Lay Ministry/Ordained Ministry


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 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.

Formation for Ordained Ministry

Since 1968, the United States Province of Priests and Brothers of the Congregation of Holy Cross has prepared its men for priestly ministry at the university of Notre Dame. In preparing for priesthood in a university setting, the Congregation has committed to academic excellence as well as the preparing of priests who are comfortable and ready to serve side-by-side with lay ministers in every facet of ecclesial ministry. 

Moreau Seminary 

Moreau Seminary, is the Congregation of Holy Cross’s primary center for formation in the United States. Located on the Notre Dame campus, it serves as the religious formation house for the its seminarians pursuing theological studies at the university. For qualified college graduates who want to investigate a vocation to priesthood or brotherhood in Holy Cross, Moreau Seminary offers a one-year postulancy program.


For further information, contact:

Director of Vocations:
PO Box 541
Moreau Seminary
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 631-6385
Moreau Email:
Check out the Vocation Website at