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Center for Pastoral Ministry Education

2020–21 Campus Ministry Interns (8), accompanied by program directors, gathered outdoors in summer.

The Center for Pastoral Ministry Education serves as the field placement office for all graduate ministry students enrolled in the MA in Ministry and Theology or the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry offered by the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. Both programs train young adults to serve the church through a rigorous and integrated program of theological and ministerial education and formation.

The degree program and the required supervised ministerial practicum are carefully integrated through an established partnership between the Department of Theology and the Center for Pastoral Ministry Education in Campus Ministry.  This integration enables the students' academic coursework to strengthen their practical training, and allows their ministerial practicum experience to focus and guide their theological study.

The M.A. in Ministry and Theology and the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry:

  • Prepare future lay ministers for theologically grounded and pastorally sensitive service within Catholic and other Christian churches
  • Advance ministry within the Augustinian tradition of coming to know God through love of others and the fostering of authentic community
  • Are inclusive of all dimensions of faith, worship, and the human experience

  • Place ministry, theology, and pastoral counseling in dialogue with one another as reciprocal and interdependent disciplines

  • Guide ministers to reflect attentively on Christian faith and practice in light of their own experience and that of the various communities they serve

The Certificate program is jointly administered by the Graduate Program in Theology and the Center for Pastoral Ministry Education.  It combines graduate coursework in theology and pastoral ministry with practical training in ministerial contexts.

It consists of a total of 24 credit hours:

  • 6 credit hours in Theory and Practice of Ministry courses;
  • 6 credit hours of supervised ministry practicum;
  • 12 credit hours in Ministry & Education, Theology, Ethics, and Interfaith Studies.

Students may be enrolled in the Certificate program only or pursue it in combination with another masters degree program.

The practicum portion of the degree and certificate programs can be pursued along two possible tracks. The first track consists of the Graduate Campus Ministry Internship Program (CMI) involving on-campus residential ministry.  This track is reserved for those students who are offered positions in the CMI program.  The second track consists of a supervised ministry field placement which does not require living on-campus.  Ministry students who are not offered a CMI position can either be given a non-residential ministerial placement within Campus Ministry or be given a placement at another ministry site outside of Villanova to fulfill the practicum component of the Certificate.

Practicum placements on campus:

  • Interfaith and Ecumenical Outreach
  • Hispanic Outreach
  • Retreats
  • Local Service and Immersions
  • Pastoral Music
  • Liturgy
  • Sports and Spirituality
  • Peace and Justice Education
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Health Promotion

The field placement supervisors within the Center for Pastoral Ministry Education (CPME) will assist students following the second (non-residential) track in establishing their practicum placements. 

If a student is already engaged in professional ministry (whether full-time or part-time), CPME may allow that ministry to serve as the student's practicum placement if a qualified ministry site supervisor can be identified.

CPME will work on an ongoing basis with the ministry student and ministry site to develop a clear agreement about the student's responsibilities and learning objectives.

One hundred percent of our graduates have found employment in ministry or enrollment in further graduate study within 6 months of graduation.  Ministers who have graduate from our program are currently employed in a wide-range of positions, including:

  • Campus Ministry at a college or university
  • High school teaching and/or ministry
  • Hospital chaplaincy or CPE program
  • Parish ministry
  • Coordination or administration within a postgrad volunteer program
  • Other not-for-profit organization (both religiously-affiliated and secular)


The Campus Ministry Graduate Internship is a halftime, residential ministry position that fulfills the practicum requirements of the M.A. in Ministry and Theology or the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry.  Compensation for these position include full-tuition remission, room & board, and a stipend.

Our Campus Ministry Interns (CMIs) live in first-year or second-year residence halls and develop opportunities for undergraduate students to grow holistically through participation in liturgy, service, social justice work, retreats and shared reflection.

General Program Requirements

  • If admitted into the masters program in Theology, Campus Ministry Interns (CMIs) must enroll in MA in Ministry and Theology degree program and maintain good academic standing
  • Live in a first-year or second-year residence hall
  • Devote 20 hr/wk to ministerial role over two academic years
  • Participate in staff meetings, intern group meetings, practicum and program supervision, as well as supervision with the Counseling Center
  • Work collaboratively with Residence Life staff and attend area and building meetings when possible

Ministerial Requirements

  • Engage in an ongoing process of discernment of your gifts and ministerial vocation with the support of the Campus Ministry staff and your peers
  • Actively foster community within the residence halls, possibly by creating and facilitating a weekly sharing group ("Get Real")
  • Invite and encourage students to accompany you to Sunday evening liturgy and other Campus Ministry prayer opportunities
  • Attend all University-wide liturgies
  • Invite & encourage students to attend other Campus Ministry and University events such as Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Religious Diversity Day, Special Olympics, and St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service
  • With the help of the program director, seek out a specific ministerial placement within the Office of Mission and Ministry to develop further your ministerial skills and knowledge

Eligible candidates for the Campus Ministry Internship must have:

  • An undergraduate degree (3.0 min GPA)
  • Minimum of one year of post undergraduate work/service experience (strongly preferred, but not required)
  • Admission into a graduate degree program at Villanova; preference is given to applicants to the M.A. in Ministry and Theology program; applicants to other graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences will be considered on an individual basis
  • A proficiency in articulating their desire to grow in a ministerial identity
  • The desire and competency to live as a minister in an undergraduate residence hall and to work with first-year students

Villanova University provides the following to each intern:

  • Ongoing academic support, spiritual and theological formation, and ministerial supervision throughout the entirety of the program
  • Room and board for a total of 4 (Fall and Spring) semesters
  • Room for 1 or 2 summer semesters for interns that elect to take some of their courses during the summer before Year 1 or the summer between Years 1 and 2 (Taking at least 1 summer course is strongly encouraged to lighten the academic load during the final semesters)
  • Full tuition remission for all course work (48 graduate credits) in fulfillment of the M.A. in Ministry and Theology. (For interns in a degree program other than Theology, the internship will only cover tuition for a maximum of 48 graduate credits, 24 of which must be in fulfillment of the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry)
  • A generous annual stipend to cover the cost of books and living expenses (the annual stipend amount is approximately $11,500); the total value of the tuition, room & board, and stipend portions of the whole internship program is currently over $66,000

Applications for admission into the Internship Program in the Fall of 2021 will be accepted starting August 1, 2020. The priority  application deadline is February 1, 2021. After Feb. 1st, applications will be considered on a rolling basis as space permits.

Applicants to both the Certificate and Internship programs begin by completing the Graduate Liberal Arts and Sciences application and selecting either the MA in Ministry and Theology or the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry as their primary or secondary discipline of study.

Applicants must be accepted into a master’s degree program at Villanova before being considered for the certificate or internship programs.  Once an applicant is admitted into their academic degree program, they will automatically be entered into the review process for Certificate in Ministry and the Internship programs if these have been indicated in their application.

All application and admission information for the degree and certificate programs in Theology, which include both the M.A. in Ministry and Theology (48 credits), as well as the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry (24 credits), can be found through the Graduate Program in Theology.

If you are applying to the Campus Ministry Internship Program as an applicant to a degree program in another department, then you need to follow the application and admissions requirements established by that department. AND you must also select the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry as a "secondary discipline" on the Graduate Arts and Sciences application.

All applicants to either ministry program will have a preliminary video interview on a rolling basis.  Admission decisions will also be made on a rolling basis.  Qualified applicants to the Internship program will be invited to have a second, lengthier video interview by no later than mid February.  Decisions about the Internship program will be made by March 1st.

Contact Us

Program Director

John P. Edwards, PhD
[610] 519-3507
St. Rita Hall 105

Associate Director

Rev. Joseph Calderone, OSA, EdD
[610] 519-7477
St. Rita Hall 104