The Catholic University of America
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Certificate in Pastoral Ministry (CPM)

The Certificate in Pastoral Ministry program prepares students interested in Church ministry with a professional formation and credential.

This program prepares students for service in Catholic education, youth ministry, and with vulnerable populations (e.g., the poor, the elderly).  

The four course certificate program includes classes in evangelization, pastoral ministry, and a student’s particular area of interest.  Students also complete a supervised internship with an opportunity to connect theological reflection and pastoral experience.   

Students receive a certificate that meets the guidelines of dioceses throughout the nation and aids them in their career advancement. They are also honored at the Senior Awards Banquet at the School of Theology and Religious Studies.  

To be eligible, a student must be a TRS major or minor.


Program Requirements

Pre-requisite TRS 201 Faith Seeking Understanding
TRS 355 The Mission of the Contemporary Catholic
TRS 357 Foundations for Catechesis
  TRS 358 Ministry with Vulnerable Populations
  TRS 359 Teenagers: The Church Today and Tomorrow
(for those specifically preparing for Youth Ministry)
TRS 453 The Practice of Pastoral Ministry
TRS 495 Internship in Pastoral Ministry/Theological Reflection


The School of Theology and Religious Studies facilitates student internships with a variety of Washington DC organizations in order to augment students’ educational training with experience outside the classroom. Find out more about where our students intern.


Student Profile


"My CPM internship gave me a unique opportunity to apply all that I had learned through my pastoral ministry courses in a practical setting. More importantly, though, I was taught to develop tools to process all that happened at my internship. I learned a great deal about teaching religion, working with youth, and work in the church at large. At the heart of all of this I was learning and focusing on the role of Christ in my daily life and in my time there. The internship shows first hand that work in the church is not only a job; it is definitively pastoral and is a necessary ministry."

– Rylee Magee