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Pastoral Leadership

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Pastoral Leadership involves five critical areas of intentional and comprehensive study: systematic theology, pastoral theology, Christian ministry, theological reflection, and social sciences. All five areas are interdependent with each other and allow for students to make connections with the various zones that shape pastoral leadership.

Service to God and Community
Pastoral Leadership prepares young women and men to serve in various roles and positions in the Christian community and to be co-collaborators with ordained and lay people working in ministry, education, and secular not-for-profit organizations.

Pastoral Leadership

  • equips students with the practical skills to succeed in Christian ministry and ecclesial service to the People of God.
  • empowers students by providing solid theology grounded on Scripture and tradition.
  • engages the total person to become a transformative agent and catalyst in the family, society, and world.
  • exhorts students’ gifts, needs, and strengths toward a vocation and career into the ministry and mission of Jesus the Christ and his holy Christian Church

Opportunities Abound

There are numerous opportunities with a baccalaureate degree in Pastoral Leadership based upon a person’s interest and gifts.  Some of the ministry positions available upon graduation are:

  • Coordinator of Religious Education
  • Parish Youth Minister
  • Campus Minister
  • Theology Teacher
  • Parish Young Adult Minister
  • Parish Pastoral Associate
  • Adolescent Pastoral Care Worker
  • Diocesan Ministry
  • Not-for-profit Agencies/Organizations

In Pastoral Leadership there is always graduate school in theology or ministry, seminary formation, which leads to ordination, and other graduate programs such a social work, pastoral care and counseling, marriage and family counseling, and law school.

Educational Formation

Pastoral Leadership education equips undergraduate students appropriate formation on four fronts: (1) human formation (2) theological formation, (3) spiritual formation, and (4) pastoral formation.

  • Human formation seeks to develop the human qualities and attributes of a person by helping to foster a healthy and holistic personality and lifestyle for the sake of personal growth and ministry.
  • Theological formation proposes to foster the intellectual capacities in sacred sciences: theology, church history, ecumenism Scripture, liturgy, sacraments, stewardship, and morality
  • Spiritual formation aims at the call to holiness and Christian discipleship through coursework, community involvement and interactions, and personal encounters with ongoing relationships.
  • Pastoral formation intends to cultivate the practical application of doing ministry with others through coursework, internships, and theological reflection.

Pastoral Leadership Program prepares college students to meet the world’s needs in ministry. Students are prepared to serve the People of God at the crossroads between culture and faith and church and society.

Read more about the Pastoral Leadership Programs at Marian University

Dr. Arthur ("Art") Canales is associate professor of theology. He is a leading expert in the field of Catholic youth ministry and serves as a contributing editor to the document titled the Joy of Adolescent Catechesis: A Letter to Those who Minister with Catholic Teenagers in the United States, which is a joint document for The National Initiative on Adolescent Catechesis, the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (2015-16).


Pastoral Leadership students are required to engage in ministry mentoring with a skilled Faculty Mentor who actively listens and fruitfully guides the student on their journey as a discerning and growing pastoral minister. 


Pastoral Leadership students also are required to take year-long internships, approximately 2 hours per week for all four years of undergraduate education. 

Two Programs of Choice

There are two programs that a person might choose:

  • Bachelor of Arts degree (54 credits)
  • Certificate in Ministry (36-credit with ministry-specific project)

Bachelor of Arts Degree (B.A.) in Pastoral Leadership: 54 credits

Theological Formation

Human Formation

Pastoral Formation

  • Introduction to Theology (THL 105)
  • Studies in Jesus (THL 205)

  • Church (THL 208) ​
  • Fundamental Catholic Moral Theology (THL 218)
  • Old Testament (THL 226)

  • New Testament (THL 228)

  • History of Christian Thought (THL 232)

  • Liturgy and Spirituality (THL 236) 

  • The Franciscan Person
    (THL 270)

  • Religious Perspectives on Social Issues (THL 321)


  • Catholic Social Thought (THL 322)​

  • Human Nature and Human Person (PHL 130)
  • Personal and Professional Ethics (PHL 215)


  • Social and Political Philosophy (PHL 240)
  • God and Philosophy (PHL 350)
  • Introduction to Economics
    (ECN 200)
  • General Psychology (PSY 101)


    • Theories of Personality (PSY 335)
    • Human Growth and Development (PSY 220)
    • Abnormal Psychology (PSY 230)
    • Introduction to Sociology (SOC 101)
    • Marriage and Family (SOC 210)
    • Introduction to Social Work (SOC 265)
      • Theology and Spirituality of Ministry (THL 170)
      • Catechesis: Theory and Practice (THL 361)


      • Youth Ministry: Theological Foundations and Pastoral Perspectives (THL 371)
      • Church Administration: Policies and Procedures (THL 474)
      • Mentoring in Ministry
        (every semester)

      • Internships in Ministry
        (every semester)

      • Senior Seminar with Ministry-Specific Project (THL 490)

      Contact Us

      For any questions concerning the curriculum, department, or areas of interest contact: 
      Andy Hohman - Department Chair
      Assistant Professor of Theology and Philosophy


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      Notice of Nondiscrimination
      Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
      *Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.