Lizanne K. Young will graduate from Aquinas Institute of Theology this May, not only with a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies, but with an augmented faith life and an invigorated calling to serve the members of her parish as well.
“My understanding of Catholic tradition is more nuanced, my experience of God's grace, mercy and love has been expanded radically, and my appreciation for everyone who chooses a life of service to God and neighbor is now off the charts,” she says.
The inspiration to pursue a graduate degree in theology stemmed from her selection as the Director of Faith Formation at Immaculate Conception in Columbia, Illinois. This opportunity allowed her to learn new skills and practice them in the field simultaneously.
“I have been in a somewhat unique position to apply what I have learned at Aquinas Institute almost immediately as I have absorbed it,” she says. “Every day of school has meant a better, more productive, more responsive week in ministry.”
While her formal theological education is ending, Lizanne is excited to implement her new skills in practical, day-to-day ministry, and build upon the lessons received at Aquinas.
“Now I'm looking forward to continued integration of what I have learned and what I can offer,” she says. “I'm also keenly aware that my learning will never truly end, so AI can look forward to seeing me at presentations and seminars, and auditing classes in the future.”
Part of the worldwide Order of Preachers, Aquinas Institute of Theology is a Catholic, Dominican-sponsored graduate school of theology offering multiple graduate degree and certificate programs on its campus in Midtown St. Louis, MO.