “Way of Beauty,” published in 2015 by Angelico Press, and the MSA program with Pontifex, he said.

“I am thrilled now to see this being offered to the next generation…” Clayton said. The program includes classes on Scripture, architectural design, Gregorian chant and many other subjects, taught by “expert faculty including highly respected Catholic artists,” although Pontifex also holds that the “ultimate Educator is God Himself.”   

According to the announcement, Pontifex prepares students to pass the test laid down for artists by Pope Benedict XVI in his book “A New Song for the Lord”, in which he wrote: “It is precisely the test of true creativity that the artist steps out of the esoteric circle and knows how to form his or her intuition in such a way that the others—the many—may perceive what the artist has perceived.” “Pontifex University’s MSA is the new catalyst that shows how to bring these elements together in harmony with one’s personal vocation, whatever it may be, for the glory of God and joy of mankind.”

More information about the program and registration can be found at: