We offer one course (or 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
- acquire advanced understanding of the nature of lay ministry and the relationship and interplay between theology and ministry, tradition and practice;
- learn about contemporary practices of lay ministry;
- develop competencies in pastoral analysis, ministry skills, and theological reflection on the practice of lay ministry;
- articulate a theory and a method of lay ministry;
- develop ministry strategies in light of contemporary cultural and ecclesial needs;
- articulate and reflect upon ones emerging sense of a personal call to lay ministry.
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
- the contemporary theology of ecclesial ministry, its scriptural and historical roots, and give special attention to the origin, evolution, and function of ministry within the Christian Church;
- the Church’s teachings on baptismal vocation and the universal call to holiness in relationship to the role of ministers as leaders within a faith community;
- theological, spiritual, and ministerial formation that takes into account the whole person and considers all aspects of life: spirit, mind, heart, emotions, and body; and
- theological trends in the 20th and 21st century leading to, and originating from, the Second Vatican Council’s dogmatic constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) and the pastoral constitution on the Church in the modern world (Gaudium et Spes) and their place in the development of contemporary ecclesiological understanding.
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.