Institute for Ministry offers certificate in Catholic social teaching


Photo illustration by Michael Bauer. Photo credit: Michael Bauer

Jordan Avers

This semester, the Loyola Institute for Ministry is offering students a new opportunity to obtain a certificate in Catholic social teaching. Thomas Ryan, head of the College of Nursing and Health at Loyola Institute for Ministry, describes it as a way to “dive into the commitment of Loyola in a sustained and conventional way.”

The Institute for Ministry has been at Loyola for 50 years and offers degrees and certificates in theology and spirituality, both on campus and online. The Institute and this certificate are geared toward students interested in expanding their knowledge of the Catholic faith and who take pride in inspiring and motivating others. There are many opportunities for volunteering, working for nonprofits, and social justice organizations made possible for these students as well as the Loyola community.

This certificate, which was approved last semester, gives students an opportunity to practice practical skills and teaches them how to “think and act on accountability and sustainability,” said Ryan. The certificate is available to both graduate and undergraduate students. It may also complement other degrees, such as the environmental and social studies. It includes four courses: Introduction to Ministry, Senior Seminar, Christ in the Christian Tradition, and Catholic Social Teaching.

Students are now earning their certificates through real-world applications in East Africa, in which they are working “with the Catholic Church on a project to gain sustainability.” He believes Catholic social teaching is the “long tradition of the Catholic Church exploring Catholic faith for peace and justice in the world.”

According to Ryan, choosing this path for Catholic social teaching is “inspiring, powerful, and motivates people to work for social and environmental justice.”

“A project that we are doing with Catholic sisters in East Africa, with the Catholic church on a project to gain sustainability. The students are taking this certificate as a part of this project.”