Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Save the date: Vineyard Colloquium Oct 15 at 12:15pm with Chris Rogers

Save the date!  It's time for our annual Vineyard Colloquium.  We are delighted to have Mr. Chris Rogers, the Director of Youth Ministry for the Diocese of LaCrosse, coming to speak to the on the ground realities and potential for youth ministry today.  Mr. Rogers is also a new adjunct professor in our theology department.

The 2014 Vineyard Colloquium 
Chris Rogers, Director of Youth Ministry, Diocese of LaCrosse 
Oct. 15, 2014
Free pizza and drinks!
Room TBA

Theology, Pastoral and Youth Ministry, and Educational Studies (Religious Ed) majors are expected to attend.  Clear your calendar!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Medieval and Renaissance Studies panel

"The Scholastic-Humanist Debate," and a really long subtitle that must be seen to be believed.  History, Literature, Philosophy, and Theology are involved....
Sept 22, 2014
Salvi Hall
Refreshments served.

Hope to see you there.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Wondering what to do with the Theology/Pastoral and Youth Ministry/Religious Ed degree? helps you see what may be possible.  Bookmark it and refer to it--even if you are not a senior.

(There are also the five most recently posted jobs on the left sidebar of this blog.)

Statistics made interesting: CARA stats on ministry issues

CARA header

CARA stands for Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, located at Georgetown University.  They do phenomenal work pulling together and interpreting statistics on a variety of issues important to ministry (ordained and lay ministry) and parish life.  Occasionally we highlight blog posts here.  But you may want to check out their blog on a regular basis.  It is called 1964, and you can also get notices via twitter at caracatholic .

1964: The CARA blog

A few posts of particular interest: Who is getting paid at your parish? (good for everyone)

The Catholic Teenager: a few mysteries solved (interesting for future youth ministers)

Do Catholic Schools Matter?  (focus on elementary and high schools, good for Religious Ed majors)

Poke around in the CARA blog and on their main website.  There is amazing information in there, and it gives you a strong sense of the Catholic Church in America--not just your own experience of it.

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.