(ST. LOUIS) Aquinas Institute of Theology will confer graduate degrees and graduate certificates on 42 men and women at a 7:00 pm commencement at St. Francis Xavier College Church (Saint Louis University) on Friday, May 11, 2012. The commencement is open to the public.
Of the 42 students graduating, 5 will receive a Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min.) in Preaching; 12 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.); 7 will receive a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd; 13 will receive graduate certificates in Spiritual Direction, and 2 will receive graduate certificates in Biblical Studies.
Sr. Mary Catherine Hilkert, O.P., Professor of Theology and Director of the Master of Theological Studies program at the University of Notre Dame and one-time faculty member at Aquinas Institute, will present the Commencement address. Sr. Hilkert, a Dominican theologian internationally renowned for her scholarship and writing on the subject of preaching, will be awarded an honorary degree (Doctor of Humane Letters).
The Rev. Dr. Martin Rafanan and Sr. Katarina Schuth, O.S.F., Ph.D., will also receive honorary degrees (Doctors of Humane Letters). Martin Rafanan, a graduate of Christ Seminary-Seminex, is Executive Director of Gateway 180 :: Homelessness Reversed, the largest emergency shelter in the state of Missouri for women, children and families. Sr. Katarina Schuth, O.S.F., Ph.D., professor in the Endowed Chair for the Social Scientific Study of Religion at the University of St. Thomas/The Saint Paul Seminary, will be honored for her study, teaching, and work as a leading authority on Catholic seminaries in the United States.
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 lay people pursuing careers in the Catholic Church or simply seeking a richer faith life.