Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theological Studies (MTS)


Facing low levels of engagement among Catholics in the developed world, this thesis examines one possible theological root of the problem--infant baptism. This paper will track the Biblical origins and historical development of baptism, comparing current Catholic practice with antecedents for applicability to our rapidly changing, secularized culture. Based on that analysis, the author suggests a path toward stronger discipleship is to defer baptism until after a catechetical process. If infant baptism is to be retained, then a mystagogical process needs to be inserted sometime after the age of reason to finalize the initiation into the community and build sustained discipleship into the believer.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Theological Studies.