Thank you for your interest in the Institute for Lay Formation! Through our various programs and degrees (scroll down for details), we are forming the next generation of parish leaders for service to God and His people. Please fill out the form below and a representative from the Institute will be in touch with you soon.
Our programs foster the pastoral leadership development of men and women so that they may best respond to God’s call to serve the Church and His people in the 21st century.
Lay Leadership Program
This two-year program is designed to form the laity of the Archdiocese of Chicago and neighboring dioceses for ministry within the Catholic Tradition. The program serves several constituencies, including adults involved in volunteer ministries at the parish level and those who seek quality Catholic enrichment. With the successful completion of the program, students receive a Certificate of Studies from the University of Saint Mary of the Lake. Learn More
This is a three-year program designed to form the laity of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Joliet for ministry within the Catholic Tradition. The program serves several constituencies, including adults involved in leadership positions in the parish as Coordinators of Religious Education, Coordinators of Youth Ministry, or Coordinators of Adult Faith Formation. With the successful completion of the program, students will receive Catechetical Coordinator Certification. Learn More
Doctor of Ministry Program
The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program is approved by the Association of Theological Schools. The Doctor of Ministry program is a part-time, residential program that meets three-weeks of the year in January, June and July, for two years; a total of 6 weeks. Each week is a 3-credit course framed by pre-reading assignments and a major academic paper following the class. In addition to the residential intensive courses (Sunday evening to Friday Noon), students fulfill the remaining requirement of 9 credits through three online courses from the University of St. Mary of the Lake. The total number of credits required for the D.Min. is 30 credit hours of which, 3 credits are achieved through the Doctor of Ministry thesis project.
The goal of the program is to develop the skill of transformative ministerial integration and processing through case studies and projects concerned with ministry. In order to achieve this goal, the program interrelates the elements of ministerial integration with formal course work and resource supervision. These three elements are accomplished primarily within the peer group of candidates. Learn More
Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies
The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies program forms students 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. 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. Learn More
Post-Master Certificate in Pastoral Leadership
The Post-Master Certificate is an advanced credential oriented towards ministerial leadership. Its purpose is to enhance the practice of ministry for persons who hold a master’s degree and who have engaged in substantial ministerial leadership. The Post-Master Certificate is appropriate for persons who work as pastors, associate pastors, pastoral associates, directors of religious education and analogous roles, chaplains, college faculty members, and diocesan agency staff. Learn More