Vicariate For Faith & Mission

Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

Are you involved in ministry in your parish or Partnership? Maybe you’re a Minister of the Eucharist, a Catechist, a Children’s Liturgy Leader, a Bidding Prayer Writer, a Chaplain, or one of the many other people who keep the Church and its mission moving forward; or perhaps you would like to be but don’t feel you have the skills.

Do you seek to have a community of passionate, spirit-filled people walking with you as you grow in faith and practice?

In partnership with Loyola University Chicago, the Pastoral Ministry Certificate offers an online learning community of people from across the UK hungry to develop their faith and practice. With the support of expert tutors and an online discussion forum, individuals build their confidence, engage with a diversity of opinions and receive inspiration in their ministry. As a result, students report that they are more effective and fruitful and find their service in the Church is increasingly life-giving.

This course provides a unique opportunity for laity and future clergy to be formed by one another and to learn alongside one another.

“Co-responsibility demands a change in mindset especially concerning the role of lay people in the Church. They should not be regarded as collaborators of the clergy, but, rather, as people who are really co-responsible for the Church’s being and acting.”

Pope Benedict XVI, address to the International Forum for Catholic Action, August 2012

What is the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry?

  • It is a customized Professional Development Programme offered by the Diocese in the North of England and beyond in partnership with Loyola University Chicago.
  • This two-year foundational course aims to provide participants with up-to-date knowledge, skills, and education for contemporary pastoral ministry.

What can you expect from the programme of study?

  • To gain a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry, you will complete ten (10) six-week modules. See below for an overview of the modules.
  • Delivered in an online format, participants have the freedom to study in their own homes.
  • Each module requires approximately 20 hours of online engagement, reading and reflection.
  • The course will be rooted in theological texts and the lived experience of participants.
  • There is no formal assessment or exams, but success is measured and achieved through forum posts and responses.
  • There are three opportunities for participants to meet face to face for prayer, reflection, and creative engagement with the overall themes during the course.
  • Each Diocese provides a local contact person for administration and pastoral support.

December 2019 Graduates

What is covered in each module?

WHAT IS PASTORAL MINISTRY?

Students will explore what being called to pastoral ministry in the Church means today.

GOD WHO REVEALS: LOOKING AT THE OLD TESTAMENT

Students will be introduced to the whole range of Old Testament texts revealing a God who loves God’s people.

CHRIST AND HIS DISCIPLES: LOOKING AT THE NEW TESTAMENT

Students will explore the New Testament texts with particular attention to the ministry of Jesus and of his followers.

MISSIONARY DISCIPLES: THE STORY OF THE CHURCH IN BRITAIN

Students will explore the historical background to the current situation of the Christian churches in Britain.

VISION OF THE CHURCH: VATICAN II

This course covers the story and promise of the Council, including a study of selected texts, discussions over its interpretation and implementation, and a dynamic view of its on-going relevance for the Church’s self-identity.

HOLINESS AND WHOLENESS: HOW WE GROW AS PEOPLE OF FAITH

Students will explore human, spiritual and psychological development and the unique call each person receives to be fully human and alive.

BUILDING A FAIRER WORLD: CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING

Students will become familiar with the development of Catholic Social Thought and Practice in relation to particular contemporary global and local issues. Particular attention will be given to history, texts, methodology and significant figures.

BUILDING PARISH COMMUNITIES

Parishes are where many Catholics experience their faith in community. Contemporary and emerging models for building parish communities will be explored in detail. Students will also learn about best practices for healthy parishes and effective collaboration and team work.

MAKING CONNECTIONS: CATECHESIS AS SHARING FAITH TODAY

This course will deepen students’ understanding of catechesis and its importance for the life and mission of the Church particularly the priority of adult formation. It will explore ‘critical conversation’ as an essential process for growth and development, and the relationship between evangelisation, catechesis and religious education.

SERVING AND LEADING: SKILLS AND STRATEGIES FOR MINISTRY

Students will explore the skills and strategies of effective pastoral ministry.

What do you need as a course participant?

  • To be serious about your own faith development.
  • To be willing to serve in the local church.
  • To have competent IT skills.

What next?

If you are interested in this unique opportunity to gain a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry and wish to find out more about the course, its cost* and the application process, join us for an online information evening on Tuesday 14 June 2022 or the Wednesday 22 June 7.30pm – 9.00pm.

Alternatively, please email us.

Amy Cameron: amy.cameron@diocesehn.org.uk.
Greg Ryan: gregryan@btinternet.com.
Monika Benitan: m.benitan@rcaol.org.uk.

Video Testimonials

Testimonials

This 2-year course in Pastoral Ministry was a great awakening for me, it has challenged and expanded my horizons.

This courses has given me the time to reflect on my relationship with Jesus; understanding more about what the Church is and what it means for us to be Church.

I have learnt through this course the importance of not going it alone. Strengths lies in working together, accompanying others and being guided and supported.

I now have a firm knowledge base from which to seed and develop ministry in my parish community.

One of the most valuable parts of this course are the discussion forums. Here honesty is expressed, frustrations are shared, questions and challenges are offered. It has caused my many times to stop, go back, read and pray- reviewing my own thoughts and ideas.

The biggest learning for me is the realisation that we are all called and gifted for ministry.

My thinking about pastoral ministry has grown, matured. I have a much greater understanding of how all the stands join together for mission.

This course has given me confidence, it has equipped me to see the way forward and I am hopeful for the future.

A final word from one of this year’s students:

Hello everyone, I’m Sr Paschaline Okolo, working currently as a parish sister in the Hexham and Newcastle Diocese and among the last group that just completed this study programme. I was attracted to this study in the effort to heed my inner desire for a closer relationship with God and for more involvement with others on matters of faith and I would boldly say that it was a right choice.

The course has helped me appreciate more the different ministries in the church that are within my reach and of anyone wanting to engage more with their faith. In addition to my duties as a religious, I became more aware of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in me and in others, was encouraged to develop these into varied actions for the service of God; the group-sharing was very rich, enjoyable and equally a great source of empowerment.

I would definitely recommend this course to everyone on their journey of faith and ministry. One soon realises that everyone has the chance and is welcome to use their God’s gifts to serve in the church and in various capacities, even with a tight schedule or when out of studies for a long time. For me it is not just about the certificate but more about the opportunity of the different potentials it offers to help oneself grow spiritually and to help others grow as well. I would say, GIVE IT A GO, there is definitely something for YOU.