At the Institute we are committed to training which helps develop the skills, dispositions and virtues necessary for fruitful lay ministry in the contemporary Church. We achieve this through a balanced programme of prayer, study and pastoral practice.
Our calling to serve the Church as lay people is made clear when we are baptised and reinforced through the sacraments of communion and confirma- tion. In recent times, the calling of all the baptised to an active Christian life, rooted in the Church and the world, was strongly reinforced by the Second Vatican Council.
In practice, the changing face of the Church in Europe and the rapid growth of Catholic Christianity in the global South and East has made the challenge of educating laity for service and leadership all the more pressing and rewarding. Our core commitment is to the renewal of lay ministry for the sake of the Church in today’s world.
Our courses aim to help lay students develop skills which will assist them in:
- Leading Churches into renewal, confidence and growth
- Playing our part in communities of conversation and learning
- Enabling each of us to attend to the spirituality of the lay life
- Developing a sustaining prayer life
- Developing confidence as public, Catholic Christians
- Reflecting theologically on the nature, purpose and practices of lay ministries.
To this end, our courses combine formal academic study with creative pastoral components that develop skills for ministry. Such skills-based courses include a focus on listening skills, supervision and leadership skills, as well as courses which prepare students for handling the complexity of loss and grief, conflict and power, sexuality and family life as part of Church practice.