Lay Ministry/Ordained Ministry

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Lay Ecclesial Ministry

The Master of Divinity program at the University of Notre Dame includes students who are preparing for service to the Roman Catholic Church as lay ecclesial ministers, as well as students who are preparing to serve the Church as ordained priests. In keeping with the spirit of collaborative leadership which is the model for ministry in the contemporary Church, the vast majority of academic and pastoral experiences in the three-year program will be shared in common among the two groups of students on their respective vocational paths. However, the dimension of spiritual formation, which is one of the three keystones of the program, takes somewhat different forms for the two groups.  For those pursuing the lay ecclesial ministry, spiritual formation is from within the program’s Lay Ministry Formation Program.

Lay Ministry Formation Program

The Lay Ministry Formation Program (LMFP) consists of men and women preparing for a career in lay ministry in the Catholic Church. Through various opportunities for spiritual and professional development, the LMFP serves to provide a formation program that is consistent with and reflective of the emerging theology of the “lay ecclesial minister.” The term denotes theologically prepared men and women, including vowed religious, who seek to serve the People of God in public roles of pastoral responsibility and leadership. These members of the laity have responded to the baptismal call to ministry and to the empowerment of the Holy Spirit, who enables them to blend their ministries with those of the ordained into a unity of service and mission in the Church.

The LMFP seeks to integrate theological study, ministerial experience and pastoral skills development into the spiritual formation of the student. Integrated human and spiritual development is a key component of the student's emerging identity as a public minister. To pursue these goals, the LMFP has established four areas of competency that provide directive and evaluative assessment parameters for the student and the formation director. The four standards—personal qualities, spirituality and prayer, ministerial identity and vocation, and minister as person in relationship—provide a comprehensive outline for the preparation of lay ecclesial ministers. Adapted to individual needs and to the particular developmental needs of each year of study, these four areas provide the categories that will be addressed within the varying strategies of the formation program.

At the center of the LMFP is the commitment to collaboration with those preparing for ordained ministry. The LMFP is dedicated to a vision of ministry that promotes complementary and collaborative relationships within the structure of the Church. To that end, the LMFP is deeply involved in the transformation of the Church and the world as this new movement of the Holy Spirit stirs many to recognize their baptismal call to serve the People of God in a wide variety of ways.

The LMFP provides a supportive environment for integration of all dimensions of the Master of Divinity Program. This integration occurs within the context of the students lived experience, present values and future goals. The program also fosters a sense of community among the students through a variety of activities.

Ordained Ministry

The Master of Divinity program at the University of Notre Dame invites students who are preparing for service to the Roman Catholic Church as lay ecclesial ministers, as well as students who are preparing to serve the Church as ordained priests. In keeping with the spirit of collaborative leadership which is the model for ministry in the contemporary Church, many experiences in the three-year program will be shared in common among the two groups of students on their respective vocational paths. However, the dimension of spiritual formation, which is one of the three keystones of the program, takes somewhat different forms for the two groups.

For those pursing the ordained priesthood in the Congregation of Holy Cross, their religious order shapes and supervises their spiritual formation. If you are interested in exploring this path of ministerial service, consider the following material.

Congregation of Holy Cross

Moreau Seminary, located on the Notre Dame campus, under the direction of the Congregation of Holy Cross, serves as the religious formation house for the Congregations seminarians pursuing their theological studies at Notre Dame. The Congregation of Holy Cross offers a one-year candidate program at Moreau Seminary for college graduates who qualify and who have a strong interest and desire in taking a step toward investigating a vocation to priesthood or brotherhood in Holy Cross.

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For further information, contact:

Director of Vocations:
PO Box 541
Moreau Seminary
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 631-6385
Email: Vocation.1@nd.edu
Moreau Email: Morsem@nd.edu
Check out the Vocation Website at vocation.nd.edu

A separate program of spiritual formation is available to all other students in the M.Div. program. This program focuses on the special ways that lay ministers nurture and sustain their Christian life. Students are enabled to recognize and do those things which make for authentic Christian ministry.