Loyola Graduate Theology program seeks students for Natchez-based sessions

NATCHEZ – Loyola Ministry Institute, New Orleans, will offer a graduate theology program under the sponsorship of St. Mary Basilica beginning September 2017, according to Father David O’Connor, pastor. The course work will be offered at the St. Mary Family Life Center, 613 Main St., Natchez.
Applicants may earn a master’s degree in religious education or pastoral studies, a diploma in theology and ministry or work on acquiring continuing education certificates in religious education or pastoral studies. Only those pursuing a master’s degree are required to do major research and write papers.
The entire program consists of 12 courses. The first six are presented in Natchez, and the remaining courses will be offered online. The later six courses may be done individually or in a local group setting. The course content, process and methodology is prepared by Loyola Institute of Ministry and will be facilitated by Ruth Powers on behalf of Loyola.
Participants will meet 10 times for each three-hour course. The day and time of these weekly meetings will be agreed on when the class members meet for the first time, possibly on a Monday evening. Library facilities are provided by St. Mary Basilica. Participants are expected to bring their life experiences to the study and will have the support of the study group. Each participant is expected to spend two to three hours of personal study between class meetings.
This program was offered 2009-2013 in Natchez. Members of that graduating class were: Gabriel Cassagne, Karen Verruchi, Charles Garrity, Ann Elizabeth Kaiser, Camille Durkin, Ginger Cowart, Wilbur Johnson, L.D. Lange, Valencia Hall and Sue Junkin.
“This study program not only gave me an in-depth understanding of the church teachings but also a new appreciation for my Catholic faith,” said Garrity.
Carrie Lambert, St. Mary Youth Director, is registered for the upcoming program.
“I want a master’s degree in religious education for my youth ministry so that I can be a better informed leader among the younger population,” she explained.
Father O’Connor commented, “This theology program is an opportunity for teachers to earn a master’s degree without leaving home, for clergy and parish leaders who are interested in continuing education, and for church members seeking personal updating and enrichment.”
The deadline for registration is July 15. Interested individuals should contact Donna Martello at St. Mary Basilica (601) 445-5616 or email her at ProgramCoordinator@cableone.net.
(Submitted by Father David O’Connor, pastor of Nachez St. Mary Basilica.)