People of all ages, vocations and walks of life pursue the Master's Degree in Pastoral Ministries to enrich their lives and ministries through a deeper exploration of their faith. Many choose to deepen their understanding of spiritual matters in order to pursue careers in fields related to social justice, such as human services, community outreach, restorative justice, education, youth or campus ministry. Coursework focuses on history, psychology, discernment, contemporary issues, liturgy, scripture, prayer, spirituality, Latina/o ministry, youth and young adult ministries, and lay leadership from a justice perspective.
Students in the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries earn a Master of Arts degree. The degree requirements consist of sixty quarter units which are made up of fifteen four-unit classes. Seven of the fifteen courses are required foundational courses. For students enrolled in one of our emphases, the remaining eight courses include 4-5 emphasis courses and 4 or 3 elective courses; for all other students, the remaining eight classes are selected from a variety of elective courses.
In addition, each student is required to submit a capstone project by May 1 of their graduation year, either a portfolio of six course papers and an 8- to 10-page integrative essay, or, for the emphasis students, a ministry practicum. Instructions for the capstone are available at the Academic Resources page (near the bottom).
Students will gain a broad theological foundation that will undergird inquiry into a select area of concentration. (theological knowledge)
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of Fundamental Theology, Christology, Ecclesiology, Ethics, Hebrew Bible, and the New Testament according to the competencies articulated by each of these areas.
- Students will integrate their core theological competencies in their chosen area of concentration.
Students will develop pastoral skills, ministry knowledge, and liturgical fluencies in at least one key field of study relevant to Christian ministry. (pastoral proficiency)
- Students will demonstrate a depth of practical and theoretical knowledge in their area of concentration.
- Students will understand the significance of liturgy for their ministry and in the life of faith.
Students will become competent leaders dedicated to serving the Church and to creating community in parish and other pastoral settings. (leadership skill)
- Students will employ historically informed knowledge of the tradition to assess theological positions and pastoral issues.
- Students will apply skills from their area of concentration for use in their faith community.
Students will demonstrate a critically informed approach to faith that promotes social justice for the common good, especially for the benefit of those in greatest need. (justice commitment)
- Students will address issues of inequity and injustice in light of the Christian witness.
- Students will integrate the perspective of the poor and the marginalized in their reflection on theological and pastoral issues.
Students will become prepared ministry professionals able to function effectively in a diverse global religious environment. (diversity fluency)
- Students will describe and address cultural differences in Christian practice.
- Students will demonstrate a critical appreciation of religious diversity.
All students choose one course from each of the following seven required areas: Fundamental Theology, Christology, Ecclesiology, Hebrew Bible, New Testament, Theological Ethics, and Sacraments & Liturgy (the first two areas only have one course option). If both courses are taken from one or more of the seven categories, the second course in a given category will be counted as an elective.
Course descriptions follow the table.
[number before Fall 2020]
|Fundamental Theology||PMIN 201 [PMIN 201, PMIN 288]||Theological Foundations for Ministry|
|Christology||PMIN 203 [PMIN 203]||Christology|
|Ecclesiology||PMIN 205 [PMIN 204]||Ecclesiology|
|PMIN 206 [PMIN 225]||Church History|
|Hebrew Bible||PMIN 207 [PMIN 205]||Studying the Hebrew Bible|
|PMIN 208 [PMIN 283]||The Hebrew Bible & Social Justice|
|New Testament||PMIN 209 [PMIN 206]||The Gospels|
|PMIN 210 [PMIN 214]||The New Testament|
|Theological Ethics||PMIN 211 [PMIN 287]||Issues in Moral Theology|
|PMIN 212 [PMIN 251]||Catholic Social Teaching|
|Sacraments & Liturgy||PLIT 213 [PLIT 202]||Sacraments and Liturgy|
|PMIN 214 [PMIN 297]||Sacramental Theology|
Foundational Course Descriptions
PMIN 201 - Theological Foundations for Ministry
This course critically examines fundamental concepts of Christian theology in dialogue with cultural practices for the sake of more faithful practice. This inquiry in turn allows us to interrogate how the Christian tradition understands itself. In other words, it brings theology to bear on cultural practices of significance to Christian life in the present, and in that encounter sees theology itself as a culturally and historically contingent and contested practice. A foundational Fundamental Theology course; formerly PMIN 210 and PMIN 288; 4 units.
PMIN 203 - Christology
An introduction to contemporary Catholic Christology. This course will examine Jesus Christ as an historical figure and object of faith and, as such, the Christian answer to the human situation. Course work will center on Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom of God and will treat of his history through the Resurrection. A foundational Christology course; 4 units.
PMIN 205 - Ecclesiology
This course examines the Christian Church, the "meeting place of all mysteries," from scriptural, historical, doctrinal, and practical perspectives. A foundational Ecclesiology course; formerly PMIN 204; 4 units.
PMIN 206 - Church History
A survey of the major theological developments in Christian history against the backdrop of the social and political currents of the periods in question. A foundational Ecclesiology course; formerly PMIN 225; 4 units.
PMIN 207 - Studying the Hebrew Bible
A study of Hebrew historical, prophetic, wisdom and apocalyptic literature as the medium of God's teaching word in Israel and in the Church. A foundational Hebrew Bible course; formerly PMIN 205; 4 units.
PMIN 208 - The Hebrew Bible & Social Justice
This course offers an examination of the Hebrew Bible in light of comparative literature from the ancient Near East. The course considers how the biblical writers framed their theology as a response to the ideologies, mythologies, and ritual practices of their age. It will also consider how the encultured character of the Bible can stand in dialogue with contemporary issues of diversity, multiculturalism, and justice. A foundational Hebrew Bible course; formerly PMIN 283; 4 units.
PMIN 209 - The Gospels
A study of the four canonical gospels with special attention given to methods of biblical exegesis and the pastoral contexts of the original authors. This will include study of literary genres, source analysis, problems of oral and written transmission, as well as the unique theological contributions of the evangelists as authors. A foundational New Testament course; formerly PMIN 206; 4 units.
PMIN 210 - The New Testament
An introduction to the socio-historical contexts, literary characteristics, and theological messages of the New Testament texts, with special attention to the methodology of biblical exegesis. Exploration of the pastoral issues facing the original authors will serve as a resource for theological reflection on how the minister might translate the good news in Christian communities today, in service of justice and peace. A foundational New Testament course; formerly PMIN 214; 4 units.
PMIN 211 - Issues in Moral Theology
This course offers an introduction to problems, theories, and pastoral insights of Christian ethics. Its purpose is to explore the meaning of an authentic Christian existence and its ethical and spiritual dimensions. Particular attention is paid to ethical problems for those in pastoral ministries. A foundational Theological Ethics course; formerly PMIN 287; 4 units.
PMIN 212 - Catholic Social Teaching
This course examines the vibrant and living tradition of Catholic social thought. It explores key features of Christian social responsibility through analysis of the official encyclicals and pastorals that comprise Catholic social teaching. In addition to surveying the encylical tradition as it has developed over the past 125 years, its theological foundations, and its function, it explores pastoral implications of its key themes and core commitments. A foundational Theological Ethics course; formerly PMIN 251; 4 units.
PMIN 213 - Sacraments & Liturgy
This course will look first at how all people use symbol and ritual to define and create their world and themselves. It will then investigate and experience specific Christian rituals and symbols to learn how they create and recreate a specifically Christian world. A foundational Sacraments & Liturgy course; formerly PLIT 202 and PMIN 297; 4 units.
PMIN 214 - Sacramental Theology
An exploration of the history and development of sacramental theology with emphasis on contemporary pastoral issues. A foundational Sacraments & Liturgy course; formerly PMIN 293; 4 units.
In addition to the seven foundational courses, all students take eight additional courses. If you choose to enroll in one of our degree emphases, four or five of those eight courses will be the required courses in that emphasis.
We currently offer two degree emphases: Latina/o Ministry and Restorative Justice & Chaplaincy. In addition, we are hoping to finalize an emphasis in Youth & Young Adult Ministries in the 2020–21 academic year. Below, we describe each emphasis and provide course descriptions for each of the required courses.
Students interested in pursuing the Latina/o Ministry emphasis are required to complete the seven required GPPM foundational courses as well as four emphasis courses (course descriptions below):
Students take only four additional electives for the total of 15 courses (60 units), and complete a capstone portfolio or practicum.*
LATM 220 - U.S. Latina/o Theology
This course acquaints students with the historical development of Latina/o theology in the United States. Attention will be given to the works of representative U.S. Latina/o theologians and to the themes and concerns that these works address. A required course in the Latina/o Ministry emphasis (an elective for other students). Formerly PMIN 296; 4 units.
LATM 221 - Enfrentamiento y Encuentro: History and Mission in Latina/o Perspective
This course explores the colonial and postcolonial history of the Americas, and the role of the Catholic Church in this history. It examines the dynamics of the colonial encounter and the ambivalence of identity in the borderlands (the nepantla) that the colonial encounter creates. The course probes pastoral issues related to the creation of cultural borders, from immigration to detention to family separation, and considers the Christian imperatives of reconciliation and justice in light of these cultural realities. A required course in the Latina/o Ministry emphasis (an elective for other students); 4 units.
LATM 222 - Latina/o Popular Religiosity and Its Ethics of Solidarity
This course explores popular religious devotions, liturgies and practices in the Latina/o community in terms of both their origins and their dynamic roles in the imagination and activism of Latina/o communities. Explores the church, but also the home, the field, and the workplace, as sacred space. A required course in the Latina/o Ministry emphasis (an elective for other students); 4 units.
LATM 223 - Latin@x Youth and Young Adult Ministry
This course explores the particular issues and challenges of youth and young adult ministry in the Latin@x church, including the tensions between the individualism of U.S. culture and the importance of la familia, the challenges of migration and citizenship status for youth and their families, the difficulties of forming a cultural identity from a place between cultures, and questions over sexual issues and identities. A required course in the Latina/o Ministry emphasis (an elective for other students); 4 units.
Restorative Justice & Chaplaincy
Students interested in pursuing the Restorative Justice / Chaplaincy emphasis are required to complete the seven required GPPM foundational courses as well as five additional courses (course descriptions follow):
Students take only three additional electives for the total of 15 courses (60 units), and complete a capstone portfolio or practicum.*
There are two hubs for the emphasis in Restorative Justice & Chaplaincy in the M.A. in Pastoral Ministries. The southern hub location is in the Diocese of San Diego at the Diocesan Pastoral Center 3888 Paducah Drive in San Diego and serves students from all of the surrounding dioceses. The hub serving the dioceses in northern California is in the Diocese of Oakland at Cathedral of Christ the Light Parish in Oakland at 2121 Harrison Street.
RJUS 220 - Introduction to Restorative Justice
While retributive justice models focus on the criminal and the government, restorative justice widens the circle of stakeholders to victims, offenders and community members, whose needs may be met through the justice system and through pastoral ministry. This course introduces three pillars of restorative justice: harms and needs (to/of victims, communities and offenders), obligations resulting from and contributing to the harm (the offender’s obligations, but also the communities’), and engagement of those who have a legitimate interest or stake in the offense and its resolution. A required course in the Restorative Justice & Chaplaincy emphasis (an elective for other students). 4 units.
RJUS 221 - Chaplaincy
A foundational study of the chaplain ministry in hospital, hospice and homebound settings as well as settings of incarceration. This course includes pastoral education that develops spiritual care providers and educators skilled in delivering theologically informed, clinically competent, and culturally sensitive spiritual care within hospitals, correctional settings, congregations and the community. This course also introduces various models of chaplaincy: pastoral, spiritual, missional, educational, liturgical and prophetic. A required course in the Restorative Justice & Chaplaincy emphasis (an elective for other students). 4 units.
RJUS 222 - Trauma & Healing in a Broken World
This course focuses on the needs of victims of violence and the responsibility of society to help them heal. It examines the experience of trauma, particularly that experienced in early childhood, and its impact on criminal and violent behavior, in order to imagine meaningful and effective opportunities for change. It suggests cultural changes that recognize the rights and needs of all those impacted by crime and violence from within a restorative justice framework. A required course in the Restorative Justice & Chaplaincy emphasis (an elective for other students). 4 units.
RJUS 223 - Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
This course introduces the history, philosophy and practice of the discipline of corrections within the criminal justice system of the United States, with an emphasis on the institutions and practices found in contemporary California. It includes an overview of the genesis and dynamic evolution of the institutions and methods society uses to respond to crime, including the origins and nature of the prison-industrial complex and the disproportionate incarceration of people of color, particularly after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It offers a description of the organizations, structures and stakeholders that will be encountered by pastoral ministers. Additionally, students will become acquainted with the practice and limitations of advocacy on behalf of the populations they serve. A required course in the Restorative Justice & Chaplaincy emphasis (an elective for other students). 4 units.
RJUS 224 - Intercultural and Interreligious Competencies
This course on Intercultural & Interreligious Competencies, will prepare students to cultivate necessary theological, pastoral and ministerial skills to grow in this “true openness and dialogue” called for by Pope Francis to become Missionary Disciples. In this course, students through readings, discussions, papers and presentations will explore important intercultural and interreligious approaches and be able to acquire pastoral knowledge, skills and attitudes to serve effectively people from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds in a wide variety of situations and pastoral settings like prison, jail, hospital, school, military unit and other related institutions. A required course in the Restorative Justice & Chaplaincy emphasis (an elective for other students). 4 units.
Youth & Young Adult Ministries Emphasis
Students interested in pursuing the Youth & Young Adult Ministries emphasis are required to complete the seven required GPPM foundational courses as well as five emphasis courses (course descriptions below):
Students take only three additional electives for the total of 15 courses (60 units), and complete a capstone portfolio or practicum.*
YMIN 220 - Evangelization and Discipleship
In Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis locates the call addressed to all Christians to become "missionary disciples" in the encounter with God’s love in Christ Jesus and the mission to "Go and make disciples of all nations" (Mt. 28:19). This course examines how that shared call is embodied by missionary disciples in ministry to youth and young adults. The first part of this course examines the scriptural and historical roots of evangelization and discipleship. It then explores the challenges of missionary discipleship in parishes, schools, and the world today as ministers discern the needs of those they serve and identify how those needs should shape ministry. Finally, it explores how disciples might be formed to be agents of interfaith cooperation in our religiously diverse world. A required course in the Youth & Young Adult Ministries emphasis (an elective for other students). Formerly CATE 213; 4 units.
YMIN 221 - Reimagining Youth Ministry
This course explores the historical and contemporary dimensions and challenges of ministry to people in middle school and high school (6th-12th grade). The first part of the course examines the principles, foundations and history of youth ministry and Pastoral Juvenil Hispana with adolescents. The second part of the course addresses the developmental needs of young people and studies their diverse cultural realities in contemporary society. The last section of the course offers practical applications for developing effective ministry and outreach strategies and investigates models of accompaniment of young people—whether active, unchurched or disaffiliated—as they explore their faith and beliefs. A required course in the Youth & Young Adult Ministries emphasis (an elective for other students). 4 units.
YMIN 222 - Reimagining Young Adult Ministry
This course explores the principles and foundations of Young Adult Ministry, examines the needs of young adults at different life stages, and reimagines practical ways for developing effective models of ministry to young adults that enliven their faith and accompany them into missionary discipleship and leadership. A required course in the Youth & Young Adult Ministries emphasis (an elective for other students). 4 units.
YMIN 223 - Community, Ritual & Mission: Nourishing the Christian Life
This course investigates the core elements for building welcoming, inclusive Christian communities as modeled by Jesus in his ministry. Approaching youth ministry work as a member of a pastoral leadership team, it also examines how to empower young people for their mission in the world by accompanying them into full life in their church community. In addition, this course explores the sacraments and rituals that foster a gospel spirituality and ministry engaged in reaching out to others, especially those in need. Specific attention will be given to the sacraments of initiation and vocation and the ways that these relate to mission. A required course in the Youth & Young Adult Ministries emphasis (an elective for other students). 4 units.
YMIN 224 - Family, Relationships & Ministry
This course equips students to provide leadership skills and strategies that empower the family and relationships. The minister will be trained to recognize and respond to the needs of persons at various stages of life in light of diverse expressions of family, gender, sexuality, relationships, and culture. Emphasis is placed on the minister’s role in accompanying families and sustaining life-giving relationships that animate the mission discipleship of the parish and community. A required course in the Youth & Young Adult Ministries emphasis (an elective for other students). Formerly PMIN 286; 4 units.
* International students interested in exploring the Practicum option should plan to meet with an international student advisor in the Global Engagement Office to discuss whether the project parameters require you to receive Curricular Practical Training (CPT) advising.
Elective courses are available in several areas of theology and pastoral ministries. Use the links below to jump to course titles and descriptions in your area of interest.
- Latina/o Ministry
- Liturgical Music
- Pastoral Liturgy
- Pastoral Ministries
- Restorative Justice & Chaplaincy
- Youth & Young Adult Ministries
Catechetics Course Electives
CATE 220 - Foundations and Process of Catechesis
An exploration and reflection on the nature, goal, and process of catechesis. This course examines twentieth century catechetical renewal and the catechetical model that emerged from this renewal. An elective course; formerly CATE 211; 4 units.
CATE 221 - RCIA: The Catechumenate Process
This course will study the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults and appropriate catechesis for this Rite. The course will include study of the lectionary, the symbolic actions and the prayer texts which are fundamental to the Rite and catechesis for the Rite. An elective course; formerly PLIT 262; 4 units.
CATE 222 - Catechesis & Culture
An examination of specific issues involving culture, ethnicity, gender, geographic location, socio-economic status, age, and language in catechesis. Students will define an "inculturated catechesis" and the principles that should inform such ministry. Fieldwork will be included. An elective course; formerly PMIN 212; 4 units.
CATE 223 - Liturgical Catechesis
A study of the revised rituals of the sacraments and the catechesis that accompanies these rites. Special emphasis will be given to the Lectionary, the Prayer texts, and the symbolic action of each rite in order to consider ways of developing a catechesis which will open up the meaning of the rites. An elective course; formerly CATE 216; 4 units.
CATE 224 - Transformative Catechesis
This course explores the prophetic dimension of catechesis and its ability to transform individuals, the parish community and the larger society. By examining current catechetical methods within the context of transformative catehesis, students (catechists) will be helped to realign their approach to catechesis and thus revitalize their teaching and their communities. An elective course; formerly CATE 217; 4 units.
CATE 240 - Adult Faith Formation
A study of the nature, goal, and process of adult faith formation. This course will consider adult experiences, motivation, and catechetical approaches. An elective course; formerly CATE 212; 4 units.
Latina/o Ministry Elective Courses
LATM 224 - Pastoral Care in Latina/o Contexts
This course explores the psychological and cultural elements that contribute to Latina/o identity, as well as the social and psychological pressures faced by members of this community and the pastoral interventions they call forth. An elective course; 4 units.
LATM 225 - Catechesis in the Parish and the Home
This course introduces the foundations and practice of catechesis and the particular shape these take in response to the religious practices and social dynamics of the Latina/o Catholic community. Emphasis is placed on the importance of involving the entire family in faith formation. An elective course; 4 units.
LATM 226 - Developing Competency for Cooperative Leadership
This course explores the challenges and opportunities of an intercultural parish. It trains the lay minister in cultural differences, such as in spiritual practice, stewardship, and leadership styles. It offers strategies developing pastoral de conjunto (communion in mission). An elective course; 4 units.
LATM 227 - Guadalupe & Marian Spirituality
This course traces the place of Mary in the Christian tradition, beginning in the Gospels, with an emphasis on the development of Marian devotion in Medieval Spain and the evolution of Marian spirituality in the figure of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The continuing transformation and role of Guadalupe in evangelization, popular devotion, and social justice movements will be explored. An elective course; 4 units.
LATM 229 - The Bible & Migration
This course examines the phenomenon of migration in the historical contexts of the biblical books and the ethical mandates in the covenant to care for the vulnerable. The course then analyzes the contemporary phenomenon of migration within the United States, focusing on the circumstances behind and policies toward migrants from Latin America. It examines the ways the Bible and biblical ethics inform the imagination and practices of migrants and the activism for justice on this issue. An elective course; formerly PMIN 217; 4 units.
LATM 230 - La Biblia en el Barrio: La Interpretación Bíblica Hispana
This course explores the Bible from a Hispanic context. Using the challenges of the Hispanic community as a hermeneutical lens, we will read the Bible through the community's struggles against poverty, racial discrimination, unemployment, domestic violence, immigration, and deportation. An elective course; formerly PMIN 217; 4 units.
LATM 240 - Feminist/Mujerista Theology
LATM 250 - La Visión Esperanzadora del Papa Francisco
This course will explore Pope Francis' vision for humanity as he has expressed this in writing and in interviews. We will examine the roots of his vision, especially Latin American influences, and consider his views in relation to current debates about such issues as poverty, immigration, and the environment. An elective course; formerly PMIN 213; 4 units.
Liturgical Music Elective Courses
LITM 220 - Introduction to Liturgical Music
Exploration of the nature of liturgy and the relationship of music to liturgy. The course also explores music for the Eucharist, the Sacraments and the Liturgy of the Hours. An elective course; formerly LITM 250; 4 units.
LITM 221 - Music for the Liturgical Year
Focuses on the music for Eucharist and the liturgical year as well as musical forms in the liturgy and in particular rites: funeral, wedding, baptism, and the RCIA. Includes a consideration of various church traditions. An elective course; formerly LITM 200 and LITM 251; 4 units.
LITM 222 - Musicianship for Liturgical Musicians
This course provides a review of harmony and theory for the liturgical musician. Designed to meet the individual needs of each student. An elective course; formerly LITM 252; 4 units.
LITM 223 - Choral Conducting Techniques
Examines the techniques of choral conducting as well as the choral training necessary for developing a well-balanced choir. Focuses on solving vocal problems encountered in both small ensembles and large choirs. An elective course; formerly LITM 253; 4 units.
LITM 224 - Sacred Music Literature
A comprehensive survey of sacred and liturgical choral/organ literature from 600 A.D. to the present. Includes Gregorian chant, music from various historical periods, and contemporary music. An elective course; formerly LITM 254; 4 units.
Pastoral Liturgy Elective Courses
PLIT 220 - Foundations of Pastoral Liturgy
In this course, students explore the theological foundations for the reform of the liturgy after the Second Vatican Council—history, biblical roots, liturgical development—with particular attention to the impact on contemporary parish life in the multicultural Church. Focus includes principles for preparation and evaluation of parish liturgies; music, architecture, the meaning of full, conscious, unresolved issues and the challenges ahead will be discussed, especially the need for genuine inculturation and a more performative sacramental theology. An elective course; formerly PLIT 222; 4 units.
PLIT 221 - The Eucharist
An introduction to the theology and celebration of the Eucharist. The course includes New Testament beginnings, a brief historical overview, and pastoral and catechetical questions concerning contemporary celebration of the Eucharist. An elective course; formerly PLIT 232; 4 units.
PLIT 222 - Liturgy and Inculturation
This course explores the inter-relationship between liturgy, inculturation, and the many sociocultural identities and worship practices that mark our everyday lives. The first part sets the context by exploring foundational aspects of liturgy and culture. The second part examines liturgical inculturation and places it in conversation with official and non-official worship practices. The third part offers suggestions for pastoral settings, including the planning and preparing of liturgies in culturally diverse contexts and the development of intercultural competence skills. Finally, particular ethnic cultural worship practices (African, African American, Chinese, Filipino, Hispanic, and Vietnamese) will be highlighted at different times throughout the quarter. An elective course; formerly PLIT 265; 4 units.
PLIT 235 - Sacraments of Healing
A consideration of liturgical prayer in relation of the contemporary experience of sickness and dying. The course will examine the theological, historical, and pastoral aspects of ministry to the sick and dying based on Pastoral Care of the Sick. An elective course; formerly CATE 233; 4 units.
PLIT 276 - Preaching and Presiding at Prayer
A praxis-oriented course in which student will learn the theology and the history of lay liturgical ministry by creating various liturgical events. The course also explores the process and practice of preaching, workshopping the preparatory study, writing, revising and delivering of the homily so that the student receives a practical experience of preaching. An elective course; formerly PLIT 217; 4 units.
Pastoral Ministries Elective Courses
PMIN 220 - The Wounded Healer
With his classic image of the "wounded healer," Henri Nouwen reminds us that imperfect people do effective ministry. Drawing on the insights of developmental psychology, The Spiritual Exercises, and contemporary theologies of ministry, this course examines the psychological and spiritual formation of the pastoral person. Students discover within their own human imperfection the deepest wellsprings of pastoral identity and ministerial effectiveness. They will also experience a model of theological reflection on ministry. An elective course; formerly PMIN 280; 4 units.
PMIN 221 - Pastoral Leadership
This course explores best practices in ministerial and organizational leadership in parish communities. Informed by the USCCB document, Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, the class examines techniques and obstacles to fruitful collaboration between ordained and lay ministers, the importance of transparency, and the gospel values that inform and shape pastoral leadership. An elective course; formerly PMIN 219; 4 units.
PMIN 222 - Skills for Ministers
Ministry is a relational process which requires effective interpersonal communication. This course provides ministering persons an opportunity to explore, deepen, and expand their personal communication skills through experiential exercises, class feedback, and reflective self-examination. Topics explored include listening and attending skills, learning to ask questions, paraphrasing and encouraging, confronting and empathic listening. Basic principles and techniques of conflict resolution and use of small groups in ministry are also explored. An elective course; formerly PMIN 250; 4 units.
PMIN 223 - Ethics in Pastoral Ministry
This course addresses ethical conduct in ministry with emphasis on moral decision-making and servant leadership. The course focuses on the formation of conscience as it relates to the self, the profession, and the church. It examines toxic leadership and theoretical foundations of ethical behavior in an organization. It is also practical, providing the skills and resources needed to deal with various issues in ministry. The course introduces methods of discernment and application designed to help the student identify their personal mission and align professional conduct with that mission. An elective course; formerly PMIN 215; 4 units.
PMIN 224 - Ministry for Peace and Justice
An introduction to the Catholic Church's social teachings and a consideration of the relationship of those teachings to U.S. and global moral issues. An elective course; formerly PMIN 220; 4 units.
PMIN 230 - Introduction to Canon Law
This course introduces the nature, history, and function of Church law. It surveys the norms of the 1983 Code of Canon Law in the areas of general norms, the rights and obligations of the Christian faithful, Church structures, the teaching and sanctifying offices of the Church, temporal goods, sanctions and procedural law. An elective course; formerly CATE 275; 4 units.
PMIN 231 - Canon Law for Pastoral Ministers
Pastoral ministers will be introduced to the nature, history, and function of Church law. The course surveys the norms of the 1983 Code of Canon Law in the areas of general norms, the rights and obligations of the Christian faithful, Church structures, the teaching and sanctifying offices the Church, temporal goods, sanctions and procedural law. An elective course; formerly CATE 220; 4 units.
PMIN 240 - Women in Ministry
It has been said that women perform 80% of the ministry work in the Catholic Church, even while they are excluded from ordained ministries. This course explores women's ministry roles from Jesus' movement to the present, examining the place that women have and might occupy in service of the people of God. An elective course; formerly CATE 226; 4 units.
PMIN 250 - Intergenerational Ministry
Taking the family as its inspiration and primary locus, this course explores the value of conducting pastoral ministry in ways that allow multiple generations to interact together. An elective course; formerly SPIR 249; 4 units.
PMIN 254 - Ministry to the Religious Other
This course invites participants to understand more deeply and increase their skill in working with people who are "other" than themselves—whether in terms of religious tradition, spiritual experience, different styles of holding faith, or different generational cultures (with their attendant spiritualities). This class presents assumptions and perspectives necessary to engage in interfaith/intergenerational spiritual accompaniment and ministry, and asks participants to explore and expand their ability to practice analogous empathic connection in order to connect their own religious and spiritual experiences to the spiritual experiences of the "other." Students will clarify populations with which they are able to work effectively and with integrity. An elective course; formerly PMIN 249; 4 units.
PMIN 260 - Ministry and Social Media
Social media is any kind of communication that is electronic and interactive. For example, this includes websites, blogs, discussion forums, Facebook, YouTube, Second Life, Twitter, as well as simple announcement-type media such as a parish websites. This course provides a brief overview of how media has historically been used for Christian ministry purposes. It explores the ways that social media is now being used for ministry, along with the theology and spirituality of social media and ministry. It trains the student to create a sample ministry using social medial. An elective course; formerly SPIR 253; 4 units.
PMIN 261 - Pastoral Aesthetics
Aesthetics—the study of the beautiful—is a productive lens through which to examine many pastoral issues. It is revelatory of Divine Mystery when words fail; it can transform us, as it can penetrate and open a heart, it can inspire new horizons in the minister and those receiving ministry. This course explores, examines, and applies the beautiful in three main movements: (1) the minister’s own encounter with the beautiful, (2) a theoretical but concrete understanding of the meanings and functions of the beautiful, and (3) pastoral applications of the beautiful in a given ministry. An elective course; formerly PMIN 211; 4 units.
PMIN 270 - Inter-Religious Dialogue
This course explores the major theological issues involved in inter-religious dialogue, and the implications of these issues for world events in the 21st century. An elective course; formerly SPIR 276; 4 units.
RJUS 235 - Ministry to the Sick and Dying
The course will consider liturgical prayer in relation of the contemporary experience of sickness and dying, with a particular focus on the ministry of chaplains. It will examine the theological, historical, and pastoral aspects of ministry to the sick and dying based on Pastoral Care of the Sick. An elective course; formerly PLIT 233; 4 units.
Spirituality Elective Courses
SPIR 220 - Spirituality and Ministry
This course examines the nature and development of ministry in the Church with special attention given to forms of adult ministry. An elective course; formerly SPIR 244; 4 units.
SPIR 221 - History of Christian Spirituality
This course is a study of major traditions and issues in Christian spirituality. It analyzes various spiritualities in terms of their historical context, suppositions, strengths, and weaknesses. An elective course; formerly SPIR 240; 4 units.
SPIR 222 - Ignatian Spirituality and Discernment
This course offers an in-depth study of the elements and dynamics of Ignatian spirituality through the writings of St. Ignatius of Loyola, including his spiritual exercises, autobiography, spiritual journal, and letters. Special emphasis is placed on his rules on discernment as a resource for communal and individual Christian decision-making. An elective course; formerly SPIR 242; 4 units.
SPIR 223 - Psychological Issues in Spirituality
This course explores the relationship of psychology to spirituality, emphasizing how the insights of psychology may be used in spirituality. An elective course; formerly SPIR 243; 4 units.
SPIR 224 - Prayer and Prayer Methods
This course offers an experiential and theological exploration of prayer and meditation methods within the Christian tradition, with an emphasis upon noticing and articulating one's religious experience as a foundation for personal and communal theological reflection. An elective course; formerly SPIR 248; 4 units.
SPIR 230 - Liturgical Spirituality
An introduction to the historical, theological, and cultural issues underlying the liturgical and spiritual traditions of the Christian churches. An elective course; 4 units.
SPIR 235 - The Art of Spiritual Direction
A practical course for those who want to explore what spiritual direction is and how it is done. Students should be willing to learn more about themselves both spiritually and psychologically and to explore the leading of God in their lives. Topics addressed will include prayer, discernment, listening, God's healing, transference and countertransference, and the differences between spiritual direction and psychotherapy. An elective course; formerly SPIR 260; 4 units.
SPIR 241 - Karl Rahner: Spiritual Writings
Drawing upon some of Rahner's popular works, retreat conferences, homilies, and more accessible theological essays, this course explores the relationship between Rahner's approach to Ignatian spirituality and ask how this approach can inform daily Christian life and ministry. An elective course; formerly SPIR 232; 4 units.
SPIR 260 - Spirituality in the Digital Age
This course focuses on expressions of Christian spirituality that utilize technologies or take place entirely within digital spaces. It probes the challenges to traditional structures and authorities that these technologies pose, while also exploring the new forms of spiritual expression, activism and commitment that are possible online. An elective course; formerly SPIR 252; 4 units.
SPIR 264 - Mystics, Prophets & Social Justice
Holy people throughout history have lived their lives in both deep relationship with the Divine and radical commitment in the world. In this course we will explore understandings of mysticism and prophecy and then consider the witness of women and men whose work for social justice grew out of their faith commitment. One or two different witnesses will be highlighted each week; figures include, among others: Francis of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola, John Woolman, Sojourner Truth, Walter Rauschenbush, Abraham Heschel, Dorothy Day, Cesar Chavez, Thomas Merton, Howard Thurman, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Archbishop Oscar Romero. Students will locally or nationally and will interview someone who works with that organization. An elective course; formerly PMIN 209 and PMIN 274; 4 units.
SPIR 248 - Prayer and Prayer Methods
An experiential and theological exploration of prayer and meditation methods within the Christian tradition, with an emphasis upon noticing and articulating one's religious experience as a foundation for personal and communal theological reflection. (Elective, 4 Units)
SPIR 280 - Spirituality and Health
The medical professions are paying more attention to the latest findings linking spiritual factors with health-related processes and outcomes. Through scripture, mystical tests, and ancient Christian practices, this course explores resources in Christianity that promote the cultivation of peace and well-being. A focus is placed on stories of healing in prophetic and wisdom literature and the New Testament, contemporary implications of Julian of Norwich's image of God, Teresa of Avila's four degrees of prayer, as well as devotions such as rosary beads, the hours, and chant. An elective course; formerly SPIR 285; 4 units.
SPIR 290 - Contemporary Issues in Spirituality
his course explores the ways traditional spiritual concepts and language need to be translated if they are to speak to our contemporary human experience. An elective course; formerly SPIR 246; 4 units.
Theology Course Electives
THEO 232 - The Psalms
The Psalter is a central resource for the liturgical prayer of the Church. This course studies the literary forms, historical contexts, and affective power of these poems and explores the settings within which they are are and might be used in the Church. An elective course; formerly PMIN 289; 4 units.
THEO 234 - The Quest for the Historical Jesus
This course examines the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Working with the available literary and archaeological evidence and criteria of historicity, we will explore the aspects of the gospel tradition that are most likely to be historically accurate. We will examine the factors that led the evangelists to reshape the received tradition for their own pastoral contexts. The archaeological record tells us little about Jesus directly, but reveals a great deal about the world in which he lived. This will allow us to build a picture of his society that will help us to place him in it and to understand what people believed about him, and why. An elective course; formerly PMIN 209; 4 units.
THEO 236 - Johannine Writings
This course focuses on the Gospel and Letters of John, emphasizing their unique view of Christ and Christian spirituality in comparison with the Synoptic Gospels. Special attention is given to the figure of the Beloved Disciple as the ideal believer. An elective course; formerly PMIN 217; 4 units.
THEO 237 - Pauline Writings
A study of the writings in the Pauline and deutero-Pauline collection, with special attention to the social context and pastoral issues that Paul and his followers faced in the early Christian church. An elective course; formerly PMIN 215; 4 units.
THEO 240 - Feminist Theologies
An exploration of the contributions of feminist theology on three levels: pastoral, academic, and popular. North American and Third World theologians will be examined in order to see both the global impact of feminist theologies and their liberating visions in the contexts of race, culture, and ethnicity. Special emphasis will be placed on the utilization of feminist theology in contemporary pastoral settings. An elective course; formerly PMIN 285; 4 units.
THEO 244 - Vatican II
No one doubts the significance of the Second Vatican Council for Catholic Christianity; knowledge of the history, theology, and consequences is essential for ministry. This course examines the central documents in detail in order to understand the theological positions adopted at the Council with special reference to current issues facing the Church. An elective course; formerly PMIN 208; 4 units.
THEO 245 - Future Church
Vatican II marked the opening of the third phase in the Catholic Church's self-understanding where the relationship between the Local Church and the Universal Church was re-configured. This course focuses on teachings that developed and changed as well as teachings that were retrieved from the first millennium in the life of the Church. There will be particular emphasis upon the four Constitutions since they provide the scaffold for Church life, especially at the parish and diocesan level. An elective course; formerly CATE 215; 4 units.
THEO 250 - Theology of Suffering
In pastoral practice suffering in its manifold forms presents challenges to Christian faith and practice. This course explores theological dimensions of the problem (e.g., how deeply God can be said to be involved in suffering in light of revelation), how suffering can help inform an integral spirituality, and how ministers of the Gospel can best encounter people who are in the midst of physical, psychological or spiritual suffering. An elective course; formerly PMIN 268; 4 units.
THEO 252 - Liberation Theology
Liberation and freedom are words that fill the contemporary theological, political, and social space. How do liberation theologies impact the quest for justice both as foundational Christian aspiration as well as a worldwide political quest? What does the search for justice have to do with pastoral ministries? An elective course; formerly PMIN 218; 4 units.
THEO 255 - Creation, Science and Ecological Theology
The field of ecological theology, or ecotheology, reflects critically on the Christian faith in light of the reality of ecological degradation and contemporary scientific insights into the "nature of nature" and the universe we inhabit. Following Pope Francis's observation that "an ecological approach always becomes a social approach," the discipline also attends to the intersection of ecological and social concerns, including racism, sexism, poverty, and other "obstructions of justice." Applied to the life of the church, ecotheology asks what Catholic Christians can do for the good of the world we share with what Charles Darwin described as "endless forms most beautiful": palms and squirrels, rivers and mountains, which Psalm 148 describes as praising God by simply being what they are. In this way, ecological theology offers a unique perspective on the intersection of theoretical, theological, pastoral, and ministerial concerns, seeking new ways of understanding God's will to life, flourishing, and the "splendid universal communion" of all God's creatures (Laudato Si'). An elective course; formerly PMIN 236; 4 units.
THEO 270 - Healthcare Ethics
Decisions about healthcare—either personal or professional—are shaped by ethics. This course explores the new genetics, cell, tissue and organ transplantation, death and dying, justice and access to healthcare. An elective course; formerly PMIN 226; 4 units.
Youth and Young Adult Ministries Electives
YMIN 230 - Theology, Sex & Relationships
This course is a study of the official method and anthropology employed in Catholic sexual ethics with review of magisterial documents regarding certain question in sexual ethics, fostering a theological and pastoral approach to sexual ethics for the contemporary church. The course will facilitate self-insight about the place of sexuality in one's own life. An elective course; formerly PMIN 286; 4 units.
Since 1998 the candidates for the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of San José, as well as the trainees for the Diocesan Advanced Lay Leadership program, have received their theological training in the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries in face-to-face classes on the Santa Clara University campus.
Since Fall of 2012 the candidates for the Permanent Diaconate in the Diocese of Monterey have received their theological formation in the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries, with blended classes offered at locations within their home diocese and online.
In every diocese where the program is offered, the deacons study with other lay students seeking the Master's Degree. Deacon candidates typically take 11 or 12 classes as non-degree students, although they are welcome to pursue the remaining 3-4 courses and capstone project to earn the degree. The courses in their curriculum are drawn almost exclusively from the options listed under the foundational courses.
Students may study in the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries with a non-degree seeking student status for personal enrichment and to enhance their service in ministry. Tuition costs remain the same as for degree seeking students. We welcome students from many diverse regions of the world and from different faith traditions to study alongside our current degree-seeking students.