Lay Ministry Formation Program

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1 Archdiocese of Hartford Office of Religious Education and Evangelization Lay Ministry Formation Program Course Descriptions

2 What is Lay Ministry? Ministry is the way in which the Church continues what Christ began and stills intends, namely, the salvation of humanity and the transformation of the world. All baptized and confirmed Christians receive a call and gifts enabling them to participate in this mission. When lay people carry out Christ s work in their parish we call this lay ministry. The Archdiocese of Hartford offers this formation program to men and women, who wish to broaden their theological education, improve their ministerial and helping skills and become more effective leaders in the parish. 2 11

3 ARC H D I O C ESE O F How to Begin the Application Process Applications should be sent to: This little booklet will describe the courses that are offered in the lay ministry program. After reading this booklet, there are several steps you should take to begin the application process. Coordinator of Lay Ministry Formation Office of Religious Education and Evangelization 467 Bloomfield Avenue Bloomfield, CT Phone: Fax: Contact your pastor and express your interest. Ask for his support and financial assistance from the parish. Consult with your pastor concerning the area of ministry you wish to pursue and determine your parish project. You may download the application form from our website or get one from your pastor. Submit the application and two letters of recommendation (pastor and a parishioner active in the parish), and a $25.00 application fee made out to ORE. 10 3

4 ARC H D I O C ESE O F Course Descriptions for Lay Ministry Formation First Year Human/Faith Development Foundations of Spirituality Liturgical Spirituality Sacraments Perspectives on the Old Testament Perspectives on the New Testament Christology Communication skills for lay ministers Theology of Ministry Using the US Catholic Catechism Second Year Church History Ecclesiology Canon Law and Archdiocesan Structure Morality Issues of Justice Leadership and Conflict Management Ethics for lay ministers Theological Reflection for the Lay Minister Theological Reflection for the Lay Minister: 1 class The aim of this course is to introduce Theological Reflection as a process that will help the lay minister to reflect on ministry experiences. This reflection process enables the minister to recognize the connection between faith and daily life. Ethics: 1 class The Code of Ethics published by the National Association of Lay Ministers will be studied and pastoral applications discussed. Discerning our Spiritual Gifts 2 classes These two classes will help students to discern the gifts that God has given them and how to use those gifts in their lay ministry. Students will use the Catholic Spiritual Gifts Inventory as a beginning step in this process. Internship In addition to the class hours, an integral component of the Program is that of Internship. Each participant in collaboration with his/her pastor chooses an area of ministry for focus. A project is designed in that area for the individual s parish and a supervisor is assigned by the coordinator of the program. The internship requirement is 30 hours spread over the two years. 4 9

5 ARC H D I O C ESE O F Morality: 4 classes The primary aim of this course concerns the Gospel values, growth in holiness and love, and a call to authentic personhood. The course addresses: conscience and truth, healthcare, ethics and moral dilemmas, Catholic sexual ethics and the Ten Commandments. Issues of Justice: 3 classes These sessions will strive to develop an understanding of the primary themes of justice and peace in Scripture and Catholic social teaching. Theology of Ministry: 2 classes From the background of a theology of ministry, mission and vocation, the participants will come to recognize the challenge of ministry in this time, this place, and this culture as well as in their lives. Two major documents from the United States Catholic Bishops will be studied; Called and Gifted for the Third Millennium and Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord. Foundations of Spirituality: 4 classes The major aim is to introduce the participant to tools for identifying and understanding Christian spirituality through prayer and the realization that God s presence permeates all of human life. Human/Faith Development: 2 classes One of the prime functions of lay ministers is to assist pastors in helping others in their human response (faith) to God s self-communication (revelation). This course will explore the process of adult faith development. Perspectives on the Old Testament: 4 classes The purpose of this class is to give the student some familiarity and appreciation of the Old Testament. This will be accomplished through a general overview of the key concepts of Scripture, and in particular the Pentateuch, the Prophets and the Wisdom books. Church History: 4 classes This course is an overview of the history of the church from the early apostles to the Second Vatican council. In these sessions the major developments in the church will be covered. 8 5

6 ARC H D I O C ESE O F Perspectives on the New Testament: 4 classes The development of the Gospels and an examination of central concepts of Jesus, the Kingdom of God, discipleship, the parables as well as the theology of Paul and John will be studied. Christology: 2 classes In this course, participants will study the human and divine natures of Jesus Christ. It will examine the mission of Jesus and show how the Son of God, the Messiah, was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. Ecclesiology: 3 classes The major aim is to enable the participant to see the Church s evolving understanding of herself and to reflect upon how these understandings impact upon the role of the baptized. Canon Law and Archdiocesan Structure: 2 classes The course will deal with areas of canon law appropriate to one s specific ministry and to develop a better understanding of diocesan policies and procedures. Catechism of the Catholic Church: 1 class In this course the candidates for lay ministry will be introduced to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and how it can be used in parish ministry. They will be led to understand its structure and the four pillars: what we believe, how we worship, how we pray and how we act. Other church documents, such as The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults will also be highlighted. Sacraments: 3 classes The major aim is to help the participant understand that sacraments are efficacious signs of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church by which divine life is dispensed to us. All seven sacraments will be studied. Liturgical Spirituality: 2 classes This course is designed to offer an overview of a theology of worship and celebration through study of official Church Documents and rites and historical sources. Leadership and Conflict Management: 3 classes The course will examine the meaning of leadership and its relationship to parish ministry in the Post Vatican II Church. The major aim is to help the participants become familiar with appropriate skills for the coordination of a parish program and increase organizational skills such as time management and strategic planning. 6 7

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