Skip to Main Content

Graduate Ministry Courses

Core Courses

NSOM 5110. Graduate Proseminar. Required of all first-year students, this one credit course is an introduction to the fields and methods of theological study for ministerial formation. Registration and active participation in all sessions constitute completion of the requirement. Proseminar is offered only in the Fall semester, with both on site and online options. Graded on a pass/fail basis.

NSOM 5310. Foundations of Catholic Biblical Interpretation. This course’s content and structure are suggested by a description of the Bible by the Second Vatican Council: the words of God expressed in human language (DV 13). Therefore, it will deal, first, with the concepts of Revelation, Transmission-Tradition, Inspiration, Biblical Truth and the Canon, which traditionally express the Church’s belief in the divine origin of the Bible. Second, it will deal with the nature of the Bible as a human document, linked to a culture rooted in specific coordinates of space and time. Finally, it will review the development and nature of modern scientific methods and approaches of biblical interpretation, together with the Church’s reactions to and positions on these methods and approaches in the last 100 years. 

NSOM 5330. Systematic Theology. Structured reflection on the Christian communal experience of faith and how that faith is understood, expressed and lived out in the Catholic tradition. It invites dialogue among students and with the formative elements of Catholic tradition to consider theological method (i.e., How do we do this work properly?), doctrinal clarity (i.e., What does our formative tradition teach?) and pastoral practice (i.e., How do theology and pastoral realities influence one another?). Topics of special focus include revelation and faith, the Triune God, Christology, Christian anthropology and the theology of the church, including Mary and the saints.

NSOM 5340. Church History. This course offers a survey of the development of the Catholic Church through the lens of its magisterial, ministerial and spiritual components. The growth of the Church in the apostolic, medieval, reformation, modern and contemporary eras and see how this development has impacted understanding of faith and ministry in the Church today.

NSOM 5350. Moral Theology. A critical survey of fundamental moral theology, including the distinctiveness of Christian morality, conscience formation, natural law, moral norms and decision-making. It provides an entrée into special moral theology, which includes bioethics, environmental ethics, healthcare ethics, sexual ethics and social ethics.

NSOM 5360. Liturgy and Sacraments. A critical survey of the history, theology and liturgical celebration of the sacraments according to the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church, with special attention given to the role of the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.).

NSOM 5370. Theological Reflection. Forming a basis of spirituality for ministers, theological reflection is a discipline designed to recognize God’s activity within the context of ministry. Systematic reflection on students’ spiritual journey and experiences enter into dialogue with scripture, church history, church teaching, current pastoral needs and the lived faith experience of the people of God.

One (1) Scripture Elective. Students are required to complete one elective course of the Old or New Testament as offered by the Braniff Graduate School of Liberal Arts.

 

Elective Courses

Sacred Scripture

NSOM 6310. Torah. This course is designed to introduce the student to historical, literary,and theological aspects of the Pentateuch in the context of the ancient Near Eastand the Bible. In addition, great emphasis will be placed on the theological contentof select passages from both a Jewish and a Christian perspective. The developmentand extension of these theological verses and themes into early Judaism, the NewTestament, and the life of the Church will also be highlighted. 

NSOM 6315. Prophets. This course is designed to introduce the student to historical, literary, and theological aspects of the Prophetic Literature of the Old Testament in the context of the ancient Near East and the Bible. Students will employ exegetical methodologies used by contemporary biblical scholars to enhance their understanding and appreciation of the beautiful poetry and literary aspects of the prophetic tradition. This, in turn, will help them develop a theological perspective that will serve to bring the message of the prophets in to the twenty-first century.         

NSOM 6320. The Gospels. This course is an examination of the New Testament Gospels in light of their historical, literary, social and cultural settings. After dealing with the introductory questions and an initial survey of each volume, focus will be given to a selected number of passages that are critical for the understanding of the author’s entire work. In this way, the students will recognize the main literary features and the major theological themes of each one of them. Major issues and contemporary methods for the study of gospel literature will be introduced. The course will challenge students to see the pastoral possibilities of various passages, and how the student might move from text to life.

NSOM 6325 Pauline Literature.  This course is an introduction to the letters of Paul. It will explore historical and literary issues that relate to understanding the Pauline Corpus. The authentic letters of Paul (1 Thessalonians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Philippians, Galatians, Philemon, and Romans) as well as those letters likely written by later disciples of Paul (2 Thessalonians, Colossians, Ephesians, 1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus) will be the main focus of this course, although the world behind the text will also be in view. These letters will be interpreted historically, as well as pastorally, with one eye on the ancient horizon of Paul’s world and the other on how these texts might intersect with the contemporary world.

Pastoral Ministry

NSOM 6370. Ministry in the Church. The contemporary phenomenon of ministry in the Catholic Church from the view points of theology and pastoral practice. Theological exploration focuses on biblical visions of ministry, the history of ministry in the church and its doctrinal underpinnings and implications, especially in ecclesiology. Pastoral consideration reflects on attitudes, knowledge and skills necessary for effective pastoral ministry in today’s church. Integrating these perspectives, the course includes discussion of issues related to the contemporary ministerial scene and critical ecclesial documents on ministry formation.

NSOM 6371. Pastoral Administration. This course explores the purpose and function of a parish in the life of the church and the role of pastoral administration within it. Students consider the theology and experience of parish life and reflect on many of the key ministries necessary for its success, including ministries of Word, worship, service and community building. Pastoral skills for planning, leadership, administration of temporal goods, communication and managing relationships are among topics considered.

NSOM 6333. Pastoral Aspects of Canon Law. An overview of Canon Law (Roman Rite), especially as it pertains to pastoral ministry. Particular attention is afforded to canonical dimensions of the obligations and rights of the Christian faithful, the structure, authority, mission and ministry of dioceses and parishes, sacramental ministry and penal procedures.

NSOM 6360. Liturgical Leadership. A practical introduction to liturgical leadership. Focus is on the pastoral implications of the Catholic principle of sacramentality and its influence on the understanding of liturgical action and what that means in actual liturgical celebrations. Attention given to liturgical planning and to lay-presiding at devotions, the Liturgy of the Hours, the Liturgy of the Word with Distribution of Communion and Sunday Celebrations in the Absence of a Priest.

NSOM 6373. Homiletics and Pastoral Proclamation. Consideration of key ways in which the proclamation of the Word communicates and builds up the essential mission and identity of the Church. Students are expected to reflect theologically on the Word of God, both as listeners and as proclaimers, to understand the various roles and offices involved in proclamation of the Word and to practice the pastoral skills required for effective proclamation.

NSOM 7301- 7306. Pastoral Ministry Internship. Supervised placement in your ministry concentration providing a structured experience of field education. Working with a supervisor in your field with hands-on experience in ministry while developing yourself, your goals and your understanding of this ministry field. Graded “Pass” or “No-Pass”. Students may register for the course more than once. 

NSOM 7309. Clinical Pastoral Education (C.P.E.). This is a practicum in hospital-based pastoral care, which is available in cooperation with local hospitals whose programs are accredited by the National Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. Graded on a pass/fail basis.

NSOM 7390. Ministry Capstone. The final major initiative of the Master’s of Pastoral Ministry degree. It is designed to indicate how students have integrated coursework into ministry. This three-credit course (one credit for Youth Ministry concentration) is completed during the final semester through a hands-on experience in the ministry concentration. By completing a Capstone Project students will demonstrate the ability to think critically, integrate the theology appropriate to ministry, plan and execute a ministry and/or research project and reflect theologically on ministry. Capstone projects require detailed applications and written approval by ministry faculty supervisors several months prior to registration.

Catechetics 

NSOM 6374. RCIA for Pastoral Ministers. The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults with its particular approach to the baptismal catechumenate has been called “the source of inspiration for all catechesis”. Critical analysis of the theology inherent in the ritual text that drives this “process of formation and true school of faith” through each of the four catechumenal stages. Exposure to the history of the rite, practical aspects of the catechesis that precedes and follows the ritual experiences, liturgical theology and liturgical catechesis inherent in the rite. Special attention given to Part II: Rites for Particular Circumstances, especially for children of catechetical age and application of inspirational principles of the catechumenate to pastoral practice. 

NSOM 6375. Catechetics and the Development of Faith. Introduction to the history, theology and practice of catechesis. Including the methods, content and curriculum of contemporary catechesis, with particular focus on age-appropriateness and faith and its maturation in people.

NSOM 7375. Models of Catechesis. Survey of emerging models and approaches to catechesis including conversation and mutual learning about approaches across the lifespan to assist those preparing for or already bearing this responsibility. Particular attention given to the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (R.C.I.A.) as a model for the catechetical journey, adult catechesis, Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, family catechesis, intercultural catechesis, small Christian communities and youth and young adult catechesis.

Ethics 

NSOM 6350. Healthcare Ethics. Contemporary developments in biology and medicine confront society with new and ever-complicating moral problems, which sometimes challenge Christians’ basic sense of the meaning of life. The principles and norms of Catholic moral theology that are relevant to the questions and issues faced in healthcare today. 

Ecclesiology 

NSOM 6340. Documents of Vatican II. The Second Vatican Council was called by Pope John XXIII to preserve and promote the Church’s heritage in a pastorally effective way in order to meet the demands of the day. Study of the Council, the four constitutions and their implementation. Survey of the Concilliar decrees and declarations and develop an understanding of their impact on the role of the laity. 

NSOM 6372. Contemporary Parish. The theology, structures, leadership and ministries of today’s parish. We will look at contemporary parish models, their emerging trends, demographic changes; the theory and practice of pastoral leadership, the person of the pastoral leader and parish ministries. Grounded in an understanding of ecclesiology. Seminar format developing an understanding and theology of parish and what is needed to sustain parish life in the 21st century.

Spirituality 

NSOM 6345. History of Spirituality. Spirituality marks the inner life of the Church. Throughout history spiritualities have developed in reaction to, or in support of, the outer life of the Church. Survey course exploring traditional Catholic spiritualities, their main movements, personalities and contemporary expression in our spiritual lives today.

Special Topics

6V77-6V79. Special Topics. Courses offered on an occasional basis allow students and faculty to pursue special interests in areas of ministry and theology that are not offered regularly. The graaduate director determines the selection of topics in consultation with faculty and students. 

6V91. Directed Readings. As a course arranged between instructors and students, this tutorial allows students to undertake an in-depth reading program on a topic of particular interest. It requires a detailed proposal by students that is approved, in writing, by the instructor and the graduate director.

 Study in Rome

The Braniff Graduate School occasionally offers graduate ministry students the opportunity to earn graduate credit at the university on the beautiful Rome campus. The campus is located in the Alban hills twelve miles southeast of Rome in a locale called Due Santi, where tradition holds that Saints Peter and Paul stopped along the Appian Way. Courses are offered on an ad hoc basis and are open to new and current graduate ministry students, visiting graduate students, or anyone wishing to audit the course. About 40% of class time is spent on guided learning-tours in and around the city of Rome. During the evenings and on weekends, the students may experience Rome and the surrounding area on their own. Learn more about the  Rome Program.

News

UD Announces Last Crowley Chamber Trio Concert of the Season

The last Crowley Chamber Trio concert of the season will be on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7 at the Museum of Biblical Art at 7:30 p.m.

The Crowley Chamber Trio is composed of University of Dallas faculty members Kristin Van Cleve, violin; Marie-Thaïs Oliver, cello; and Andrey Ponochevny, piano.

+ Read More