The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies degree program is centered on the four dimensions of formation for lay ecclesial ministers, as outlined by the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Committee on the Laity in Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord: human, intellectual, spiritual, and pastoral formation. M.A.P.S. includes more than acquiring new knowledge. Formation classes, spiritual direction, and other formation opportunities in the M.A.P.S. program serve to form students in all four areas and thereby help prepare them for lay ecclesial ministry.

Formation Classes

The backbone of M.A.P.S. formation is found in four ½-credit formation classes taken during the first two years of the program. The classes cover four topics:

Formation I: Introduction to Theological Reflection

Formation II: Boundary Issues

Formation III: Leadership and Collaboration

Formation IV: Men and Women in the Ministerial Workplace

Students learn how to integrate the human, intellectual, spiritual, pastoral dimensions of formation by developing skills in theological reflection, lectio divina and self-knowledge. The instructors in these classes serve as mentors.

Spiritual Direction

M.A.P.S. students meet regularly for spiritual direction with a director approved by the Institute for Lay Ministry (ILM). The ILM maintains a list of trained spiritual directors available upon request.

Annual Formation Interview with the Dean of the Institute for Lay Ministry

Each academic year M.A.P.S. students have the opportunity to meet individually with the Dean of the ILM to discuss the student’s progress in human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral formation and to set ongoing formation goals.

Annual Day of Reflection

The ILM offers a yearly Day of Reflection for M.A.P.S. students and alumni. Current M.A.P.S. students attend at least one M.A.P.S. Day of Reflection during their tenure in the M.A.P.S. program but are encouraged to attend the Day of Reflection every year as well as formation days provided for undergraduate students as well.

M.A.P.S. students are also regularly invited through the ILM office to a variety of other events and opportunities to grow and become better equipped for lay ecclesial ministry in the Church.

Call the Institute for Lay Ministry at 313-883-8541 to schedule your annual formation interview or for more information about M.A.P.S. program formation.