Aquinas Institute of Theology will confer graduate degrees and graduate certificates on 57 men and women at a 7:00 pm commencement at St. Francis Xavier College Church (Saint Louis University) on Friday, May 13, 2011. The commencement is open to the public.
Of the 57 students graduating, 11 will receive a Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min) in Preaching; 17 will receive Masters of Divinity (M.Div.), Masters of Arts (M.A.) in Theology, or both; 6 will receive a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (M.A.P.S.); 2 will receive a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies together with a Master of Social Work; 11 will receive a Master of Arts in Health Care Mission (M.A.H.C.M.), and 13 will receive graduate certificates in Biblical Studies, Thomistic Studies, Pastoral Care or in Spiritual Direction. Dr. M. Shawn Copeland, Associate Professor of Theology at Boston College will present the Commencement address.
In addition to the conferral of academic degrees, Aquinas Institute of Theology will also honor two individuals for their professional commitment to furthering education and key ministries of the Church., Dr. M. Shawn Copeland, Associate Professor of Theology at Boston College will be honored with an honorary degree (Doctor of Humane Letters). Dr. Copeland is a noted theologian, author and expert on the experience of black Catholics in the United States. Aquinas will also confer the Doctor of Humane Letters to Fr. Paul J. Philibert, OP, Dominican theologian, professor and author. Fr. Paul is a well-known commentator on the works of Dominican theologian Yves Congar, OP, and has translated several of his most significant writings.
Aquinas Institute of Theology, the only Catholic Institution in the world offering a Doctorate in preaching, is sponsored by the Order of Preachers, or Dominicans. Priesthood candidates at the school prepare for ordination alongside vowed religious and laypeople pursuing careers in the Catholic Church or simply seeking a richer faith life. While most students are Catholic, Protestants also study at Aquinas Institute. Students represent communities that stretch from coast to coast; others come from as far away as Africa and South America.