Department of Theology Pastoral Studies Minor

Pastoral Studies Program Overview

The Pastoral Studies program offers students an interdisciplinary minor focused on pastoral praxis. Students are encouraged to think critically about the practical application of theology, religious studies, philosophy, psychology, communication, management, criminal justice, and history through the lens of the inter-related Ignatian emphases on cura personalis, care for the whole person, and service and justice.

The program culminates in the pastoral practicum designed to give the students direct experience in pastoral work and to provide opportunities for critical reflection on their work. These internships take place at churches, schools, faith-based service organizations, human service agencies, and social justice organizations, and are approved by the instructor on a case-by-case basis.

Working in collaboration with their major adviser and program contact person, students tailor the Pastoral Studies minor to apply to their own interests and professional goals. Students are encouraged to make connections between their majors and the call to be women and men for and with others.

The student chooses to focus in one of three tracks:

  • Pastoral Ministry and Chaplaincy: With electives focused on psychology, spirituality, and direct engagement with people in spiritually vulnerable situations, this track helps to prepare students for work in various church-related fields, campus ministry, and pastoral care.

  • Pastoral Administration: With attention to management and communication contextualized by churches and social service institutions, this track helps to prepare students for work in non-profit management and leadership positions in ministry and social services.

  • Service and Justice: Seeking to better understand systemic issues challenging vulnerable and marginalized populations, and to address and improve these situations, this track helps to prepare students for social work and justice and peace related fields.