School of Ministry News
This past year, as Edna Ramos prepared to send one son off to college and the other into his freshman year of high school, she knew that one chapter of her life was coming to a close. She needed to determine what the next phase would hold, what meaningful work she could undertake.
This spring, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine awarded the Ann and Joe O. Neuhoff School of Ministry a $24,050 grant to support the CCD's goals of promoting Catholic biblical literacy. This grant will fund a full scholarship for one bilingual student to complete a Master of Theological Studies with a concentration in biblical studies.
Nearly a year ago, when Hurricane Harvey hit, Houston, Beaumont and surrounding areas endured a natural disaster of unforeseen proportions. The process of rebuilding has been long and arduous, and this past spring, UD's Alternative Spring Break program took students down to Beaumont to join in the efforts through Operation Blessing, the division of Catholic Mission Trips in charge of Hurricane Harvey relief.
Between March 19 and March 24, pastoral leaders congregated in Rome for a pre-synod gathering of over 300 representatives from every part of the world. Two of those leaders were UD alumni Katie Prejean McGrady, BA '11, and Nick López, BA '12 MTS '16. The purpose of the gathering was to craft a document, to be presented to the pope, on the state of young people and religion worldwide.
The week of March 19, University of Dallas alumnus and Director of Campus Ministry Nick López, BA '12 MTS '16, attended a pre-synodal gathering of young people in preparation for the upcoming Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment. López was even asked to address the gathering, including Pope Francis, at the request of the Vatican Synod Committee.
Recently, we sat down with Matthew Vereecke, Ed.D., and Verónica Alonzo, Ed.D., superintendent and associate superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Dallas, to ask them about the state of Catholic education in the Diocese of Dallas: "What has been accomplished? What can we be proud of this year, in our Catholic schools?"
On Jan. 25, 2018, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announced that University of Dallas alumni Nick López, BA '12 MTS '16, director of campus ministry at UD, and Katie Prejean McGrady, BA '11, were selected to serve as delegates at an upcoming pre-synod gathering in Rome. The March meeting is in preparation for the October Synod of Bishops called "Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment."
The University of Dallas proudly announces that Father Michael Patella, O.S.B., professor of the New Testament and seminary rector at Saint John's University School of Theology and Seminary, will deliver the Ann & Joe O. Neuhoff School of Ministry's 19th annual Landregan Lecture, titled "Catholic Biblical Tradition: Ancient & Postmodern."
As our culture has become increasingly secular, the Catholic church faces a serious threat: a shortage of young faithful. Unlike past generations of steady churchgoers, the number of millennials involved in their faith has slowly declined, posing a serious danger to the future of the church as a whole. Such is the perilous trend, but fortunately the Church has responded with a solution: an increased focus on evangelizing to youth. Among those at the helm of this movement is Doug Tooke, youth minister and former Neuhoff School of Ministry student.
The University of Dallas' mission is to form students in intellectual and moral virtues to prepare them to lead and serve their communities in a problematic and changing world. This is part one of a three-part series examining the "new renaissance" of programs at the University of Dallas that support UD's mission to form servant-leaders.
While it is all too easy for students to approach their disciplines in a purely theoretical manner, the Neuhoff School of Ministry has made sure that pastoral ministry majors bring their studies beyond the classroom by sponsoring its own student organization: Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord. Founded in the spring semester of 2014, the Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord meets every other week for an evening of fellowship to provide undergraduate pastoral ministry students with personal spiritual formation, as well as an opportunity to organize service and outreach projects.
While we all seek to discover what makes "the good life," alumnus Paul George has taken the question beyond mere contemplation. Since receiving his Masters of Theological Studies from the Neuhoff School of Ministry in 2009, George has gone on both to live the good life and bring it to others, whether it be through serving as parish youth minister, diocesan director, author, speaker, mentor, or founder of the non-profit outreach program Adore Ministries.
For Apollo Nguyen the path to deeper faith started with his wife. He remembers being surprised when she mentioned going to daily Mass. Until then, he hadn't realized that people went to Mass outside of Sunday. Fast forward a few years (and two sons) and he is active in his parish as a Eucharistic minister and two semesters away from completing a master's degree in theological studies from the Ann and Joe O. Neuhoff School of Ministry.
A graduate of Catholic Biblical School, Esther Garcia transitioned from her job of the past five years to follow her call to disabilities ministry.
The 2015-16 academic year marks Dr. Theordore Whapham's second year in as dean of the School of Ministry, which Whapham seemed very excited about. "A big part of my job is setting a vision for the School of Ministry, and to talk about who we are, where we are and where we want to go," Whapham said.
Interdisciplinary Program Enriches Catholic School Leaders' Faith and Administrative Skills
Currently the only Catholic graduate program in ministry that has a Rome program fully integrated into its degree plan, the intellectual pilgrimage to Rome offers Neuhoff School of Ministry participants the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and deepen their faith. Courses are offered for credit or not-for credit; the trip is open to adults both in and outside of the graduate program.
University of Dallas Neuhoff School of Ministry Holy Land Trip brings new dimension to participants' faith.
A graduate of the University of Dallas Catholic Biblical School, Esther Garcia integrates her years of education in Biblical studies with Christian living through a calling and career in disabilities ministry.