Vocation to MinistryCourse Level: Intermediate

Course Summary

The Vocation to Ministry course provides participants an opportunity to develop a deeper comprehension of ministry and to reflect on their own ministry. In the Catholic Church the role of the minister is central to the Church's s mission to evangelize and make disciples. Once almost exclusively the province of the clergy and the vowed members of religious communities, a sense of vocation has been experienced by many lay people in the last half century and great numbers are engaged in ecclesial ministry. This course provides participants an opportunity to review the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the Church's appreciation of the ministry done by lay people vis--vis the ministry of those who are ordained. The course also reviews the Church's theology of the Holy Trinity, and the Liturgy as a source for understanding the ministerial relationships that are being lived out in the Church today.

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Review a brief history of ministry that includes the distinction of lay and ordained ministry
  • See Jesus Christ as the Model for Ministry and recognize the charisms of the Holy Spirit in Ministry
  • Understand the Trinity as the model for relationships in ecclesial ministry[br]
  • Appreciate diverse models of ministry in the contemporary Church
  • See the relationship of Baptism, Ordination, and the priesthood of all believers

Course Materials

  • Required Book: Edward P. Hahnenberg Ministries: A Relational Approach Herder and Herder; New York. 2003. ISBN: 082452103X; ISBN-13: 978-0824521035

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Clerical and Lay Ministry in the Church's History
    • Appreciate the developing understanding of the ministries of clergy and laity set in motion in the documents of the Second Vatican Council
    • Articulate an understanding of Church ministry that focuses on ministries within and for the community rather than the distinction between ordained and non-ordained/lay ministers
  • Week 2: Jesus Christ, the Model for Ministry
    • Explain the developing understandings of ministry within the Catholic Church
    • Articulate some of the roles of Jesus Christ vis--vis the Holy Spirit in the Church
    • Describe the role that charisms play in ministry
  • Week 3: The Holy Trinity as the Model for Ministry
    • Understand the Trinity as a model for ministry in the Church
    • Differentiate between the roles of the ordained and lay ecclesial ministers in the Church
  • Week 4: Models of Ministry
    • Describe several models of ministry in the Catholic Church
    • Articulate the inherent ecclesial relationships in these models
    • State some advantages and disadvantages of these models
  • Week 5: Baptism, Ordination and Ministry
    • Describe the historical development of ordination as it pertains to ministry
    • Articulate an understanding of Baptism as the root of all ministry
    • Express and understanding of the priesthood of all people