USML | Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies

Institute for Lay Formation

Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies

Begun in the Fall 2014 the University of St. Mary of the Lake is now offering a  Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies degree open to lay students.

This new degree helps the University actualize its mission and vision for lay formation in the Catholic Church by providing graduate level theological education in Lake and northwest Cook Counties in the Archdiocese of Chicago.  The program serves, among others, students preparing for calling as lay ecclesial ministers by the Archbishop of Chicago and current pastoral ministers and deacons seeking to continue their intellectual formation.

Students are formed in the Catholic tradition so that they are able to evangelize and catechize the community and the culture, interpreting Scripture according to the mind of the Church and with an accurate historical awareness.  They learn the sacramental and theological perspectives of the Catholic Church and learn to communicate these perspectives in teaching.  The Catholic moral tradition is a particular emphasis so that students are able to respond to questions of ethics.

Students also experience a focused program of human formation which includes input from the social sciences as well as the spiritual sciences.  Elements include a psychological evaluation, biannual meetings with the formation director, and spiritual direction. 




The program design is part-time, offering two courses each semester and one course each summer.  Courses are offered in the evenings, 7-9:45pm.


The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies program is accepting applications for the 2015-2016 school year.  To apply please submit a complete application form, three recommendation forms, and a permission form.  

Deadline: June 15, 2015.

If you are simultanesouly applying to the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies program please note the following:

  • The LEM program recommendation forms suffice for both programs.  You need not fill out the MAPS recommendation forms.  
  • You may submit the same set of essay responses for both applications.
  • Only one application fee of $50 is required.

Participant Resources

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