Offered in an Online-Hybrid Format
Aquinas Institute of Theology’s Certificate in Spiritual Formation for Lay Ecclesial
Ministers program is a non-academic program for students currently involved in some
form of pastoral ministry, or intending to serve others in the Church or the world. It is designed
to provide useful spiritual tools for knowing yourself better, and for growing more deeply in your faith and relationship with God. In addition, the program provides tools for building community and working more collaboratively with others by creating a community of peers, especially among colleagues in ministry. It also gives participants opportunities to practice leading others in prayer.
The program is offered in an online-hybrid format for distance learners, and is designed particularly
with the person in mind who already works or serves in ministry full- or part-time. While most program activities are completed online, students are required to attend a short retreat in St. Louis each semester.
Who should pursue this spiritual formation certificate program?
- This Certificate in Spiritual Formation for Lay Ecclesial Ministers program is required for distance-learning students enrolled in a ministerial degree program (MA in Pastoral Studies or Master of Divinity) at Aquinas Institute of Theology.
- Others already engaged in full- or part-time ministry as employees or volunteers are highly encouraged to consider this program.
- It is also recommended for lay associates of religious communities, volunteers, and others who wish to attain a basic foundation in spiritual formation in order to learn how to grow and deepen their personal faith-life throughout the rest of their lives.
What types of activities will this program involve?
- Participants will engage in reading, theological reflection, journaling, written reflections, group discussion, and sharing.
- Using personal and spiritual assessment tools, students will regularly develop and re-evaluate goals for continual growth and spiritual development.
- Participants will challenge and empower each other toward the integration of each person’s knowledge, experiences, and spiritual growth for building greater collaboration and community among their colleagues in ministry and others.
- A variety of Christian prayer forms as well as prayers from other faith traditions will be experienced. Each participant will develop and lead group prayer sometime during the course of each semester.
- Participants will be required to attend a 2½ -day group retreat in St. Louis each semester.
How long will it take me to complete this certificate program?
To complete the entire formation program students enroll in one unit of lay spiritual formation each semester for two years.
What topics are covered in this spiritual formation certificate program?
The 4 units are described as follows:
|I. Spiritual Maturity and Self-Awareness
|II. Personal Giftedness for Ministry
|III. The Process of Discernment
|IV. Choices and Challenges in Ministry
For more information or to register for this program, contact Aquinas Institute of Theology's Admissons office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.977.3869.