Pastoral Ministry Institute

The Pastoral Ministry Institute is a free-standing Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Through the Pastoral Ministry Institute, Saint Xavier University explicitly expresses its mission as a Catholic university by offering programs in practical theology and by serving the Archdiocese of Chicago, in conjunction with The Office for University Ministry, in meeting the evolving needs of the church at large.


The Pastoral Ministry Institute offers a minor program of studies designed for students interested in ministerial service, such as religious education or youth ministry, and for others seeking ministerial training and a deeper understanding of ministerial spirituality in the Catholic Church.

Occasionally, the Institute also offers seminars and workshops for the on-going education of lay and ordained ministers.

Institute Staff and Faculty

Avis Clendenen, D.Min., Ph.D., Academic Director. Institute courses and seminars are offered by Saint Xavier University faculty and other professionals in the field.

Minor in Pastoral Ministry

The minor in pastoral ministry is an 18 credit hour program of studies.

Two courses are required: Theology of Ministry (PASTM 350) or Introduction to Practical Theology and either God and Social Action (PASTM 295/RELST 295) or a Ministry Practicum (PASTM 380)

In addition, the minor in ministry includes one course each in scripture, church history, and theology taken from the curriculum of the Religious Studies Department. The following theology courses are recommended: RELST 210, 252, 253, 254, 256, 260, 262, 263, 264, 265, 266, 267, 290, 291, 292, 299, 360.

Three hours toward the ministry minor may include the completion of three 1 credit hour Pastoral Ministry Institute seminars.

Ministry Option Within Religious Studies Major

Religious studies majors who wish to highlight ministry studies may do so in two ways. First, students may complete a focus on ministry within the religious studies major by completing the following two courses: Theology and Ministry (PASTM 350) or Introduction to Practical Theology and God and Social Action (RELST 295) as part of the 39 required credit hours in religious studies. As a second option, students may choose to complete an 18 credit hour minor in pastoral ministry.

Credit for Prior Learning

The Pastoral Ministry Institute offers students who have successfully completed approved non-credit diocesan or archdiocesan certificate programs the opportunity to receive academic credit in pastoral studies.

The following archdiocesan programs have been approved for undergraduate credit at Saint Xavier University: Liturgical Coordinator; Chicago Catholic Scripture School; Youth Ministry Program; Certificate for Catechetical Leaders; Lay Ministry Formation Program; Special Religious Education Program; and the Program for Deaconate Couples.

The number of credits received varies, but all credits will be given as Pastoral Studies 200.

Students who qualify and wish to apply should contact the Institute for details and application procedures.