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  • Undergrad Dept.
    School of Ministry
    Catherine Hall - Rm. 110
    Phone: 972-265-5814
    Fax: 972-721-4076

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The course of study for pastoral ministry majors builds on full participation in the University's Core curriculum, utilizing both the wisdom gained and the skills of critical thinking developed there. This curriculum includes four literature courses, four history courses, three philosophy courses, two theology courses, two science courses and one course each in economics, politics, math and fine art. Students must also demonstrate mastery of a foreign language; pastoral ministry majors are encouraged to take Spanish to fulfill this requirement. Students also have the opportunity to participate in the semester long UD Rome program, studying for four months at the heart of western civilization, western tradition and the Catholic Church.

Pastoral Foundations

A series of foundation courses gives students a comprehensive view of pastoral ministry in the Catholic tradition, lived out in the present day. Every course includes close and careful reading of important ecclesial texts, wide ranging dialogue within a community of service and frequent exchange with ministerial practitioners. These courses (27 credit hours) include:

PAS 1305. Essentials Of Catholic Life & Ministry. An overview of central elements of Catholic life and faith (e.g., revelation, creation, God, Christology, ecclesiology, sacramentality, anthropology, spirituality, etc.); in context of 21st century US culture and circumstances; parish life and culture, internal and external trends for the future. Requires structured field observation and analysis of pastoral ministry in theological context.

PAS 2320. Scripture For Ministry And Worship. Explores the Biblical roots of ministry and the pastoral use of scripture in the ministries of Word, worship, and service; correlates major goals of catechesis as enumerated in the General Directory for Catechesis with major themes and texts of the Bible (e.g., covenant, creation, grace, sin & redemption, community, prayer, eschatology, etc.) Requires close study of pertinent ecclesial documents illuminating and governing the understanding and use of scripture in ministry and worship; including Providentissimus Deus, Divino Afflante Spiritu; Dei Verbum; Introduction to the Lectionary for the Mass; Interpretation of the Bible in the Church; The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible, Verbum Domini, etc. Prerequisites: THE 1310, PAS 1305.

PAS 3330. Liturgical And Sacramental Ministry And Spirituality. Develops a theology of sacramental worship as bedrock for Catholic ministry and spirituality; considers the origins of sacramentality, the role of ritual and prayer in Christian life; leadership of prayer and worship as ministerial tasks; norms and strategies for sacramental preparation and liturgical formation; implications of sacraments for ministerial practice. Requires close study of pertinent ecclesial documents including, e.g., Sacrosanctum Concilium; General Instruction on the Roman Missal, General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours, The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, ritual texts for all other sacraments; Dies Domini; Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Sacramentum Caritatis, etc. Prerequisites: THE 1310, THE 2311, PAS 1305.

PAS 3335. Theology And Practice Of Pastoral Ministry. A detailed examination of and reflection on the practice of ministry in the Church. Requires close study of pertinent ecclesial documents regarding ministry, including, e.g., Apostolicam Actuositatem, Christifideles Laici, Called & Gifted, Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, Code of Canon Law (selections), National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers, etc., as well as local norms of ministerial practice. Prerequisites: THE 1310, THE 2311, PAS 1305.

PAS 3340. Vatican II And The Mission Of The Church. Historical and theological review of Vatican Council II and its vision of mission and ministry. Requires careful study of major conciliar and post-conciliar documents, including the four constitutions of Vatican II, Ad Gentes, Nostra Aetate, Evangelii Nuntiandi, Go and Make Disciples, Redemptoris Missio, etc. Prerequisites: THE 1310, THE 2311, PAS 1305.

PAS 3345. The Person Of The Minister. Consideration and development of interpersonal attitudes, practices, and skills for professional ministry; for example, collaboration, pastoral communication, boundaries and relationships in ministry, managing conflict, personal and spiritual maturity, ministerial identity and ethics. Requires close study of excerpts of pertinent ecclesial documents regarding ministry, including, e.g., Pastores Dabo Vobis, Program of Priestly Formation, National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons, Co-Workers in the Vineyard, etc. Requires significant personal contact with pastoral practitioners representing a variety of different states of life, areas of ministry, and levels of responsibility. Prerequisites: THE 1310, THE 2311, PAS 1305.

PAS 4370. Administration For Ministry. Analysis of and reflection on systems and structures for ministry in the Church today; social and pastoral analysis of different ministerial contexts; interaction and collaboration between and among pastoral communities. Requires significant personal contact with and observation of administrative leadership in various pastoral settings. – Prerequisites: THE 1310, THE 2311, PAS 1305, PAS 3335, PAS 3345.

THE 3341. Moral Theology. Examines the ideas of conscience, sin, the virtues, natural law, and the relation of Scripture and ethics. The underpinnings of the Christian moral life, with various applications to specific moral issues. Involves a close reading of John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor.

Upper-level Theology Elective (3 Credit Hours)


These courses, in content and form, are designed to ensure that successful pastoral ministry majors will be prepared to enter the ministerial workforce having met the standards set by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Commission on Certification and Accreditation, and the National Certification Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers.

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