Are you involved in ministry in your parish or deanery? Maybe you are an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, a Baptism Catechist, Children’s Liturgy Leader or Bidding Prayer Writer, or one of the many other people who keep the Church and its mission moving forward; or maybe you would like to be, but do not feel you have the skills. In any case, the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry may be just what you need. The course is offered by Loyola University Chicago, in conjunction with our Diocese, and is an academic qualification that’s been custom designed to develop the practical skills you already have and give you the confidence to use them fully. It’s also specifically tailored for busy people, so that it fits in with your precious spare time. It will inform and inspire your practice, make you more effective, bring about better results and boost your confidence.
It is a two-year non-degree certificate delivered online, but with the chance to meet tutors and fellow students face-to-face for support. A key feature is that it allows you to get to know the people you are studying with and build up a network that can support your future ministry.
“Co-responsibility demands a change in mindset especially concerning the role of lay people in the Church. They should not be regarded as collaborators of the clergy, but, rather, as people who are really co-responsible for the Church’s being and acting.”
Pope Benedict XVI, address to the International Forum for Catholic Action, August2012
Testimonials from people who have done the course in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle:
“The online course works well for me as a stay at home Mammy with a three old and new-born. There is great freedom to do the learning in your own time, so it fits around whatever you are doing.”
Rachel, a busy mother of two.
“The online forum means I belong to a community of fellow Catholics who encourage and challenge each other to be ongoing learners in our own faith in Christ and the way we share it with others.”
Ric, Hartlepool Youth Ministry Coordinator
Interested to find out more?
If you are interested in finding out more, you can read more about each of the study modules and how they are delivered follow below. The cost of the programme is currently £2,500 is spread over three years. It is the commitment of the Trustees that students will be financially supported with part-funding from the Diocese and from their parish. This cost includes the Ministry Skills Course which is a necessary component.
Applications will be considered in June but can be submitted at any time. The course begins in September with an induction morning.
For further information or to receive an application form, please contact the Department for Adult Education and Evangelisation by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Sarah.Adams@cliftondiocese.com for an informal conversation:
This year’s students:
St Augustine of Canterbury, Matson
St George, Warminster
Sacred Heart and St Anthony, Bristol
St George, Taunton
St Dunstan, Keynsham and St Bernadette, Bristol
The Course Modules:
Year 1 Modules:
- WHAT IS PASTORAL MINISTRY?
Students will explore what being called to pastoral ministry in the Church means today.
- GOD WHO REVEALS: LOOKING AT THE OLD TESTAMENT
Students will be introduced to the whole range of Old Testament texts revealing a God who loves God’s People.
- CHRIST AND HIS DISCIPLES: LOOKING AT THE NEW TESTAMENT
Students will explore the New Testament texts with particular attention to the ministry of Jesus and of his followers.
- MISSIONARY DISCIPLES: THE STORY OF THE CHURCH INBRITAIN
Students will explore the historical background to the current situation of the Christian churches in Britain.
- VISION OF THE CHURCH: VATICAN II
This course covers the story and promise of the Council, including a study of selected texts, discussions over its interpretation and implementation, and a dynamic view of its on-going relevance for the Church’s self-identity.
Year 2 Modules:
- HOLINESS AND WHOLENESS: HOW WE GROW AS PEOPLE OF FAITH
Students will explore human, spiritual and psychological development and the unique call each person receives to be fully human and alive.
- MAKING CONNECTIONS: CATECHESIS AS SHARING FAITH TODAY
This course will deepen students’ understanding of catechesis and its importance for the life and mission of the Church particularly the priority of adult formation. It will explore ‘critical conversation’ as an essential process for growth and development, and the relationship between evangelisation, catechesis and religious education.
- BUILDING PARISH COMMUNITIES
Parishes are where many Catholics experience their faith in community. Contemporary and emerging models for building parish communities will be explored in detail. Students will also learn about best practices for healthy parishes and effective collaboration and teamwork.
- BUILDING A FAIRER WORLD: CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING
Students will become familiar with the development of Catholic Social Thought and Practice in relation to particular contemporary global and local issues. Particular attention will be given to history, texts, methodology and significant figures.
- SERVING AND LEADING: SKILLS AND STRATEGIES FOR MINISTRY
Students will explore the skills and strategies of effective pastoral ministry.
Method of Delivery:
Each module is taught over six weeks and will require approximately three hours of time. Weeks begin each Saturday and will follow a consistent pattern. At the beginning of each week, you will login to the dedicated website and read the introduction, together with the description of the reading assignment. If there is a video lecture for that week, a link will be provided so that you can watch the video in your web browser. You will need to complete the reading assignment by Monday and post your response to the assignment by Tuesday. This is 250 words long and will be read by the other students in your online study group (usually 6 to 8 people). On Wednesday and Thursday, you should write at least two responsive posts to the original post of two colleagues in your group; they will also be writing responses to your original post. Friday is an opportunity to rest and soak in the learning from that week or to do some of the further study suggested. There is usually a break of two weeks between each module, with an extended break at Christmas, Easter and summer. Any required texts will be provided online or by the Diocese.
Information Sessions will take place on-line in March and May. Please register your interest for these by contacting Richard.Williams@cliftondiocese.com