Thursday, May 1, 2014

Your Summer Project: work on part of your portfolio

Summertime and the living is easy.
Well, that's exciting!

Perhaps not.  But this is an exercise worth doing and not as hard as it sounds.  Drum roll please....


Sorry, am I screaming with the all caps?  I can't help it.  This is important.

We (the department, with the initial prodding and matchless help of Laurie Ziliak) have created various templates to help you create something that describes or shows how you are proceeding in your education and formation toward certification toward Lay Ecclesial Ministry.  We offer three options:

1. create a concept map, like this one
2. do our (beta mode!) checklist
3. write a narrative that incorporates these standards

There is no standard form for a portfolio, although there are basics that need to be in one: a resume, perhaps a list of people to call for general recommendations (perhaps an employer, an internship director, a pastor, and/or an professor), and evidence that you have done good work preparing to be a lay minister/teacher.  It can be paper or online, although there is probably value in doing both.

Career services can help you craft a good resume and polish interviewing skills.  We can advise on securing recommendations and how to do that.  We want to help you with the evidence piece of the portfolio.  How you present this material is up to you.

You are not expected to complete the National Standards for Lay Ecclesial Ministers by the time you graduate.  However, it would be good to show that you are well on your way, and that you understand that working on these standards is the bread and butter of lay ministry.  Churches want to hire people who are personable, experienced, qualified, and have a good understanding of the work in terms of vocation.  These standards help you articulate that.  You may end up working in a diocese that wants you to get certified through these standards.  Almost any place will be impressed that you are attending to them.  So go do it!

But how?  Personally, I think the checklist is the easiest place to start.  It provides the four sections of the National Standards (human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation), and the particular items that you should be attending to in some fashion.  HOW you attend to these items is for you to describe and defend.  This checklist is a pilot project for us, and the items to check out are not meant to be exhaustive.  Some items were included as possibilities that you may not think qualify, at least according to your experience--so don't check them.  But the checklist gives you a good sense of how this works, and frankly, can be printed off and included in your portfolio.

Some people love their visuals, and the concept map is one way to provide that.  There are many online options to creating a concept map.  The one I used for the sample is Text2Mindmap .  There are also possibilities in XMind, Lucidchart, Mindmeister...the choice is yours.  Just choose one that will print in a way that fits on a standard piece of paper, if you wish to have a paper portfolio; and make sure any online version is easily accessible for church secretaries dealing with a slow dial up computer.

Then there is the narrative option.  Think about what you have done and write a relatively short ( five page?) defense of how you have attempted to meet the National Standards.  Especially if you are a good writer, this may be the way to go.  You can also easily print it out or post it online for easy access.


WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO WORK ON THIS OVER THE SUMMER.  Oops, shouting again.  But it's true--this is worthwhile and you will need to do this before it's all over at SMU.  The earlier you start, the more you can "correct" gaps and weaknesses in your portfolio.

The Theology faculty is happy to talk to you about this at any time.

Happy summer!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Friends of Theology! End of Year Theology Gathering

Thursday, May 1
In the Theology suite
Snacks, Refreshments, Celebration provided

We'll take the time to honor our graduating senior major, Charlie Keyes.

Mark your calendar and come be with us!

Catholics on (Last?) Call

August 5-9, 2014

Catholics on Call 

Young Adult Discernment Retreat

Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL

From the website:
This is what participants say about the conference:

“It was an amazing experience, one that I cannot fully express the enormous impact on my life and my relationship with God.”

“It gave me time to intentionally reflect, in community with others, on God's will for my life--where I've been, where I'm going.”

“Catholics on Call allowed me, for the first time, to be open to God's call in my life and not be afraid of what that could mean.”

Register soon!  This is only $100 for everything for a week, and we have had two alums attend and say great things about the experience.  Contact them (or Dr WD) for more information.

Collegeville Conference for Music, Liturgy, and the Arts

Collegeville Conference on Music, Liturgy and the Arts-CCMLA

CCMLA 2014

2014 Conference highlights:

  • Keynotes and breakouts by Steve Warner, Chris de Silva, Alan Hommerding, Rita Ferrone, Johan van Parys, and Walter Tambor.
  • Workshops on cantoring, organ and keyboards, choral directing, and Gregorian chant. 
  • Choral reading sessions with GIA, WLP, and Liturgical Press
  • Conference Eucharist with musicians from the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, MN

Student conference registration fee: $199 (includes free housing and meals, sponsored by Saint John's School of Theology/Seminary.There is also a possibility to be a student intern (you participate for free!).  More here.
Apply online by April 30.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Celebration of Scholarship: April 11, 2014

Come and support the research of some of our upperclass students in Theology and Pastoral Ministry!

Saint Mary’s Hall
Room 202
1. Ashley Walz: “‘Ordain a Lady?’ An Analysis of the Ordination of Women”
This presentation takes a critical approach to discussing the history, differing viewpoints and arguments made in the discussion of female ordination.
2. Charles Keyes: “Iconography in the Time of Iconoclasm”
Iconoclasm acted as a major controversy in the 8th and 9th centuries. This presentation considers its causes and effects.
3. Ashley Cermak: “The Theology of the Body in the Liturgy of the Eucharist: a Key to Active Participation in the Mass”
This paper examines John Paul II's Theology of the Body to better understand the hermeneutic of the gift and spousal implications of the eucharistic liturgy.