The Catholic University of America

The Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

The Certificate in Pastoral Ministry is designed to provide students who have successfully completed an advanced theological degree (S.T.B., S.T.L., M.A., or the equivalent) with basic knowledge and fundamental skills for pastoral ministry. The certificate requires successful completion of twelve credits in Pastoral theology and related topics as follows:

Related Topics

Each student must take ONE of the following

  • TRS 656- Pastoral Theology
  • TRS 852- Pastoral Theology for D.Min Students

Each student must also select ONE of the following courses:

  • TRS 851A- Pastoral Counseling
  • TRS 851B- Marriage and Family Counseling
  • TRS 854A- Use of Small Groups in Parish ministry
  • TRS 651B- Personality and Religious Development
  • TRS 751F- Introduction to the Study of Catechetics
  • TRS 751A- Teaching and Learning: Focus on Religious Education and Catechetics
  • TRS 751B- History and Theory of Catechetics I
  • TRS 751CI- History and Theory of Catechetics II
  • TRS 751D- Issues in Religious Education and Catechetics
  • TRS 743A- Liturgical Catechesis
  • TRS 755A- Ministry of Spiritual Direction I
  • TRS 755B- Ministry of Spiritual Direction II
  • TRS 653A- Introduction to Liturgical Preaching
  • TRS 653B- Advanced Preaching
  • TRS 643- Ministry of the Liturgical Presider
  • TRS 655- Ministry to Adolescents
  • TRS 767- Theology of Ministry
  • TRS 654- Introduction to Hispanic Ministry
  • TRS 833- Men and Ministry                                                                          

Other courses with a significant ministerial component may be taken with the permission of the director of the Certificate program.

After the successful completion of four courses, the student will be awarded a Certificate of Pastoral MinistryAll courses must be taken at or under the auspices of The School of Religious Studies at The Catholic University of America.

Courses that have satisfied other degree requirements may not be applied to this certificate. However, courses taken in the certificate program may be applied to a Doctor of Ministry degree at the Catholic University with the approval of the Director of the D.Min. Degree Program. Students who anticipate entering the D.Min. program should consult with the chair of the D. Min. committee to insure that their courses will fulfill D.Min requirements.


To be admitted to the program, students must provide the following:

  • A transcript indicating successful completion of an M.A. in Theology, a Bachelor's or Licentiate in Sacred Theology, or the equivalent.
  • A brief (200-400 word) statement of purpose, indicating the reason for pursuing the certificate
  • For those students whose native language is not English, demonstrated ability to communicate in both written and spoken English.