New Notre Dame program to train theology teachers for Catholic schools

Author: Michael O. Garvey

The University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Church Life (ICL) has announced a new program to train recent college graduates for service as theology teachers in Catholic middle and high schools.

The new initiative, Echo Teaching Theology, is receiving applications now through January, and will begin in the summer of 2014. In partnership with ICL’s Echo program, which since 2004 has trained catechetical leaders for ministry in Catholic parishes, and Notre Dame’s Department of Theology, Echo Teaching Theology will offer participating students a tuition-free graduate degree in theology through summer studies at Notre Dame, service in Catholic schools and dioceses, and human and spiritual formation in Echo communities nationwide.

“The Theology Department’s summer M.A. program has for the past 50 years reached out to students at the graduate level who are working in the teaching and formation ministries of the Church,” said ICL director John C. Cavadini. “Our conviction is that preparation in the theological study of the mysteries of the faith is the best preparation we can offer teachers of theology, so that they can more easily, and with greater sophistication, ‘give an account of the hope that is in them,’ as the First Letter of St. Peter puts it, and help others to do so. The ICL has the job of facilitating the University’s outreach to the Church, which is why we are delighted to be able to advance another step in further serving and forming one of the most longstanding traditional constituencies of the summer program: teachers of theology at the high school level.”

“The Department of Theology is pleased to develop its ongoing partnership with the Echo Program through this new initiative for high school theology teachers,” said Catherine Cavadini, assistant chair of theology and director of the M.A. program. “The summer M.A. Program offers these students courses in biblical studies, spirituality, liturgy, historical studies, systematics and moral theology. In addition to these listings, several courses focusing on aspects of theological catechesis are offered. As a whole, the curriculum is designed to provide students with a first-rate education in theology, so that they can become more effective theological resources within their own communities, parishes and schools.”

“Echo Teaching Theology will provide an ideal environment for recent college graduates to explore the unique vocation to form and inform the theological minds and imaginations of high school students,” said Colleen Moore, director of the Echo program. “If theology not only teaches us about God, but also has the potential to deepen our faith in this God — who is love and has the power to transform every dimension of our lives — then preparation for teaching a subject as profound as this must necessarily involve one’s whole life. Echo Teaching Theology will offer theological and pedagogical training within the larger context of human, communal and spiritual formation, allowing participants to become competent theology teachers as well as compelling witnesses to the faith.”

Contact: Colleen Moore, 574-631-4920, cmoore@nd.edu

Originally published by Michael O. Garvey at news.nd.edu on September 17, 2013.