Pastoral Formation

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Academics with a Pastoral Focus

We strive to be "a school for the Lord's service" (Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue). Pastoral ministry, whatever form it might take, is the ultimate proving ground of your formation: where you translate learning into service. In light of this, almost all courses at Saint Meinrad, across the theological disciplines, invite you to reflect on how your studies and effective pastoral practice inform each other. 

Courses for Pastoral Practice

Aside from this general pastoral focus, we offer a variety of courses and other opportunities to fulfill the expectations for pastoral formation, as outlined in Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord and other standards for ministry formation. We have courses to help you learn how to: 

Workshops, Retreats and Opportunities for Ministerial Excellence

A series of available workshops and retreats provides training in general pastoral ministry skills, leadership, administration, stewardship and ministerial ethics.

We facilitate workshops on vocational discernment as well as a theological reflection group, which meets regularly throughout the year.

Regular lectures, discussion sessions and other activities with seminarians and alumni help promote collaboration between ordained and lay ministers in the Church. 

Ministering in a Diverse Global Church

Students may learn more about a globally diverse Church through language and culture courses and immersion programs, as well as extracurricular activities celebrating the uniqueness of various cultural traditions.

Supervised Ministry Opportunities

Pastoral theory is only as good as pastoral practice. If you plan to go into professional ministry upon completing your degree, we encourage a supervised pastoral ministry experience.

We have field supervisors in local parish, hospital, prison and other ministry placements. Under the guidance of the pastoral formation staff, you may undertake a for-credit field education experience that integrates direct ministry with theological reflection.

Especially if you are interested in chaplaincy, you may consider completing one or more units of Clinical Pastoral Education, for which you can earn up to 3 academic credits. 

For more information, contact the Office of Lay Degree Programs.