The Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry program prepares students for competent leadership in a specialized ministry in the Catholic Church. The program strives to provide the student with both a theological education and specialized training in a chosen field of ministerial engagement.
In addition to the aforementioned general admission requirements for all ICSST programs, M.A.P.M. applicants must:
submit the results of psychological testing, including the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), the Rorschach, the Autobiographical Sketch, the Gestalt Test and the Draw-a-Person Test, all taken at a center approved by ICSST; and
have a personal interview with the Associate Dean.
Note: At least two years of service to the Church is preferred.
The M.A.P.M. program consists of four components: coursework; field education and theological reflection; spiritual formation; and the Integration Seminar/Final Comprehensive Project, as follows. All students must take STHO 6020 Research Seminar early in their course of studies.
The M.A.P.M. degree program is normally three academic years of full-time study.
I. Coursework (42 credits)
Students complete coursework according to the distribution below, divided into 30 credits in a core theological curriculum and 12 credits in their area of pastoral specialization. Specific courses are selected in consultation with the student’s academic adviser.
A. Core Theological Curriculum
Students must complete 3 credits in each of the following core areas. The courses listed represent typical choices, not concrete requirements.
Students must earn 12 credits in PTHO courses. The coursework should represent a coherent concentration in a particular area of pastoral ministry and be determined by the student’s present and prospective ministerial needs.
II. Field Education and Theological Reflection
All M.A.P.M. students must complete the equivalent of 6 credits of field education in professionally supervised settings approved by ICSST. Students may meet this requirement as follows:
by taking part in two single-semester field education experiences of six to eight hours weekly in a supervised setting;
by enrolling in clinical pastoral education; or
by other means approved by the Associate Deans.
Concomitantly with field education, students must enroll in a theological reflection group, which normally meets approximately 10 times over the course of an academic year. Registration for the group is made through the Associate Dean.
III. Spiritual Formation
The formation program has three components. The first is the “Foundational Spiritual Experience.” A cognitive and experiential introduction to the spiritual life, this year-long program explores movements in the spiritual life. Liturgy, instruction, faith-sharing and communal prayer are some of the elements.
The second component of formation is spiritual direction. Students may contact the Associate Dean for recommended spiritual directors.
The third formation component is a retreat of several days made at some time during the course of studies. When the retreat has been completed, the student should inform the Associate Dean.
IV. Integration Seminar and Final Comprehensive Project
All students must enroll in and successfully complete the 3-credit PTHO 9101 Integration Seminar. Completion of this seminar involves successful preparation of an acceptable final comprehensive project in ministry, attesting to the student’s successful integration of theological knowledge and pastoral expertise with its appropriate application to a selected pastoral issue. Copies of the final project are submitted to the ICSST Library.
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