HomeHome  |   Undergraduate CatalogUndergraduate Catalog  |   Graduate CatalogGraduate Catalog  |   Past CatalogsPast Catalogs  |   SXU HomeSXU Home    

Pastoral Ministry Institute


The Pastoral Ministry Institute is a free-standing Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Through the Pastoral Ministry Institute, Saint Xavier University explicitly expresses its mission as a Catholic university by offering academic programs in pastoral or practical theology and by serving the Archdiocese of Chicago, in conjunction with the Office for University Ministry, in meeting the evolving needs of the church at large.

Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Studies  

The Pastoral Ministry Institute of Saint Xavier University offers a 15 credit graduate certificate in pastoral studies in collaboration with the Catholic Theological Union. Intended for the training of lay ministers in the Church, the certificate curriculum is designed especially to meet expectations of the Archdiocese of Chicago, both for various lay ecclesial ministry certifications, commissioning and for ongoing professional development.

Program Director

A. Clendenen, D.Min., Ph.D.

Certificate Requirements

The certificate in pastoral studies is awarded after students have completed five seminars offered by the Pastoral Ministry Institute, one in each of the following areas: scripture, theology, history, practical theology and ethics.

The certificate in pastoral studies will be accepted by the Catholic Theological Union as 15 credits toward a master of arts in pastoral studies or a master of divinity degree.

9 to 12 credit hours of this certificate will be accepted toward a master of arts in pastoral studies at Loyola University's Institute of Pastoral Studies.

Any of the graduate courses completed at Saint Xavier University may be transferred to Catholic Theological Union or Loyola's Institute of Pastoral Studies, even if the student does not complete the entire certificate program at Saint Xavier University. Transfer of credits to other schools is made according to their policy.

Note: The graduate certificate in pastoral studies may also be taken as a non-credit certificate. No course may be transferred from other programs into the certificate of pastoral studies.



PASGR 500: Pauline Letters (3)   
This course investigates the seven authentic Pauline letters by viewing them as the correspondence of a pastor/missionary rather than a systematic theologian. It presupposes that these letters are specific to the pastoral situations they address and yet make a continuing contribution to the theology and praxis of the Christian tradition. The course promotes rhetorical criticism as the method that exposes both the situation that elicited these letters and the theology behind their argumentative strategy.

PASGR 502: Jesus and the Gospels (3)   
This course investigates the earliest sources about Jesus. Both canonical and non-canonical gospels are critically assessed to ascertain information about the historical Jesus and the Christ of faith. The various portraits of Jesus that are presented in these sources are distinguished, compared and related to the creedal statements that express the theological affirmations of the Church.


PASGR 510: Christology (3)  
This course is an introduction to the foundational doctrines of Christian belief with respect to the life, teachings, mission and ministry of Jesus Christ. The Jesus of history and the Christ of faith is approached from biblical, historical and systematic perspectives.

PASGR 512: Church (3)   
This study provides an introduction to the theology of the Roman Catholic Church with a focus on the vision of the Church reflected in two documents from Vatican II: the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, and the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Special attention is given to ecclesiological themes and issues critical for life in the Church today. The seminar is directed toward those already engaged in or preparing for ministry in the Church.


PASGR 520: Religious History (3)   
This seminar is designed to present a brief overview of the development of Christian theological life and thought by tracing key ideas and movements in the life of the Church. While the focus of this study may vary, students will be exposed to the development of doctrine, patterns of continuity and discontinuity, and to recognizing the relevance of past moments for the life and growth of a contemporary Church in the modern world.

Pastoral Theology

PASGR 530: Faith Development (3)   
This course explores the features of psycho-spiritual development through the life cycle. Insights from the personality sciences are studied from theological perspectives to illumine the relationships between human maturation and spiritual life and growth.

PASGR 532: Lay Preaching and Presiding (3)   
Increasingly, lay ecclesial ministers are leading various kinds of public prayer, such as Word and Communion Services, and Wake and Committal Rituals. This practicum provides an introduction to the practical theology, spirituality, theory and praxis of preaching and presiding in all ministries of public prayer open to lay ecclesial leaders.

PASGR 534: Pastoral Counseling (3)   
This course is an introduction to the theory, practice and ethics of pastoral counseling appropriate to the lay ecclesial minister in select pastoral care settings. Case studies, role-play, demonstrations, readings and lecture will impart basic information on effective ministry for the layperson in responding to personal and family needs and crises.


PASGR 540: Catholic Moral Theology (3)   
This course provides a historical overview of the development of the Catholic moral tradition and its influence on contemporary moral and ethical issues. Different approaches, styles and methodologies demonstrate the richness of the tradition and its application to pastoral concerns today.

PASGR 542: Ethics in Pastoral Care (3)   
This course provides an overview of the legal aspects specifically in relation to pastoral care. The seminar will explore both ethical theory and practice in providing pastoral care within a variety of ministerial settings. Ethical issues are highlighted through an examination and discussion of current literature and case studies.

Special Topics

PASGR 560: Special Topics for Lay Ecclesial Ministers (3)   

( ) = credit hours / / = classroom hours