Framed by the Roman Catholic tradition, the Diploma in Ministry program is designed for persons seeking a deeper knowledge of the faith and a comprehensive theological education in preparation for ministry and service as lay persons and permanent deacons in the Church. Those individuals from other Christian traditions are welcome to enroll in this program and indeed would enrich the experience of all participants. This program is suited to persons with life experience and a mature Catholic and Christian faith.
Prospective students must meet St. Mary’s admission requirements; given the academic rigour of the program, some previous post-secondary education would be beneficial. Participants holding a previous Bachelor’s degree will be required to enroll in the 500-level course, while participants without a Bachelor’s degree will be required to enroll in the 300-level course. The program consists of four units offered over four years of study. Each unit consists of 54 contact hours. Units are taught in six hour session on Saturdays for once a month from September through May. Each unit is the equivalent to 4.5 academic credits and may be counted toward completion of a St. Mary’s degree program with the approval of the Registrar.
The seminar group is the nucleus of the Diploma in Ministry program and is designed to ensure an engaged learning environment in which all are able to participate. Seminars usually meet for six hour sessions on Saturdays once a month (September-May) and integrate study, prayer, and reflection. Students are given weekly readings and assignments to study with the help of resource guides. In the seminars students have an opportunity to share their insights and discoveries as well as to discuss questions which the study materials raise for them. Through the practice of theological reflection, students learn to think theologically by examining their own beliefs and their relationship to our culture and the tradition of our faith.
YEAR ONE – Foundations of Theology (4.5 credits)
RLGS 301: Catholic Intellectual and Cultural Tradition (3 credits) or EDCL 501: Catholic Intellectual and Cultural Tradition (3 credits)
EDCL 302: Theology of the Church (1.5 credits) or EDCL 502: Theology of the Church (1.5 credits)
YEAR TWO –Scripture and Tradition (4.5 credits)
RLGS 205: Reading Biblical Texts (3 Credits) or EDCL 503: Reading Biblical Texts (3 Credits)
EDCL 304: Church History (1.5 Credits) or EDCL 504: Church History (1.5 Credits)
YEAR THREE – Sacraments and Moral Theology (4.5 credits)
EDCL 305: Understanding the Sacraments (1.5 credits) or EDCL 505: Understanding the Sacraments (1.5 credits)
EDCL 306: Contemporary Issues (3 credits) or EDCL 506: Contemporary Issues (3 credits)
YEAR FOUR – Preparation for Pastoral Ministry (4.5 credits)
Pastoral Ministry I (3 credits)
Pastoral Ministry II (1.5 credits)