More Details on the Upcoming 2016 MAPS CGS Cohort

How does cohort study work?

Members of the 2016 MAPS-CGS cohort will be part of a dynamic learning community. Students will meet with each other for the first time in January 2016 for an introductory course called the "Proseminar" that will initiate them both into graduate theological studies and into the wisdom community with whom they will study and converse for the next three and a half years of their lives. Students will proceed to take each of their ten academic courses in sequence with each other. Each course will be comprised of three main periods of study:

  • Online Pre-Study Period:

    As each course begins, students are introduced to the content of the course through an online syllabus with assigned readings, downloadable podcasts, and asynchronous discussions on the course web page. Students complete each week’s assignment on their own, but are generally requested to make on-line contact with the other students and the professor once or twice a week during this period.

  • Intensive Session:

    The intensive experience brings students and professor together face-to-face for four days of lecture, discussions, and casework at Aquinas Institute in St. Louis. The intensive also includes time for communal prayer, recreation, meals, and spiritual formation. Lodging is provided at the CSJ Motherhouse and Retreat Center in South St. Louis City.

  • Online Post-Study Period:

    Students continue their online study and research for several weeks after the Intensive Session. Each week, students continue to complete reading and writing assignments and engage in discussion sessions online. On a designated date, the final project or course exam will be due.

At the end of each course, students enjoy a short break before beginning the next course. During these breaks, students are encouraged to focus on completion of CGS formation courses and the writing and revision of their CGS albums.

Throughout their time in the MAPS-CGS program, students are engaged in an on-going process of spiritual formation. This process is designed to serve the student in developing the spiritual discipline that will sustain the graduate in her/his ministry as a catechetical leader in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. It includes opportunities to learn more both about key spiritual figures in the evolution of the Catechesis and about oneself.

What are the courses and dates for the MAPS-CGS Cohort beginning in 2016?

The tentative schedule for the upcoming cohort is as follows:


Course Title

Credit Hrs

Start Date

Intensive Date

End date




Jan 10, 2016

Feb 2 - 6

Mar 5, 2016


Introduction to Theology


Mar 6, 2016

April 12 - 16

May 28, 2016

Summer 2016

Bible Interpretation


Jun 5, 2016

July 19 - 23

August 27, 2016


Hebrew Scriptures


Sept 18, 2016

Nov. 1 - 5

Dec 17, 2016


Theology of Worship


Jan 29, 2017

March 21 - 25

April 29, 2017

Summer 2017

Foundations of Pastoral & Ethical Care


May 21, 2017

June 27 - July 1

August 19, 2017


Supervised Practice of Ministry I


Sept 10, 2017

Oct 17 - 21

Dec 9, 2017


Christian Scriptures


Jan 21, 2018

March 6 - 10


April 21, 2018

Summer 2018

Christology and Christian Anthropology


 May 20, 2018

 June 26 - 30

August 18, 2018


Contemporary Issues in Sacramental Theology


Sept 9, 2018

Oct 16 - 20

Dec. 8, 2018


Integrative Seminar


Feb 3, 2019

Feb 26 - Mar 2

March 9, 2019


CGS Level I

CGS Level II




Where do I complete the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd formation coursework?

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd formation courses are offered internationally in a variety of formats in a diversity of settings. A full list of current course listings is available at the National Association website  In order to receive graduate credit for a formation course, the following requirements must be met:

  • The structure of the course conforms to the standards of the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (90-100 instructional hours plus 40 hours of observation in Montessori or atrium environment)
  • At least one member of the formation team leading the course is recognized by the National Association of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd
  • At least one member of the formation team leading the course holds a master’s degree in theology, ministry or education
  • The student completes a first draft of a personal album (in contrast to a group album)

Would the formation courses that I’ve already taken count?

Yes, in most cases they could, provided that the courses met for the 90-100 hours that are expected by the National Association. In these cases, the student would need to meet with the MAPS-CGS program director at Aquinas Institute and arrange to have her/his personal albums read and evaluated by a
currently recognized formation leader who holds a masters degree in theology or ministry. Aquinas Institute has a list of potential readers that will be made available to students who have completed previous CGS formation work. Students will be asked to pay a standard fee to Aquinas Institute in these situations to help cover a stipend to the reader and administrative costs.

Once the student matriculates in the Aquinas program all formation courses that the student takes from that point on need to meet the graduate standards described above.

How many hours per week should I allot for study?

Cohort students should expect to dedicate one day (or about eight hours) per week to coursework while classes are in session.

What kind of technology is needed to complete this internet-enhanced program?

Regular access to a high-end multimedia computer and high-speed internet access are necessary for participation in FishersNet, an online learning community for theology and ministry students.