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Online Program Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions | Tuition and Payments | Course Texts, Format, Resources, and Communication | Technology

General Questions

Why should I earn my master’s degree from the Institute for Ministry?

The Institute has over 40 years of experience in preparing adults to serve in ministry positions in their parishes, dioceses, and secular workplaces. The strength of our program is the intentional learning community and its ongoing invitation to disciplined conversation. Through the online courses you will be part of an intentional learning community that will carry on extended and disciplined conversation by way of the Internet.

Are the Institute for Ministry’s online degrees and certificates accredited?

Yes, LIM's online degrees and certificates are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which accredits all Loyola programs.

What kind of computer and software do I need to complete my coursework?

Students must have a high-speed Internet connection and the following applications and software: Chrome, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash, and Microsoft Word. To participate in LIM online courses, you will need a variety of applications, such as Adobe Flash Player to play course audios and videos, and once you are registered for courses, you may access links to download free versions of Adobe plugins in the Blackboard course.

If I am able to go online and access the Internet, will I have the technical skills necessary to complete my coursework?

If you have not already done so, please take the "Self Assessment of Online Learning Readiness"  that will help you determine how prepared you are for taking online classes. To answer this specific question, yes, accessing online courses is just like going to a website, checking your email, or watching a video online, and those technology skills are the ones needed to complete your course work.

Will I be required to be online at a particular time on a particular night or day?

No, you will be required to complete certain course requirements, such as posting a response to a question and reading the responses of others, before a certain day and time, but you can do that when your schedule allows it.

Will I need to come to campus to complete any of my coursework to earn my degree?

No, the online master’s degree and certificate programs are fully completed online.

How do I apply to the program?

View the program's admissions requirements. Then you may complete and online application. The application fee is waived for students using the online application.

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Tuition and Payments

How much is the tuition?

Online students are charged the LIM graduate tuition, the information technology fee, graduation fee, and the contingency fees as applicable. The rates and fees are found at the Office of Student Finance. LIM graduate tuition is set at a reduced rate because of the Jesuit commitment to ministry education.

When will I be billed?

Students are billed after pre-registration or at registration. You may view your account online at LORA by clicking on the “Login to Student Services” link and following the prompts that will appear on the screen. Students who are not early registered and who are registering at the beginning of the term will be expected to make payment at time of registration. You also will receive a statement in the mail. The schedule of bill dates for pre-registered students is found at the Office of Student Finance. Even if you do not receive a bill in the mail, you are expected to meet Loyola’s payment deadlines. An email reminder is sent by the Office of Student Finance to your Loyola email address.

How do I pay my tuition?

The Bursar’s Office offers an enhanced e-Commerce System (with instructional videos) for paying your LIM online program tuition. Tuition payments may also be made via wire transfer or by mail (check or money order)  with a copy of your student bill. To view your account online at LORA, click on the "Login to Student Services" link and follow the prompts that will appear on the screen.

Students are billed after pre-registration or at registration.  Students who are not early registered and who are registering at the beginning of the term will be expected to make payment at time of registration. 

Tuition is always due by the first day of class. Questions can be directed to the Bursar's Office staff by e-mailing or by calling (504) 865-2388.

Tuition payment options through Loyola’s e-Commerce system include paying by Electronic Check (Free Service) and payment by all major credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. Tuition payments by credit card are only accepted online through the e-Commerce processor who will charge a 2.75% non-refundable convenience fee. 

Access the e-Commerce System through your LORA account under the Tuition and Billing Section or through the e-Commerce login page. Accessing your account from either link requires your CWID and PIN.  Please DO NOT use your Social Security Number as it may display incomplete account information. To view your account online at LORA, click on the "Login to Student Services" link and follow the prompts that will appear on the screen. In addition, you can set up third party payers as authorized users who may pay tuition through the e-Commerce Gateway

The e-Commerce system should be available every day except during daily scheduled maintenance which occurs from 3:45AM (CST) until 8:00AM (CST).

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Course Texts, Format, Resources, and Communications

How are courses formatted?

Each course outlines assignments for eleven sessions. Each session may include a variety of activities including assigned readings, videos to watch, discussions, and writing assignments. Online dialogue among participants will take place by way of the course Discussion Board. A discussion board is an asynchronous or time-independent application. This means that you will have no set times or schedules of when you must be in class; however, each course’s instructor will set expectations for how many times during the week you must log into Blackboard. At those times you will be able to read the comments of your instructor and fellow students and you will be able to share your own comments as well.

How will I get my books?

Potential students can preview course syllabi, which contain a list of the each course’s required texts, on LORA. Click on the Schedule of Classes. Then, in the “Select a Subject” box, choose “Loyola Inst for Ministry” and click Submit. A list of courses will appear; online courses have text that reads “Course Is Internet On-Line.” Click on the “View Syllabus” link in order to see the course syllabus and get the list of required texts. You may order the texts online at a book vendor of your choice, or you may choose to order them from a bookstore in your local area. Make sure that you order your texts using the ISBN/EAN number listed on the syllabus to ensure that you purchase the correct edition.

How do I register for classes?

Students must be admitted to the program before they are able to register for classes. Students register for classes by using LORA, Loyola’s Online Records Access. To do so, see the FAQ question “What is LORA?” under the Technology section. First-time students may contact the LIM Manager of Admissions concerning admissions and registration issues by emailing Diane Blair /

How do I know what courses will be offered in upcoming semesters?

Students may view and download the course rotation, which is a projected schedule of courses to be offered each semester through summer 2020.

When will I hear from my professor?

You must be admitted and registered for a course before you will hear from your professor. During the first week of the semester, you will receive an email from your professor.

What kind of library services will I have?

Loyola’s Distance Library Service provides research assistance and free article and book delivery. Online students are encouraged to log on to the Monroe Library’s home page. This page provides links to the library’s online catalog and research data bases. To log in to library resources, use your Loyola email username and password. The username is the first part of your email address. If you do not know your Loyola e-mail address, you can find it in the Loyola directory, or you can find it in the "Personal Info" section of your LORA account.

Research Guides relevant to courses in the program may be accessed through the Monroe Library as well. 

Detailed information regarding access of the library’s electronic resources by distance students can be found in the LIM Guide to Written Theological Reflection, a resource that is available to students registered in LIM online courses. You may contact Distance Library Services by dialing direct to 504-864-7152; by fax 504-864-7142; or by email When you call the library, please let them know you are a distance education student in the LIM online program.

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Will I get a Loyola email address?

Yes, students are assigned a Loyola email address when they are admitted to the university, and they can find them by logging on to LORA. Your default PIN is the first 2 letters of your first name and the last 4 digits of your social security number. For international students, without U.S. social security numbers, your default pin will be included in your letter of admissions. All students will be required to change the PIN when logging in for the first time. A student may check his or her Loyola email from the Loyola home page  by clicking on the word “Wolfmail” located in the gray bar across the top of your screen. It is important for students to check their Loyola e-mail regularly because communications from your professor, the Institute, and the University will be sent only to this e-mail address. You may wish to forward your Loyola account into another email account you currently use. For instructions on how to do so, see Loyola’s Information Technology page of How To(s) and Documentation.

What is LORA?

LORA is short for Loyola Online Records Access and is a web-based service that allows you to register for classes, view grades, transcripts, and account summaries, find out your Loyola email address, and change mailing and e-mail addresses. The LORA website is available from 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (U.S. Central Time) Monday through Friday and from 7:00 a.m. on Saturday through 8:00 a.m. on Monday. To log in to LORA, go to the LORA homepage, click on “Login to Student Services (LORA),” then follow the directions that appear on the screen. To register for a course in LORA, follow the directions on the screen after you are logged in. You will already need to have been admitted in order to register on LORA.

What is Blackboard?

Blackboard is online course management software that allows you to easily access materials for your course and communicate with your professor and fellow students. Loyola’s Monroe Library has an online handout that briefly explains the basics of Blackboard for students, including how to log on. Access it at

What does the term “CWID” mean?

Loyola assigns each student an identification number also called a Campus Wide Identification Number (CWID). There are used instead of Social Security numbers on Loyola forms that ask for a student ID number. This eight-digit CWID number is assigned after admission to the program and is included in the student’s admission letter. Students also are able to find out their CWID numbers when they sign into LORA. It is recommended that students use the CWID whenever possible for security reasons. If a student forgets his or her CWID number, he or she can log into LORA to obtain it.

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