Loyola University Chicago

Department of Theology

Pastoral Leadership Minor

True to its Jesuit Catholic heritage, Loyola adheres to its promise of preparing people to lead extraordinary lives. The Pastoral Leadership minor provides students with academic opportunities through a structured curriculum that supports the university’s mission of seeking God in all things and working to expand knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice and faith. Students benefit from supervised leadership and service experiences that equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary for contemporary pastoral leadership.

The Pastoral Leadership minor affords a structured curriculum for students from all religious traditions to gain academic capacities commensurate with their leadership experience in Loyola’s University Ministry and in other co-curricular and community contexts. Though the program has its foundations in the Christian (Catholic) tradition, it is open to all who are interested in experiencing what pastoral ministry could mean for their future.

In particular, the minor helps students:

  • Understand the foundation of Christian theology in areas such as scripture, sacrament, ecclesiology and tradition in forming pastoral leadership.
  • Gain skills in the areas of leadership practices, social and cultural analysis, and organizational development as applied to pastoral leadership.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of one’s faith and its call to leadership.
  • Articulate a personal pastoral theology and model of pastoral leadership as it applies to a particular religious mission or identity.

Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Pastoral Leadership Minor should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge in at least two of the following areas:
    • the sources and historical development of beliefs and practices of Christianity with particular attention to the Roman Catholic tradition;
    • the application of scholarly methods to the understanding of scripture;
    • key theological concepts and doctrines of the Christian faith (e.g., Christology, trinity, ecclesiology, sacramental theology, etc.);
    • foundational knowledge of at least one other religious tradition outside of Christianity.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how Christian perspectives and sources inform responses to pressing ethical questions.
  • Display basic good practices of service and leadership within a supervised pastoral setting.


The Pastoral Leadership minor requires six courses. Students must complete three courses at the 100/200 level, preferably in the areas of Christian doctrine, a biblical course and an ethics course, though the final selection is up to the individual student.

The remaining three courses include an internship that puts students in the field for a contextual, educational experience supervised by faculty at the Institute for Pastoral Studies (WTC). Students are expected to take each course in the order below.

(1) THEO 347/IPS 570, Introduction to Theology and Ministry (WTC)

Introduction to Theology and Ministry is recommended as the first course in the program.

This course explores the interplay among traditions of theology and ministry, the history of ministry and the challenge of relating foundational traditions to the present array of ministries. The course allows you to become more certain and deliberate about the skills that constitute ministerial practice and ministerial theology.

Outcomes: Students clarify and articulate a theory of ministry and method of ministry from which to operate. The heart of the course is development of self-confidence ministerial capacities as a professional

This course is offered every semester, at the Water Tower Campus as a once-a-week class. We encourage students to take the face-to-face version of the course.

(2) THEO 348/IPS 580, Supervised Ministry/Contextual Education (WTC)

Please note that the required internship for THEO 348 is spread for 150 hours over the course of a full academic year, though the course is only a 3 hour credit course.

Prerequisites: Completion of at least 18 credit hours, attendance at prep session, approval of site and supervisor by Coordinator of Contextual Ed, completed required documentation.

Students apply for placement with an approved site at which they will exercise & develop professional/ministerial skills. Students engage in a minimum of 200 hours of leadership praxis. Students receive practically oriented instruction, participate in practice-based workshops & reflect on their leadership experience with their peers & an experienced coach.

Outcome: Gain tangible skills for leadership in ministry. Test vocational commitments and refine vocational identity. Develop capacity for theological reflection especially toward the integration of discipleship, leadership and mission.

(3) THEO Elective at the 300 level

The third 300 level course is an elective to be selected based on student interest. Potential courses might include a wide array of course offerings, including

THEO 340, Christian Social Ethics
THEO 342, Perspectives on Life and Death
THEO 343, Sexual Ethics
THEO 344, Global Health and Eco-Health,
THEO 345, Roman Catholic Social Thought
THEO 378, Theology and Culture: Public Theology
IPS 660, Leadership in a Social Justice Context

The pastoral leadership minor is offered by the Department of Theology (LSC) in conjunction with the Institute for Pastoral Studies located downtown (WTC).

Please note that students who complete the minor will also be granted ‘advanced standing’ towards a MA degree in Pastoral Studies or in Social Justice at the Institute for Pastoral Studies should they wish to pursue a graduate degree in one of their programs at a later date.

Pastoral Leadership Minor Tracking Sheet