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School of Parish Leadership & Evangelization

I am excited for the opportunity to join the faculty and staff of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake and to lead the newly established School of Parish Leadership and Evangelization.  This school will build on the existing strengths of the University in the areas of liturgical leadership, lay ministry, diaconal formation and ongoing priestly formation. The needs of the Church are profound and the opportunity to have the most significant impact is at the most local level – the parish.  The School of Parish Leadership and Evangelization is poised to grow its impact and influence on the life of the Church in Chicago and beyond.

We are also excited to expand the work of encounter-based formation that is at the heart of priestly formation across all of USML’s programs. Encounter-based pedagogy will play a key role in meeting the needs of the parishes now and in the years to come.  This unique pedagogical approach focuses not only on the dimensions of formation expressed in Pope Saint John Paul II’s Pastores Dabo Vobis, which are key for all forms of ministerial development, but recognizes that self-reflective experience on multiple interpersonal encounters is essential to the development of theological knowledge, spiritual depth, pastoral skill, and relational ministry.

Ted Whapham


Our Programs

Graduate Degrees & Certificates

These degree programs provide the opportunity for in depth study of Catholic theology, liturgy, and ministry. Whether you are looking to advance your career or simply want to grow in your faith journey, our programs are flexible, in depth, and created for working adults.

Escuela de Liderazgo para la Evangelización (ILP)

The School of Parish Leadership and Evangelization is committed to serving the needs of Church which includes responding to the need for Spanish language programs.

Nuestro sueño es que todos los programas en la Escuela de Liderazgo para la Evangelización estén disponible en el idioma propio de sus participantes.

Parish Ministry Programs

Our parish formation programs, provide access to formation and theological study without rigors or expenses of a graduate degree program. Designed in close collaboration with partners at the parish and diocesan levels, these programs expand access to the development of parish leadership knowledge and skills for nearly all people.

Deacon Programs

Are you feeling called to be of service to the Church as a permanent deacon? In collaboration with the Archdiocese of Chicago we accompany those considering this important role and provide initial formation for the permanent diaconate. Click here for more information.

Online Short Courses

We have encountered many people who are looking for was to learn more about the Church, but can’t commit the time to a full program. These online short courses are ideal for going beyond typical adult faith formation courses to dig more deeply into the tradition. These videos also serve as a great resource for forming parishioners to support existing ministries.

Student Services

Are you an existing student with questions about your program and how to interact with the university? We have answers for you and if we don’t we will find them for you. Click here to learn more about support and requirements for our formation.