Continuing Education in Ministry: Beyond the Master’s

(Credit: Saint Joseph College.)

Continuing education and professional development are key to growing in expertise and staying current in one’s field. For those in ministry, that usually means a master’s degree in theology or ministry. With a master’s, one is considered credentialed and is thus called on to provide continuing education for others. But who is caring for the caregiver? What kind of continuing education is available for those who already have a master’s degree, especially those who are not interested in pursuing doctoral studies? Saint Joseph’s College has several online options.

The Post-Graduate Certificate in Theology and Ministry consists of six, one-credit courses that cover a variety of topics in ministry including sacred scripture, theology, liturgy, sacramental preparation, and ministry to the sick. Because courses are only one-credit, they are perfect for the person who is looking for some enrichment, but not able to commit to a full three-credit course. Courses are relevant to current ministry and quite manageable, even with a busy schedule.

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (C.A.G.S.) is an innovative post-graduate certificate that allows students to take courses inside or outside of their professional and degree area. By completing the program, graduates will be noted for their depth of knowledge and their commitment to learning beyond the master’s degree. They may add the C.A.G.S. credentials to their name. The C.A.G.S. in Theology students complete 18 credits of graduate and/or post-graduate theology courses to complete the program. (Students who have completed the Post-Graduate Certificate in Theology and Ministry can move on to the C.A.G.S.). This certificate is ideal as continuing education for those with a master’s in theology or ministry, as well as for those who came to ministry as a second career and are looking for a theology credential without having to go back to the bachelor’s level.

The C.A.G.S. can also be taken as an interdisciplinary program. Students complete five courses from various graduate programs of Saint Joseph’s College, including education, health administration, business administration, nursing, and theology, followed by an Interdisciplinary Capstone Course. The C.A.G.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies is ideal for those in ministry who find themselves working in education, health care, or business and would like to bring their theological background into their work.

Saint Joseph’s College also offers those with a Master of Arts in Theology or Ministry the opportunity to accelerate the completion of a Master of Divinity degree. Credits from the Post-Graduate Certificate in Theology and Ministry and from the C.A.G.S. in Theology can be counted toward the Master of Divinity.

With all these options, Saint Joseph’s College is able to provide for the needs of anyone craving continuing theological education that is challenging, while also earning additional credentials in ministry.

Saint Joseph’s College is a Roman Catholic liberal arts college located on the shore of Sebago Lake in Standish, Maine. Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1912, it is Maine’s only Catholic college. Rooted in and professing fidelity to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the doctrines and heritage of the Roman Catholic Church, the College nurtures intellectual, spiritual, and social growth in students, both on campus and online. Its online programs reach around the globe. Saint Joseph’s College strives to fulfill the educational ideals of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy.

Read the full article here