ITPS Certificate Programs

Institute of Theology and Pastoral Studies Certificate Programs

In addition to the Master of Arts in Applied Theology, the Institute of Theology and Pastoral Studies (ITPS) offers credit/non-credit certificate programs in theology and pastoral studies. Some certificate program courses are offered in a distance/intensive format whereby students combine weekend sessions with online interaction with faculty and other students. Other certificate program courses are offered on campus in a traditional 15-week format.

Given the increasing demand for programs that prepare laity for service and leadership roles, Elms College offers several credit/non-credit certificate options.

Certificate in Theological Studies (CTS)

15 credits or 60 ITPS units

Candidates enroll in the certificate program for ITPS units or college credits. Each institute course is offered for three academic credits or twelve institute units. Candidates decide at the beginning of each course whether to register for ITPS units or college credits. Since course requirements for Master of Arts in Applied Theology candidates and ITPS certificate candidates significantly differ, academic credit may not be granted retroactively for courses originally taken for ITPS units. When taken for graduate credit, this certificate program can be transferred into the Masters of Arts in Applied Theology degree programs.

Practicum and Internship

Certification as a lay ecclesial minister requires two additional courses, a practicum in a specific area of ministry, and a supervised internship through the appropriate diocesan office, although in some cases this may be delegated to Elms College. The five academic courses offered through Elms College Institute of Theology and Pastoral Studies provide only an Elms College certificate, not certification as a lay ecclesial minister.

Certificate in Pastoral Studies (CPS)

15 credits or 60 ITPS units

Candidates enroll in the certificate program for ITPS units or college credits. Each institute course is offered for three academic credits or twelve institute units. Candidates decide at the beginning of each course whether to register for ITPS units or college credits. Since course requirements for Master of Arts in Applied Theology candidates and ITPS certificate candidates significantly differ, academic credit may not be granted retroactively for courses originally taken for ITPS units. This certificate program when taken for graduate credit can be transferred into the Master of Arts in Applied Theology degree program.

Practicum and Internship

Certification as a lay ecclesial minister requires two additional courses, a practicum in a specific area of ministry, and a supervised internship through the appropriate diocesan office, although in some cases this may be delegated to Elms College. The five academic courses offered through Elms College Institute of Theology and Pastoral Studies provide only an Elms College certificate, not certification as a lay ecclesial minister.

Advanced Certificate in Theology and Pastoral Studies (ACTPS)

33 credits or 132 ITPS units

Elms College offers an advanced certificate in theology and pastoral studies (ACTPS). Candidates enroll in the certificate program for ITPS units or college credits. Each institute course is offered for three (3) academic credits or twelve (12) institute units. Candidates decide at the beginning of each course whether to register for ITPS units or college credits. Since course requirements for Master of Arts in Applied Theology candidates and ITPS certificate candidates significantly differ, academic credit may not be granted retroactively for courses originally taken for ITPS units. This certificate program when taken for graduate credit can be transferred into the Master of Arts in Applied Theology degree program. ACTPS candidates matriculate with guidance and support of the Master of Arts in Applied Theology director.

Practicum and Internship

Certification as a lay ecclesial minister requires two additional courses - a practicum in a specific area of ministry and a supervised internship through the appropriate diocesan office, although in some cases this may be delegated to Elms College. The 11 academic courses offered through Elms College Institute of Theology and Pastoral Studies provide only an Elms College certificate, not certification as a lay ecclesial minister. Certification in two areas of ministry would require two practicum courses, but one supervised internship may possibly be negotiated with those responsible for overseeing the specific areas of ministry.

Certificate in Catechetical Studies (CCS)

15 credits or 48 ITPS units

Candidates enroll in the certificate program for ITPS units or college credits. Each institute course is offered for three (3) academic credits or twelve (12) institute units. Candidates decide at the beginning of each course whether to register for ITPS units or college credits. Since course requirements for Master of Arts in Applied Theology candidates and ITPS certificate candidates significantly differ, academic credit may not be granted retroactively for courses originally taken for ITPS units. This certificate program when taken for graduate credit can be transferred into the Master of Arts in Applied Theology degree program.

Practicum and Internship

Certification as a lay ecclesial minister requires two additional courses, a practicum in a specific area of ministry, and a supervised internship through the appropriate diocesan office, although in some cases this may be delegated to Elms College. The five academic courses offered through Elms College Institute of Theology and Pastoral Studies provide only an Elms College certificate, not certification as a lay ecclesial minister.

Certificate in Parish Life Direction (PLD)

33 credits or 132 ITPS units

Elms College offers a certificate in Parish Life Direction (PLD). The certificate program provides students with theological, administrative, and pastoral skills while assisting them to assume parish and diocesan roles in the area of administrative function. The PDL focuses on Catholic teaching and tradition, stewardship, resource development, leadership, church governance, human resources, and volunteer management. Participants in the program apply Catholic teaching to areas of social ministry, liturgy and sacraments, canon law, and moral theology. Candidates enroll in the certificate program for ITPS units or graduate credits. with the approval of a pastor.  The Springfield Diocese requires a Maters degree such as the MAAT for appointment to this position.  Each institute course is offered for three (3) academic credits or twelve (12) institute units. Candidates decide at the beginning of each course whether to register for ITPS units or college credits. Since course requirements for Master of Arts in Applied Theology candidates and ITPS certificate candidates significantly differ, academic credit may not be granted retroactively for courses originally taken for ITPS units. This certificate program when taken for graduate credit can be transferred into the Master of Arts in Applied Theology degree program.

Practicum and Internship

Eleven academic courses offered through Elms College Institute of Theology and Pastoral Studies provide an Elms College certificate and certification as a Parish Life Director.  The equivalent of the practicum and internship has been built into the PLD so that certification from the Elms would also fulfill the requirements for certification as a lay ecclesial minister in Parish Life Direction from the Diocese of Springfield.

Certificate in Social Justice Ministry (CSJM)  

15 credits or 48 ITPS units

Candidates enroll in the certificate program for ITPS units or college credits. Each institute course is offered for three academic credits or twelve institute units. Candidates decide at the beginning of each course whether to register for ITPS units or college credits. Since course requirements for Master of Arts in Applied Theology candidates and ITPS certificate candidates significantly differ, academic credit may not be granted retroactively for courses originally taken for ITPS units. When taken for graduate credit, this certificate program can be transferred into the Masters of Arts in Applied Theology degree programs. 

Practicum and Internship

Certification as a diocesan lay minister requires two additional courses, a practicum in a specific area of ministry, and a supervised internship through the appropriate diocesan office, although in some cases this may be delegated to Elms College. The five academic courses offered through Elms College Institute of Theology and Pastoral Studies provide only an Elms College certificate, not certification as a diocesan lay minister.

Credits

Candidates enroll in certificate programs for ITPS units or college credits. Each institute course is offered for three (3) academic credits or twelve (12) institute units each. Candidates decide at the beginning of each course whether to register for ITPS units or college credits. Since course requirements for Master of Arts in Applied Theology candidates and ITPS certificate candidates significantly differ, academic credit may not be granted retroactively for courses originally taken for ITPS units. This applies to all certificate programs. Each of these Elms certificate programs when taken for graduate credit can be transferred into the Master of Arts in Applied Theology degree program.

The cost per Institute unit is $11.67.  One course is 12 ITPS units/$140 for those seeking an ITPS certificate (rather than academic credit).  A $20 registration fee is due at the time of registration each semester.

Contact Us

Institute for Theology and Pastoral Studies
Martin Pion, Ph.D.
Director

413-265-2575
pionm@elms.edu