Often when a priest pursues advanced studies in theology he obtains an S.T.L. degree, which stands for Sacrae Theologiae Licentiatus ("Licentiate of Sacred Theology").
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A member of the Dominican order will often sign their name with the abbreviation O.P., Ordo Praedicatorum ("Order of Preachers").
Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Discalced Carmelites typically put O.C.D. at the end of their name, meaning Ordo Carmelitarum Discalceatorum ("Order of Discalced Carmelites").
Historically popes would add P.P. after their signature, which means
("Of the popes"). At its basic level it's an abbreviation for the word "pope."
Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA
At times a bishop will append their name with the abbreviation EP., which refers to the word
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Another degree that priests can earn for additional studies in theology is the S.T.D.,
Sacred Theologiae Docto
r ("Doctor of Sacred Theology").
Any member of Mother Teresa's order can add M.C. to their name, meaning "Missionary of Charity."
M.MIGLIORATO I CPP I CIRIC
A small number of priests, though there are usually a couple in each diocese, will study canon law and receive the title of
Juris Canonici Doctor
("Doctor of Canon Law").
Pascal Deloche | GoDong
A Jesuit will typically sign his name with S.J., which stands for
("Society of Jesus").
© ALESSIA GIULIANI/CPP
Franciscans are a large religious family and have many abbreviations. One of the most common is O.F.M.,
Ordo Fratrum Minorum (“Order of Lesser Brothers” or "Order of Friars Minor").
Kasper Mariusz Kaproń Ofm
The order founded by St. Benedict (Benedictines) sign their name with O.S.B.,
Ordo Sancti Benedicti
("Order of St. Benedict").
Most priests will receive a "Masters of Divinity" degree and some will put M.Div. at the end of their name to signify that achievement.
© Mazur/catholicchurch.org.uk (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
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