Since 1998, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, in partnership with the Institute of Lay Ministry, Diocese of Winona has offered students in the Institute of Lay Ministry, Diocese of Winona, the ability to register for undergraduate credit through Saint Mary’s University for classes taken within the institute. Ministry formation requirements and hiring practices at the local level have made it necessary for lay ecclesial ministers in the Catholic Church to be able to demonstrate specific accomplishment of academic and pastoral training through certification of formal study and praxis.
Saint Mary’s University now offers a certificate in pastoral studies. The certificate is designed to provide current and future ministers within the Roman Catholic Church accredited theological and pastoral training.
Enrollment for undergraduate credit is optional to participation in the Institute of Lay Ministry; however only those students enrolled for undergraduate credit are eligible for the certificate.
(From the 2013-15 Catalog)
A. Year One
This course provides students with a general introduction to scripture study and provides a broad overview of the major themes and content of the Old and New Testaments. This course helps students to gain a basic, theological understanding of: the meaning and function of revelation, inspiration, historical development, and literary criticism in the writing and study of Scripture; the primary themes and basic concepts present in Scripture (e.g., covenant, kingdom, creation, salvation, etc.); and the role and use of Scripture in catechesis, prayer, and theological reflection.
This course includes the study of the church’s mission and ministry throughout history. It is designed to provide students with a broad understanding of the church’s development historically, and to highlight significant events and persons central to understanding this development. This course provides students with a historical context for understanding the development of Church teaching and tradition; examines the Church’s place within the broader cultural and social contexts of its history; and explores the historical background and significance of the Second Vatican Council within the life of the Church.
This course assists students in understanding themselves as persons and ministers, and in developing personal and pastoral skills which support effective and faith-filled ministry, and which foster healthy and constructive ministry relationships. Students are first invited to reflect on their own personalities and personal development, and then to relate these insights to their ministry exploring areas such as communication and listening skills, conflict management and confrontation, consensus-building, and group process and collaborative skills.
B. Year Two
This course assists students in exploring the Christian understanding of vocation, particularly in the context of the laity, and considers the Churchﾒs teaching on the call of the laity to discipleship and to ministry following the Second Vatican Council. Students reflect on the callings and commitments experienced in their lives in relation to their work, relationships, and faith. The process of discerning oneﾒs personal vocation, and the spiritual practices that support such discernment, is examined.
This course provides students with a broad overview of foundational Catholic doctrines and beliefs, their bases in Scripture, and their historical development within the Church. This course helps students gain a basic, theological understanding of God’s self-revelation in creation, Scripture, and the person of Jesus; the basic principles of Christian anthropology (e.g., nature, grace, sin, redemption); the historical and faith dimensions of the life, mission, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; and the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.
This course continues the work begun in THEO170 Foundational Theology I in providing students with a broad overview of foundational Catholic doctrines and beliefs, their bases in Scripture, and their historical development within the Church. This course helps students to gain a basic, theological understanding of the nature and mission of the Church; the history and foundations of Christian spirituality; the Churchﾒs teaching on, and devotional practices relating to, Mary; and the place of canon law in the Churchﾒs life.
This course provides students with a basic understanding of the dynamics of spiritual growth and how to support and nurture such growth. The first session examines how a personﾒs faith may change and develop over the adult life cycle. In this context, the relationship between spiritual growth and pastoral care is considered. The second session explores two means of nurturing faith and spiritual development: theological reflection - a process of relating faith to our life experiences; and spiritual direction - the sharing of oneﾒs spiritual journey with a trained spiritual guide.
C. Year Three
This course provides students with a reflection on, and exploration of, the essential and central role that individual and communal prayer and ongoing spiritual formation have in the lives of lay ministers in the church. Students are led in examining the question: How can I, as a lay minister, come to an ever deeper awareness and experience of God’s redeeming activity at work in my life – through prayer, discernment, and spiritual formation – and then integrate this awareness and experience into my ministry?
This course provides students with an introduction to the churchﾒs teaching tradition in the areas of moral theology and social ethics. The scriptural, theological, and philosophical foundations and principles for Catholic moral teaching, conscience formation, and decision-making are examined, especially with a view to applying this teaching in a pastoral context. The development of the churchﾒs social teaching tradition is also be explored as it relates moral principles to the common good and to issues affecting the broader needs and well-being of the community.
In this course, students reflect on their calling and vocation as lay leaders in the life of the Church. The first session explores the dynamics of leadership in relation to ministerial settings. It assists students in working effectively in church systems and structures (e.g., parish, diocese, etc.), and helps them to reflect on the gospel call to be “servant leaders” faithful to the example of Jesus. In the second session, students consider, reflect on, and enter into prayer concerning their baptismal call to discipleship, service, and ministry within the Church and in the broader society. Students also complete a ministry field experience as part of this course [see attached description].
This course provides students with an introduction to the theological and historical development of the sacramental, liturgical, and devotional life of the Church. Students gain an understanding of the Church as sacrament and the centrality of its sacramental life to its identity and mission, as well as an appreciation for the critical importance of Eucharistic liturgies to the life of the parish.
D. Year Four
This course addresses both the theological and practical dimensions of the tasks of ministering in different contexts, e.g., parish life, hospital chaplaincy, etc. The course encourages the development of perspectives and skills necessary for effective ministry through a formal internship in one or more of these settings.
This course is a continuation of THEO190. Students complete 180 hours of supervised internship as central to THEO190 and THEO191.
This course is part one of a two-part series designed to help ministry students integrate their years of study and practice. Students write a ministerial biography charting their growth, development, change, and questioning. Through the development of a learning agreement, each student pursues further reading and reflection on an area or two of particular interest; this research results in a formal research paper and/ or presentation to be shared with the class.
This course is part two of a two-part series designed to help ministry students integrate their years of study and practice. Through the development of a learning agreement, each student pursues further reading and reflection on an area or two of particular interest; this research results in a formal research paper and/or presentation to be shared with the class.
Kenneth Stenstrup, Ph.D.
Interim Chair, Theology Department
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota
700 Terrace Heights #1440
Winona, MN 55987-1399
(800) 635-5987, Ext. 6625