The program is:
Contemporary ecclesial ministry is the continuation of Jesus’ ministry in the world. As confirmed in the Church’s history, new ministries and new ministers are called to serve the evolving needs of faith communities. Ecclesial ministry is “the Church in the heart of the world and bring[s] the world into the heart of the Church” (quoted from Co-Workers in the Vineyard) as ministers serve the needs of the world today. Ministers working in and for the Church require support, education, and encouragement in this special role in the Church.
Our lay ministry programs responds to the growing need to serve the Church by educating the people of God and training leaders through rigorous theological and ministerial education. We offer an education in the Augustinian Tradition that advances Lay Ministerial Education in the U.S.A. and serves the Church.
As Augustine put it, theological knowing is “understanding what we believe,” that is, as a critical, systematic reflection on the life of faith. However, in our Augustinian tradition, knowing is both speculative and practical and distinctive in its emphasis on the union of mind and heart (or knowledge and love, theory and practice). Because, as Blaise Pascal says, “the heart has its reasons that reason does not know,” learners in our lay ministry programs engage their minds and deepen their lives by integrating the speculative (mind) and practical (heart) in their studies. Learning in the Augustinian tradition “strives to arrive at action through reflection on experience taking into account accumulated wisdom” (McCloskey, Cracked Pots). In light of Augustine’s emphasis on the will, “authentic Augustinian pedagogy demands that disposition and learning are put into action through practice. This practice reflects Augustine’s own arrival at effective learning” (McCloskey, Cracked Pots).
Practicing the Augustinian ideal of unity (unitas), truth (veritas), and compassion (caritas), the proposed program nurtures a way of learning and knowing (mind) that is infused with care and love (heart) or, to use an Augustinian metaphor, knowing with the heart and the mind. This particular way of knowing is holistic and humanistic; unites and transforms heart and mind, love and knowledge, practice and theory; authenticates inner- and inter-personal experiences; fosters moral reasoning; invites cultivating one’s self; and develops the desire to search out the unknown.
In other words, students in lay ministry programs pursue the Augustinian way of knowing, which is (1) a journey seeking truth (veritas); (2) a dialogue with learners different from ourselves (unitas); and (3) a transformational wholeheartedness (caritas) that serves (ministers to) others.
Preparing students to become competent, knowledgeable leaders in ministry, the proposed program is highly competitive in the market of north-American ministerial education. Yet, the program is distinctive in that it formulates and advances ministry within the Augustinian tradition, and does so in unique ways of structuring ministerial education. Flowing from the Augustinian vision of reasoning and learning, the program is
With the integration of theological and ministerial ways of knowing as objectives, the program introduces a new and distinctive way of "doing theology" on campus, which is, in essence, an ancient Augustinian concept. In particular, the program studies the relations between theological knowing and ministerial expressions of that knowledge from three perspectives by promoting competency in theology, lay ministry, and counseling.
The program meets ecclesial needs in innovative ways. It
The program offers support, education, and engagement in lay ministry. It introduces you to theological and ministerial knowledge and practice in the Augustinian tradition, which emphasizes the union of the mind and heart.
You will engage in these tasks with faculty dedicated to providing a Christian intellectual and moral environment; integrating contemporary thought, experience, and method in course work and ministerial practica; and teaching skills informed by the Augustinian tradition and rooted in Roman Catholic lay ecclesial ministry.
In this learning environment, students in our lay ministry programs pursue academic learning objectives similar to students in the master's program.
The program combines academic studies in Theology, Counseling, Education, and Lay Ministry with practical training in campus ministry. Please see the Program Requirements Checklist for specifics.
In order to prepare you for ministry in parishes, schools and other settings, each of the four Pastoral Ministry and Counseling Practice courses includes a supervised Ministerial Field Practicum in a ministerial setting approved by the course instructor.
Like the courses in Pastoral Ministry and Counseling Practice, the practicum spans 4 semesters. You are responsible for obtaining your placement and must complete a Practicum Contract. Villanova offers unique, but limited opportunities for completing the Practicum in Campus Ministry.
For more information, please contact the Coordinator of the Campus Ministry Graduate Internship Program.
You may enroll as a full-time student and complete the program in two years. If you plan to study part-time you may enroll in as little as 1 course per semester and take up to 6 years to complete all degree requirements. To permit part-time students to work during the day, most courses meet in the evening.
You are also required to attend a Research Proseminar in the fall semester of your first year of studies, and pass a Comprehensive Examination.
One Required Course (3 credit hours):
►Foundation in Theology (THL 8000; offered every fall semester)
One Elective Course (3 credit hours):
Four Required Courses in Lay Ministry and Counseling Practice (the equivalent of 6 credit hours):
►Pastoral Ministry and Counseling Practice I-IV
One required Courses in Pastoral Counseling (3 credit hours):
►Orientation to Pastoral Counselng
One required Courses in Religious Education (3 credit hours):
►Education and Ministry
We offer one course (1.5 credit hours) in Pastoral Ministry and Counseling Practice per semester. You take the four courses sequentially. Thus, classroom instruction in Lay Ministry spans four semesters. To facilitate learning across diverse depths of knowledge and levels of experience, each course has 1st and 2nd year students enrolled. We organize the courses according to content units rotating on a four-semester basis; each ministry course offers distinct content.
Our courses in Pastoral Ministry and Counseling Practice prepare you to
The courses in Pastoral Ministry and Counseling Practice present an integrated approach to the academic, human, theological, and spiritual dimensions of Christian ministry. You will explore
Other topics include the ministry of Jesus; the Church and her ministry in the world; the role of laity in ecclesial ministry; stages of faith development; prayer and spirituality; Catholic social teaching; professional skills and ethical practices in pastoral ministry; pastoral practices - typical and emergent in the Roman Catholic tradition; leadership models of ministry; and theological reflection on ministerial experience.
Please look around our web-site to find out as much as possible about us and our students, our program, and Villanova's and our department's services for our students. It is important to us that you consider Villanova a good fit for your academic journey. Feel free to contact us and request additional information about our program.
Of course, we heartily invite you to contact our program director for program specific information or members of our Graduate Theology Student Committee. And you are most welcome to visit us in person if you live nearby or plan on stopping by in Philadelphia. If you cannot visit in person, you can find detailed information on Villanova's campus and community, as well as the surrounding Philadelphia-area by taking a virtual tour.
All applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an institution accredited by one of the regional accrediting agencies. In addition, we ordinarily require
(1) eighteen credits in Theology, Religion, or the equivalent; or evidence of 5 years working experience in the fields of Theology or Religion (e.g., ministry, teaching, administration, education); and
(2) a 3.0 (or higher) GPA.
Also, all applicants must have a personal interview with the Coordinator of the Campus Ministry Graduate Internship Program (CMI) who supervises the practicum.
In our department, the Graduate Program Director guides all applicants through the program admission process. We recommend that you contact the director in person, by email or telephone to discuss your unique situation, qualifications, and goals.
Because the program is jointly administered with Villanova's Center for Pastoral Ministry Education and Internship, we encourage you to also contact the Campus Ministry Internship Coordinator, who supervises the practicum, to inquire about the Certificate and discuss your situation, qualifications, and goals.
Please complete the online application before you submit additional application materials. We need a completed application to accurately record and match your supplemental material. Thus, without completed online application we will not be able to keep you informed about the status of your application material.
|Application Fee (non-refundable)||$50|
|Letters of Recommendation||2|
|GRE (or equivalent)||no|
|Statement of Objectives (500-700 words)||yes|
|Evidence of 5 years working experience in the fields of Theology or Religion (e.g., ministry, teaching, administration, education).||if applicable|
We do not require that you submit all application materials together. However, we consider applications only when all materials have been received. Application materials that cannot be submitted online must be sent (mail, email or fax) to:
Office of Graduate Studies
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
Fax: (610) 519-7096
Email Documents to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The items listed above are all we need to review your application. Please do not send unnecessary supporting documents. If you would like us to know about relevant experience or activities, feel free to include that information in your personal statement.
Upon receiving all your application material, our Graduate Program Committee reviews your application and submits a recommendation concerning acceptance and matriculation status to the Office of Graduate Studies.
We aim to notify you of our acceptance decision by email and regular mail within one week of receiving your complete application.
Caveat: To ensure the high quality of our joint program, we admit a limited number of applicants. In the case that we are unable to accommodate all applicants, we will create a waitlist. We will notify you of our acceptance decision by the end of the fourth week following the posted application deadline.
As soon as the Office of Graduate Studies admits you to the program you are free to enroll in your classes.
Do you not have a master's degree in theology or religion? Enroll in one of these programs:
Did you already earn a master's degree in Theology or Religion? Enroll in of the these programs:
Meeting the Augustinian Vision • Meeting the needs of Lay Ministerial Education in the U.S.A.• Meeting the needs of the Church
Augustinian Tradition • Mind and Heart • Lay Ministry
Courses • Practicum
Courses in Lay Ministry
Goals • Content
From Inquiry to Enrollment
How to Apply • What to Submit • What Happens Next