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Pastoral Formation


  • Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, Anaheim, CA

    This annual conference addresses theology, spirituality, and religious education, among other topics.
  • The Jesuits of the New Orleans Province, New Orleans, LA
    Ministry of Management Seminar

    This seminar lasts for two weeks over two summers and provides workshops for Jesuit and lay leaders in Jesuit works. Talks are offered in areas such as leadership practices, conflict resolution and prevention, performance management in a ministerial environment, among others.

National Programs

  • Bread for the World

    Provides information on global poverty and hunger as well as guidance on how to become involved in addressing these issues.
  • JustFaith Program

    This program is a formation process in the social justice teachings of the Church with a focus on poverty. It is sponsored in part by Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Relief Services, and Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
  • RENEW International

    Offers a range of parish programs for adult faith formation and young adult ministries as well as resources in English and Spanish for small Christian communities.

University Programs

  • Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA
    Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry

    The institute offers programs leading to graduate degrees and certificates, as well as continuing education and online learning opportunities.
  • Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
    Doctor of Ministry Program

    This program offers the opportunity for advanced studies in ministry.
  • Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
    Program of Hispanic Pastoral Leadership

    This summer certificate program affords students the opportunity to take courses in Spanish on biblical, theological/historical, and liturgical/pastoral themes.
  • Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.
    Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

    Through this program, men and women who have earned an advanced theological degree have the opportunity to study areas of ministry such as marriage and family counseling, catechetics, liturgy, and spiritual direction.
  • Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
    Pastoral Formation Programs

    LMU provides a graduate degree in pastoral theology and summer workshops for those who are interested in working in a parish or other pastoral setting.
  • Mount St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles, CA
    Degree and Certificate Programs in Religious Studies

    This college offers programs in advanced religious studies, Hispanic pastoral ministry, and youth and young adult ministry, as well as a Master of Arts program in Religious Studies.
  • Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA
    School of Pastoral Ministries

    SCU’s School of Pastoral Ministries offers master’s degrees as well as summer workshops for those seeking academic and spiritual preparation for ministry.
  • United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C.
    Distance Learning Programs

    The Conference’s Committee on the Laity has developed a list of educational institutions that offer distance learning programs in areas of Catholic study.
  • Xavier University, New Orleans, LA
    Institute for Black Catholic Studies

    This institute offers degree and certificate programs in Black Catholic Studies, to be completed in the summer months.

Resources on Parish Life


  • The Emerging Models Project

    A Lilly Foundation grant funds this effort to discover which pastoral leadership models help parishes thrive. It provides resources on topics such as "multiple parish pasturing" and on "parish life coordinators in the United States." The project culminates with a Ministry Summit in April 2008 in Orlando, FL.
  • National Association of Catechetical Leadership

    Promotes catechetical ministry and provides resources in English and Spanish for catechists.
  • National Association for Lay Ministry

    This organization provides resources for and promotes lay ministry in the United States Catholic Church. Its quarterly newsletter keeps members up-to-date about events and activities and provides articles related to lay pastoral leadership.
  • National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management

    Offers information on how to apply expertise in the areas of parish management, finances, and human resources.


  • Church Magazine

    This quarterly publication contains helpful articles for those who work in a pastoral setting. The fall 2006 edition includes articles on lay ecclesial formation, on the role of memory in spirituality and ethics, and on the new challenges and opportunities of today’s parishes.
  • Commonweal

    This biweekly magazine addresses issues in religion, culture, and public life. It publishes stimulating and engaging articles that provide invaluable assistance in reflecting on issues such as evolution and Christianity, Catholic voting practices, and global warming.
  • El Momento Católico

    This bilingual English/Spanish resource, published by the Claretians, addresses questions such as why are we Catholic, why baptize your baby, and why the parish needs you.
  • Rite magazine

    Published six times a year, it addresses various topics related to liturgy and parish life.
  • U.S. Catholic

    Published monthly, it presents articles on various pastoral topics and themes, such as conversion, the Taizé movement, the United States health care system, as well as news, opinion pieces, and reviews of books, films and music.


  • Harcourt Religion Publishers

    Offers catechetical resources in English and Spanish for children, high school students, and adults. Highly recommended for use by pastoral leaders, catechists, families, and parishes.
  • Silver Burdett Ginn–Blest Are We

    Provides catechetical resources in English, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, and Vietnamese for families, parishes, and Catholic schools.

Sabbatical Programs

  • The Hesburgh Sabbatical at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, IL

    This program is offered to priests, religious, and laymen and women who have been in full-time ministry for 10 years. Courses are offered in theology, spirituality, scripture, psychology, and human development.
  • Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, MA

    WJST provides a sabbatical program for priests, religious, and laymen and women, for one semester or one year in length. One may audit courses at Weston or at Boston Theological Institute centers of higher learning.
  • Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, Berkeley

    JSTB offers a sabbatical program called New Directions, which is available to priests, religious, and laymen and women. The program offers the participant flexibility in designing an experience that integrates theology, spirituality, and renewal.

Ignatian Spirituality Formation Programs


  • Blessed Sacrament Church, Hollywood, CA
    Ignatian Spirituality Program

    This program offers the Spiritual Exercisesof St. Ignatius as well as supervision for those preparing to become directors and talks on Ignatian spirituality and other spiritual traditions.
  • Church of Our Lady of Sorrows, Santa Barbara, CA
    (805) 963-1734

    During one week in Lent, this Jesuit church in downtown Santa Barbara, CA, gives participants an opportunity to make an Ignatian retreat in English or Spanish under the guidance of its pastoral staff.
  • Most Holy Trinity Church, San Jose, CA

    This ethnically diverse Jesuit parish offers the 19th annotation of the Spiritual Exercisesof St. Ignatius, which for retreatants includes daily prayer and a weekly meeting with their spiritual director.
  • St. Agnes Church, San Francisco, CA

    This Jesuit urban parish in the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco, CA, offers workshops during the year in their spiritual life center, which also contains a wide offering of books in Ignatian spirituality.
  • St. Francis Xavier Church and School, Phoenix, AZ

    This parish community near the heart of Phoenix, Arizona, sponsors an annual four-day "busy person’s" Ignatian retreat. Its grade school also integrates effectively Ignatian spirituality and practices, such as a daily examen prayer done by students, faculty, and staff.
  • St. Ignatius Loyola Church, Sacramento, CA

    This Jesuit parish in Sacramento, CA, was one of the first parishes in the California Province to work with the Loyola Institute of Spirituality (LIS) to develop Ignatian faith-sharing groups. The community also offers days of recollection and weekend retreats in the Ignatian tradition.

Retreat Centers

  • Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos, CA

    This retreat center, located midway between San Francisco and San Jose, offers individually directed and group retreats, including silent retreats in the Ignatian tradition. The center offers a three-year program in direction of the Spiritual Exercises, consisting of an academic year followed by two years of supervision and theological reflection. A 36-day program held each summer offers those prepared to direct the Exercisesan opportunity to do so in a community of directors with mentoring and supervision. The center’s bookstore offers a wide range of published works on pastoral and spiritual formation.
  • Loyola Institute for Spirituality, Orange, CA
    Ignatian Spiritual Formation Program

    This institute offers a three-year program that provides an introduction to Ignatian spirituality and related topics, an experience of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and advanced courses as well as supervision in applying what is learned to concrete ministerial experience.

Online Opportunities

  • Creighton University, Omaha, NE
    Ignatian Online Retreats

    One can make an Ignatian retreat by following the directions given on the "Online Ministries" page at Creighton University’s website.
  • Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, Portland, OR
    Daily Ways to Pray

    The Oregon Province Jesuits offer an online Ignatian retreat, which is divided into weeks. They also offer scriptural passages and excerpts from St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises for meditation and contemplation.
  • Sacred Space

    This website operated by the Irish Jesuits affords online visitors a daily opportunity to reflect on God’s presence in their lives.

Parish Elementary School Resources

  • Brain-Based Learning

    Ann Anzalone gives presentations on brain-based learning, an alternative to traditional educational methods which seeks to create "learning environments that fully immerse students in an educational experience." Contact Ms.Ann Anzalone, 116 Hilltop Ave., Dayton, OH 45419; (937) 299-7706
  • Classroom Management and Interactive Discipline

    Rick Morris offers expertise in this crucial part of the educational process. Contact Rick Morris, New Management, 6512 Edmonton Ave., San Diego, CA 92122; (858) 455-6000.
  • Differentiated Teaching

    Gayle Gregory provides helpful hints in this area of pedagogy.
    Contact Ms. Gayle Gregory, 1323 White Cedar Trail, Burlington, Ontario, Canada L7P4T1; (905) 336-6565;
  • Gifted and Special-Needs Students

    Carolyn McWilliams focuses on how to work with gifted and special-needs students in the regular classroom. Contact The Cartim Group, LLC, 1607 Sixteenth St., Suite 150, Santa Monica, CA 90404; (310) 828-0978.
  • Learning Styles

    Vicki Olivadoti, the "Homework Doc," offers presentations on learning styles and gives seminars to teachers, parents, and children on ways to use homework well in the pedagogical process. Call (714) 964-6353 or e-mail
  • Multiculturalism

    Dr. Alberto Lopez-Pulido, Director of Ethnic Studies at the University of San Diego, speaks on the topic of multiculturalism. Call (619) 260-4022 or e-mail.