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Center for Residential Ministry

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

The Center for Residential Ministry (CRM) within Campus Ministry collaborates with Residence Life to foster community and create opportunities for personal and spiritual growth within the residence halls, a primary place for students to search together.

Just as Augustine celebrated friendship as a place to encounter God, our Graduate Resident Ministers (GRMs) and Peer Ministers work with RAs and other building staff to create an atmosphere within the halls that supports students in building authentic friendships with their peers, while also growing in their relationships with God and themselves.

GRMs live and work in first-year halls, and Peer Ministers in upperclass halls. Both develop relationships with mentors and peers to navigate and deepen their questions of faith, spirituality and meaning.

Graduate Resident Ministers (GRMs) live in first-year residence halls and collaborate with Residence Life and Campus Ministry staff to develop opportunities for students to grow holistically through social gatherings, retreats, service, social justice work, liturgies and shared reflection.

Graduate Resident Ministry is a halftime, residential ministry position that fulfills the supervised ministry practicum requirements of the MA in Ministry and Theology or the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry within the Department of Theology and Religious Studies.  

General Requirements

  • If admitted into the master’s program in Theology, GRMs must enroll in the MA in Ministry and Theology degree program and maintain good academic standing
  • Live in a first-year residence hall
  • Devote 20 hours per week to ministerial roles over two academic years
  • Participate in Campus Ministry staff meetings, practicum and program supervision, and supervision with the Counseling Center
  • Work collaboratively with Residence Life staff and attend area and building meetings as needed

Ministerial Requirements

  • Engage in an ongoing process of discernment of your gifts and vocation with the support of the Campus Ministry staff and peers
  • Work with residence hall staff to foster community within the residence halls, possibly by creating and facilitating a weekly sharing group ("Get Real")
  • Encourage students to accompany you to Campus Ministry events and programs as appropriate
  • Support University-wide liturgies and other large Campus Ministry events as needed
  • With the help of the program director, seek out a ministerial placement within the Office for Mission & Ministry to develop further your ministerial skills and discern your vocational path

Eligible candidates for the Graduate Resident Ministry Program will have the following:

  • An undergraduate degree (3.0 min GPA) with at least 15 credits in Theology, Philosophy and/or another discipline in the Humanities
  • 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 MA in Ministry and Theology Program; applicants to other graduate programs in the College of Liberal 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
  • Active participation in a faith tradition and/or spirituality.

Note. Our program is best suited to support and prepare for professional ministry graduate students who identify as Catholic. However, students who belong to other Christian churches or faith traditions are most welcome to apply if they believe that our program will advance them on their vocational path. Some flexibility in course requirements in the Theology program can be expected for non-Catholic students. Please reach out with questions or concerns if you wonder whether our program might be right for you.

We provide personal, spiritual and professional support for our GRMs within and outside of Campus Ministry. These forms of support include

  • Biweekly supervision with the program director to help balance roles, time management, and personal and professional needs
  • Regular ministry practicum supervision to support the development of each person’s ministerial identity
  • Academic advisement with the Graduate Program Director in the Theology Department
  • Group meetings with a counselor in the University Counseling Center to discuss specific student needs
  • Support for a finding a spiritual director on or off campus
  • Support for finding a personal counselor on or off campus

Villanova University provides the following to each GRM:

  • Full tuition remission for all coursework (48 graduate credits) in fulfillment of the MA in Ministry and Theology. (For GRMs in a degree program other than Theology, the GRM Program will only cover tuition for a maximum of 48 graduate credits, 24 of which must be in fulfillment of the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry)
  • Room and board for a total of 4 (Fall and Spring) semesters
  • Room for 1 or 2 summer semesters for GRMs who elect to take courses during the summer before Year 1 or between Years 1 and 2. (Taking at least 1 summer course is strongly encouraged to lighten the academic load during the final semesters)
  • An annual stipend (approximately $11,500) to cover the cost of books and living expenses. The total value of the tuition, room and board, and stipend portions of the Graduate Resident Ministry Program is over $70,000

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 graduated from our program are 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 organizations (religiously affiliated and secular)

Other possible pathways include

  • Youth Director/Pastor
  • Protestant, Ecumenical or Interfaith Chaplain in educational or healthcare institution

The supervised ministry practicum required for both the MA in Ministry and Theology and the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry can be pursued along two tracks:.

  • The first track consists of the Graduate Resident Ministry Program involving on-campus residential ministry. It is reserved for students offered GRM positions. GRMs also devote some of their 20 hours/week of ministry to a specialized ministry placement each semester.
  • The second track consists of a supervised ministry field placement, which does not require living on campus. Ministry students who will not be GRMs can receive a nonresidential ministerial placement within Campus Ministry or be given a placement at a ministry site outside of Villanova to fulfill the practicum component.

Supervised practicum placements on campus can include, but are not limited to, the following:

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

The field placement supervisors in the Center for Residential Ministry (CRM) will help students establish their practicum placements.

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

CRM will work with the ministry student and ministry site to develop a clear agreement about the student's responsibilities and learning objectives.

Applications for admission into the Graduate Resident Ministry Program in the Fall of 2022 will be accepted starting August 1, 2021. The priority application deadline is February 1, 2022. After February 1, applications will be considered on a rolling basis as space permits.

Applicants 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 GRM ProgramOnce applicants are admitted into their academic degree program, they will automatically be entered into the review process for the GRM or the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry Program if these have been indicated in their application.

All application and admission information for the MA in Ministry and Theology (48 credits) and the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry (24 credits) can be found in the Graduate Programs in Theology.

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

All applicants to either the MA or Certificate programs in ministry will have a preliminary video interview on a rolling basis. Admission decisions will also be made on a rolling basis. Qualified applicants who have completed their application by the February 1 priority deadline will be invited to have a second, lengthier video interview for consideration for the GRM Pprogram (and other funding opportunities) by no later than mid-February. Decisions about the GRM Pprogram will be made by March 1.

Peer Ministers are sophomores, juniors and seniors who provide a ministerial presence in their residence halls and throughout campus, while engaging in personal and communal, spiritual and theological formation.  In collaboration with RAs, they promote spaces for engagement, and take part in at least one area of Campus Ministry programming. 


  • Engage with their own spiritual or religious experience 
  • Accompany and support peers 
  • Foster hospitable, inclusive community and conversation

Each Peer Minister participates in an area of ministry that suits their gifts and interests.

  • Agape Latte and Cari-talks: Coordinate these speaker series, which seeks to create honest, comfortable spaces where students can learn and be inspired and challenged.
  • Ecumenical and Interfaith Programming: Help coordinate and promote opportunities to learn and engage with others across religious traditions and backgrounds. Learn about upcoming events here.
  • Faith Sharing Communities: Facilitate small groups where members talk about the challenges of student life, including relationships, decision making, faith and spirituality. Discover that we all share similar questions and concerns. Learn more or find a small group.
  • Music Ministry: Explore and express your faith through making and sharing sacred music. This group meets weekly to practice and provides music at evenings of praise and worship and Residence Hall liturgies.
  • Residence Hall Liturgy: Coordinate liturgies in residence halls on campus. Work with RAs, Campus Ministers and Augustinian presiders to plan, promote and celebrate these Mmasses in informal, comfortable spaces. Each Mmass is followed by refreshments, conversation, and connection.

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

Peer Ministry Program Coodinator

Brian McCabe, MS 
[610] 519-4086
St. Rita Hall B11