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Lay Ministry Formation

Formation Days


The Institute for Ministry (IFM) sponsors three formation days each year on the topics of Discernment, Theological Reflection, and Spiritual Direction. The three days are required for students in the Basic Diploma in Catholic Theology (formerly Pastoral Ministry) program and the A.A.M Degree (Associate of Arts in Ministry), but the sessions are open to all students. The content of these sessions fosters theological understanding of our faith tradition. Reflection through these disciplines also nurtures personal and spiritual growth.


October 18, 2014 - Discernment

January 10, 2015 - Theological Reflection

March 21, 2015 - Spiritual Direction


Each session is held in the Cardinal Mooney Parlor from 9:00 am - 12:00 noon. Continental breakfast is served from 8:30 - 9:00 am. Sessions begin promptly at 9:00 pm with dismissal at 12:00 noon.


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Students in the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies program have a yearly overnight retreat. The IFM also maintains a list of local retreat centers with pertinent information about retreat opportunities. All students are encouraged to take advantage of the benefits of retreats for their personal and spiritual growth.


"We urge that theological education and formation be extended to more lay persons. Innovative ways must be found to bring the best of the Catholic intellectual and spiritual tradition to more laity. The Church needs a well-educated, inquiring, and vocal laity if the new evangelization is to achieve its full potential."

(Called and Gifted for the Third Millennium, USCCB)


Spiritual Direction


The IFM maintains and distributes a list of trained spiritual directors to all students requesting it. We encourage students to be in spiritual direction, especially those discerning a call to ministry.