Ongoing Catholic Education for adults is a concern for the New Evangelization. Here in St. Louis, Ave Maria University offers a program in Pastoral Theology and awards a Masters Degree. You can think of Pastoral Theology as something like Applied Theology. The program is meant for anyone whose duties include religious education: DREs, religion teachers, deacons, homeschoolers, and leaders of lay apostolates will especially benefit. The program is also meant to be one of personal formation and calls students to a personal holiness as emphasized by Pope John Paul II in Christifidelis Laici and is quite appropriate for anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the rational basis for The Faith.
IPT student Julie Bostick shares her impressions of the program:
The IPT program is much more to me than a set of courses that I study in order to earn my Master’s Degree in Pastoral Theology. The curriculum has been carefully designed to provide students with a beautifully comprehensive understanding of the most important facets of the Catholic Church and her essential role in God’s call to universal holiness. Each semester the classes we study are specifically chosen to complement one another and we benefit from the depth of knowledge of our professors and their obvious love and devotion to the Trinity and to the Catholic Church. Through the grace of the Holy Spirit flowing through the IPT I have a clearer understanding of my Catholic faith but more importantly I have a deeper and richer relationship with God. Yes, I am on the way to receiving a Master’s degree but more than that I am on a spiritual journey as well. The Holy Spirit has called me to the IPT, but I am not sure of God’s plan for me after I have finished. However, through the IPT I have learned to surrender to my own will and trust God to lead me where He wants me.
The classes meet at the Cardinal Rigali Center in Shrewsbury one weekend a month: Friday evening and all day Saturday & Sunday. IPT is currently accepting applications for the fall semester. If you are interested please call 1-866-866-1100 or visit their website.