Loyola Institute for Ministry offers students in our online, on-campus, and extension programs certificates that earn graduate credit hours. The certificates include an 18 credit-hour certificate for students who hold at least a bachelor’s degree and a 12 credit-hour certificate for those who at least hold a master’s degree in a related field.
“[S]tudying theology means living on the frontier, one in which the Gospel meets the needs of the people to whom it should be proclaimed in an understandable and meaningful way,” wrote Pope Francis in 2015. The Certificate in Theology and Ministry helps students to understand and apply theology in a practical way to their ministry, enabling them to step out onto the frontier of which Pope Francis speaks. With a grounding in Scripture, foundational theologies, and sacrament, students deepen their own understanding of and relationship to God and are better prepared to serve others in their ministries. This is also available for CEU credit.
Practical theology focuses on the application of our faith our ways of being and acting in the world; Catholic Social Teaching (CST) is doctrine related to issues of human dignity and the common good in society, ideas that help us to live faithfully and justly as we address oppression, the role of the state, subsidiarity, social organization, concern for social justice, and issues of wealth distribution in our communities. Indeed, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reminds us: "The Church's social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amidst the challenges of modern society" ("Seven Themes"). The Certificate in Catholic Social Teaching grounds students in the foundational documents and core teachings related to CST, supports their exploration of how to be more Christ-like, and prepares them to engage more fully with their communities. This is also available for CEU credit.
Christians are called to serve one another over a lifetime as they partner with God to realize his kingdom in the here and now. Developing the skills and knowledge that accompany such lifetime service can be a challenge, especially as one’s ministries change. The US Catholic Bishops note the value of "lay persons who have prepared for professional ministry in the Church" (Called and Gifted). The Post-Master’s Certificate in Pastoral Studies allows students to develop their understanding of themselves and particular areas of service as they deepen their spirituality and earn a graduate credential. Those who have already earned a 36 credit-hour master’s degree from the Institute for Ministry or a graduate-level degree in theology, pastoral studies, religious education or the like from another accredited college or university may pursue this certificate.