Pastoral Ministry Education

Campus Ministry Graduate Internship Program

& Certificate in Pastoral Ministry

Campus Ministry Intern Group Picture

About the Program

The Campus Ministry Graduate Internship trains young adults to serve the Church through a rigorous and integrated program of theological and ministerial education and formation. It combines a masters degree in Theology (or another discipline) with a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry. The Certificate portion of the degree includes ongoing, supervised practicum experience. Our Campus Ministry Interns (CMIs) live in first-year or second-year residence halls and develop opportunities for undergraduate students to grow holistically through participation in liturgy, service, social justice work, retreats and shared reflection. This residential ministry work serves as the practicum component of the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry. The degree program (MA+Certificate) and the internship are carefully integrated through an established partnership between Campus Ministry and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. The integration of these two components enables the students' academic coursework to strengthen their practical training, and allows their ministerial internship experience to focus and guide their theological study.

Graduate Liberal Arts & Sciences Application

The Certificate program is jointly administered by the Graduate Program in Theology and the Center for Pastoral Ministry Education. It is independent of the M.A. in Theology degree program and it combines academic studies in theology and pastoral ministry with practical training in ministerial contexts.

It consists of a total of 18 credit hours:

  • 6 credit hours in Pastoral Ministry and Counseling Practice (practicum).
  • 12 credit hours in Ministry & Education, Catholic Educational Leadership, and Interfaith Studies.

Students may be enrolled in the Certificate program only or pursue it in combination with the M.A. in theology degree program or another masters degree program.

The practicum portion of the Certificate can also be pursued along two possible tracks. The first track consists of the Graduate Internshiip Program involving on-campus residential ministy.  The second track consists of a field practicum which does not require living on-campus.  Students who do not have a residential ministerial placement within Campus Ministry can pursue this certificate and be given a non-residential ministerial placement within Campus Ministry or outside of Villanova to fulfill the practicum component of the certificate.

Practicum supervisors within the Center for Pastoral Ministry Education will assist non-internship students enrolled in this certificate in establishing their practicum placements.  If a student is already engaged in professional ministry (whether full-time or part-time) the practicum supervisors may allow that ministry to serve as the student's practicum placement.

The Internship and Certificate in Pastoral Ministry both:

  • Prepare future lay ministers for theologically grounded and pastorally sensitive service within Catholic and other Christian churches
  • Formulate and advance ministry within the Augustinian tradition of coming to know God through love of others and the fostering of authentic community
  • Are inclusive of all dimensions of faith, worship, and the human experience

  • Place ministry, theology, and pastoral counseling in dialogue with one another as reciprocal and interpendent disciplines

  • Guide ministers to reflect attentively on Christian faith and practice in light of their own experience and that of the various communities they serve

  • Foster a recognition of the necessary ministerial context for engaging in “faith seeking understanding”

Each CMI engages in some shared ministerial roles geared specifically to first-year students.  These include, working with student leaders to plan and implement our Escape Retreats, as well as facilitating a weekly sharing group in his or her residence hall.  Each CMI also advises a Service and Justice (Alternative Break) Experience once each semester.

Villanova's Graduate Internship program is unique, however, in that, in addition to these common ministerial requirements, each CMI is also encouraged to explore the possibility of choosing a more specialized ministerial placement within Campus Ministry or within the broader umbrella of our Office for Mission and Ministry.  Such placements allow the intern to be mentored by an experienced minister in a particular area of ministry, such as liturgy, ecumenical and interfaith outreach, peace and justice education, social justice advocacy, Hispanic outreach, local service programing, etc.  Opportunities also exist for a specialized placement within local parishes.

These specialized ministerial placements involve 3-5 hours/week which make up a portion of the intern's weekly ministerial commitment of 20 hours. 

These specialized placements are also open to students pursuing the certificate, but who are not participating in the internship program.

Admission into the Internship and/or Certificate programs requires:

  • An undergraduate degree (3.0 min GPA)
  • Minimum of one year of post undergraduate work/service experience
  • Admission into a graduate degree program at Villanova; prefence is given to applicants to the MA in Theology program; applicants to other graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences will be considered on an individual basis
  • A proficiency in articulating a desire to grow in a ministerial identity
  • The desire and competency to live as a minister in an undergraduate residence hall and to work with first-year students

General Program Requirements

  • If admitted into the masters program in Theology, students must enroll in the combined MA+Certificate in Pastoral Ministry degree program and maintain good academic standing
  • Live in a first-year or second-year residence hall
  • Devote 20 hr/wk to ministerial role over two academic years
  • Participate in staff meetings, intern group meetings, practicum and program supervision, as well as supervision with the Counseling Center
  • Attend Residence Life area and building meetings when possible and work collaboratively with Residence Life staff

Ministerial Requirements

  • Engage in an ongoing process of discerment of your gifts and ministerial vocation with the support of the Campus Ministry staff and your peers
  • Advise a Service and Justice (Alternative Break) Experience once each semester
  • Plan and implement Freshman Escape Retreats
  • Create and facilitate a weekly small group sharing ("Get Real") in one of the residence halls
  • Invite and encourage students to accompany you to Sunday evening liturgy and other Campus Ministry prayer opportunities
  • Attend all University-wide liturgies
  • Invite & encourage students to attend other University events such as Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, Religious Diversity Day, Special Olympics, and St. Thomas of Villanova Day of Service
  • With the help of the program director, seek out a specific ministerial placement within the Office of Mission and Ministry to develop further your ministerial skills and knowledge

Villanova University provides the following to each intern:

  • Ongoing academic support, spiritual and theological formation, and ministerial supervision throughout the entirety of the program
  • Room and board for a total of 4 (Fall and Spring) semesters
  • Room for 1 or 2 summer semesters for interns that elect to take some of their courses during the summer before Year 1 or the summer between Years 1 and 2 (Taking at least 1 or 2 summer courses is strongly encouraged to lighten the academic load during other semesters)
  • Full tuition remission for all course work (42 graduate credits) in fulfillment of the M.A. in Theology + Certificate in Pastoral Ministry degree program (For interns in a degree program other than Theology, the internship will only cover tuition for a maximum of 42 graduate credits, 18 of which must be in fullfillment of the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry)
  • A generous annual stipend to cover the cost of books and living expenses (the annual stipend amount for 2016/2017 was $10,300); total value of the tuition, room & board, and stipend portions of the whole internship program is currently over $65,000

Applications are now being accepted for admission into the Internship Program in the Fall of 2017. The application deadline is February 1, 2017. After Feb. 1st, applications will be considered on a rolling basis as space permits.

In addition to the Graduate Liberal Arts and Sciences application, applicants to the Internship and Certificate programs must fill out this brief form.

Applicants must be accepted into a master’s degree program at Villanova before being considered for the internship program.  However the application process to the internship program and the graduate degree program should be concurrent.  

All application and admission information for the degree and certificate programs in Theology, which include both the Combined MA+Certificate in Pastoral Ministry (42 credits), as well as the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry (18 credits), can be found through the Graduate Program in Theology.

If you are applying to the Campus Ministry Internship Program as a an applicant to a degree program in another department, then you need to follow the application and admissions requirements established by that department. AND you must also apply to the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry as a "secondary discipline."

Internship applicants will have a preliminary interview (via Skype) on a rolling basis.  Qualified applicants will be invited to have a second interview (via Skype) by no later than mid February.  Decisions about admission to the Internship Program will be made by March 1st.

Contact Us

Program Director

John P. Edwards, PhD
[610] 519-3507
St. Rita Hall 105

Associate Director

Rev. Joseph Calderone, OSA, EdD
[610] 519-7477
St. Rita Hall 104