I matriculated into the Master of Arts in Ministry in 2003 after teaching in the Brockton Public Schools for over 25 years. I was answering a strong call to deepen my faith. From the very first class, I knew that I was in the right place and I have loved every minute of my formation. This program is so unique in that it prepares the whole person for ministry. From the beginning the classes were engaging, stimulating and enjoyable. I read until I could read no more and then I read more. I was like a sponge soaking up everything I could. The Monday Evenings of Formation were delightful because I could listen and hear the sharing of others, share myself and I was so moved by it all. I learned to pray in new ways. The field education broadened my horizons and I was immersed in ministry sometimes beyond my comfort zone…but I was being stretched. I learned and grew in so many ways, intellectually, spiritually, emotionally. I have deep gratitude to God for all that He has given me. What a journey it has been!
I have been working in the biotech industry for the last eight years. I decided to go back to school and study something that I love. I began taking theology courses part-time. Since I am active in the young-adult Catholic community in Boston, I am well aware of the challenges that we face in our culture. I felt called to participate in John Paul II's movement for the New Evangelization, which is at the heart of the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization. I believe that the Master of Theological Studies for the New Evangelization is a unique degree program which is ahead of the curve. It enfleshes John Paul II's vision by infusing every sphere of our society with his call to witness and "go deep." It is unclear what I will do with my The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization formation; I feel called to serve so many areas including the theology of the body, marriage, family and global initiatives. But I know that God alone has stirred my heart to be formed in theology, so I'm excited and I look forward to what He has planned for me.
I am a high school religion teacher, parish coordinator of religious education, and youth minister. I enjoyed and benefited from the Catechetical Certificate, the Catholic Theology Certificate, and several Master of Arts in Ministry classes. I especially appreciated the apologetic emphasis of the Catholic Theology Certificate, which helps me to talk with others about the Catholic faith. I am drawn to the Master of Theological Studies for the New Evangelization, in part because I am interested in pursuing a doctorate, but especially because I want to continue to grow in my faith. My theology training has been very practical, in that the more I learn about the love of God and His Church, the more I am able to patiently share it with others. It is important to know the faith in order to be able to live the faith. Iíve been seeking more and more truth in order to live a better life, and the certificate programs and MAM have been an important part of that process.
I coordinate religious education for middle and high school students in a parish. The Catechetical Certificate was my first course at the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization. As a convert coming from a Protestant background, I didnít have a systematic presentation of doctrine. Even though I had read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Certificate opened my eyes to the deeper theological elements that were present. The Certificate really helped me get a surer footing on how to present the big picture to my students, so that they could better grasp the fundamentals. The Catechism is a synthesis of the whole tradition, but it makes you want to explore the whole tradition more thoroughly. I have applied to the MTS, because it is an intensive academic program, which will give me the opportunity to investigate more of the Tradition introduced in the Certificate.
The MAM program is invaluable not only for Catholic educators, but any Catholic who wants to deepen and better understand their faith. The mix of superb faculty and the sense of community of the school creates an environment where learning becomes a passion and faith prospers.
The MAM program has served to re-enforce the kind of discipline that is necessary to really achieve personal faith. The program has also helped me by providing a structure and method of articulation of the Catholic principles and beliefs that I hold dear. Also, the program, through its objective analysis of various issues in the Catholic Church and its figures has helped me to obtain a realistic perspective of events/figures and the role that they play in the greater Catholic community.
It was providential that while I was taking the program, significant events have happened in my life. The courses really helped me not only spiritually, but in practical ways as well. In 2009, I've experienced several post-surgical complications. During that difficult time, two friends whom I've met in my MAM classes were instrumental in my journey towards physical/emotional/spiritual healing. In 2010, my husband and I adopted a two and half-year-old boy in 2010 and I find that the class "Spirituality of Loss and Separation" which I took the year before has prepared me to deal with the challenges of parenting an adopted child who has experienced loss.