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Two new initiatives by Saint John’s Seminary, the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization and the Master of Theological Studies for the New Evangelization, were officially unveiled on Saint Patrick's Day by Cardinal Seán O’Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. At that time, the Cardinal, along with seminary rector and Bishop Arthur Kennedy, announced a new source of scholarships, the Promise for Tomorrow Scholarship Fund. These scholarships come from a fund made available by the generosity of donors to the Archdiocese of Boston. Please visit the Scholarships page for more information
The Master of Theological Studies for the New Evangelization (MTS) is an exciting new degree program, directed by Dr. Angela Franks. Beginning in the fall of 2011, it is currently accepting applications.
The MTS joins the Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM) degree. MAM, directed by Dr. Aldona Lingertat, has graduated nearly 100 students in its eleven-year existence. It provides holistic formation based on four pillars—intellectual, human, spiritual, and apostolic—and prepares the laity to serve the local Church in the parish, hospitals, prisons, and many other fields. Applications are found here.
The MTS is an academic degree oriented to evangelizing the arenas of work, family, and culture. Its whole-person formation leads students to encounter some of the great texts of Christian civilization, learn sound psychological principles, grow in their love for God, and be equipped with the skills they need to spread the Gospel of life and love to a world in deepest need of hope. Download PDFs of brochures of the degree programs here. MAM :: MTS A data-sheet concerning the MTS is also available for download.
The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization (The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization) is a response to the call of the contemporary Church for active evangelization of the parish and the world, seen in particular in Pope Benedict’s recent establishment of a Congregation dedicated to the New Evangelization. The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization aims to give Catholics the whole-person formation they need to fulfill their mission in Christ. Through The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization, Saint John’s Seminary will broaden and deepen its commitment to lay faith formation. The new President of The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization is Reverend Christopher O’Connor, and the Vice President for Mission is J. David Franks, Ph.D.
Dr. Aldona Lingertat, Director of the Master of Arts in Ministry Program (MAM) at St. John’s Seminary, has received the distinction of an invitation to serve on the Religious Education Association’s Forum Team for RE in Faith Communities. This honor also includes service on the Paper/Workshops/Journal Selection Committee for the Religious Education Journal. The invitation to Dr. Lingertat noted, “The Nominations Committee enthusiastically recognizes your fine contributions to religious education and hopes that you will accept the nomination.” The good news is Dr. Lingertat accepted the nomination and was elected! Congratulations!
Twenty-four students were awarded the first Catholic Theology Certificates on Feb. 9. The Catholic Theology Certificate (CTC) provides the basic catechetical content of the Catechetical Certificate but in a once-weekly, one-semester format. It is also oriented to apologetics—explaining the faith to those with questions.
The course, in addition to the academic formation, featured a Day of Reflection, an overnight retreat, and monthly communal dinners. The The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization Certificate programs, like the degree programs, provide whole-person formation for the student’s mission in Christ. The formation is not only academic but also human, spiritual, and apostolic.
Students were enthusiastic about the course. “This has been a life changing experience,” said Jamie Deignan, a youth minister from Belmont. “It is the best way I can explain it. My love of the Church and her teachings has grown in comprehensibly, and my desire to attain sainthood is so much more real.”
Before the class, only 48% of the students “agreed” or “strongly agreed” that they felt comfortable presenting the Church’s teaching on sexuality. After the class, 96% (all but one student) “agreed” or “strongly agreed.” For other results, download the graphs here.
Drs. David and Angela Franks presented on the Master of Theological Studies on CatholicTV’s “This is the Day” on November 30, 2010. “This is the Day” is a live talk show airing every Tuesday and Friday morning on the CatholicTV channel and on www.CatholicTV.com. You can catch the show here: http://www.catholictv.com/Welcoming-Catholics.aspx The Franks appear about twenty minutes into the show.
The Franks are no strangers to CatholicTV, having hosted a show on marriage called “The Future Depends on Love” for two seasons in 2008 – 2009. View episodes of “The Future Depends on Love” here: http://www.catholictv.com/shows/episode-listing.aspx?seriesID=72 Both noted, however, that the live format of “This is the Day” was a new experience. “There was a definite energy and tension,” said Dr. David, “that’s absent when the show is not live.” The show reached a large audience of potential students, a fact verified by inquiries from as far away as Canada!
Dr. David Franks is the Vice President for Mission of the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization of Saint John’s Seminary. He also teaches Moral Theology, Catholic Social Doctrine, and Theological Anthropology for The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization’s degree programs and serves on the full-time faculty of Saint John’s Seminary. Dr. Angela Franks is the Director for Theology Programs of The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization and teaches Theology of the Body and the Doctrine of God.
Dr. Peter Kreeft, professor of philosophy at Boston College and renowned author, spoke to the Catholic Theology Certificate class on October 7, 2010. His presentation addressed “The Problem of Evil.”
Dr. Kreeft’s book, Handbook of Catholic Apologetics (co-written with Fr. Ronald Tacelli), is a required textbook for the Catholic Theology Certificate.
Three sections of the Catechetical Certificate are currently running during the 2010 – 2011 academic year, up from one section held during the inaugural year. Classes taught by The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization’s Drs. David and Angela Franks are meeting in Brighton and in Portland, Maine. The other section, meeting at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center in Braintree, is taught by Dr. J. Brian and Mrs. Janet Benestad. Dr. Benestad is a theology professor at the University of Scranton. Mrs. Benestad is the Secretary for Faith Formation and Evangelization for the Archdiocese .
“I have become more prayerful and have been making better choices as to how to spend my time since starting this program,” said Connie Rowe, attending at the Brighton site. “I am trying to be a better Christian and hopefully a better human being as a result of taking this class.”
Student Janis Gallagher also praised the course: “The paragraphs we have to write in this class are challenging, but really help prepare you for everyday life. I wish I had this class a long time ago. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the classes.” Gallagher is able to attend the class at a site in Caribou, Maine, some three hundred miles from the main site in Portland. This was possible through the video-conferencing capabilities of the Portland diocese and its Office of Life-Long Faith Formation , which invited Saint John’s Seminary to bring its Catechetical Certificate to Maine.
Dr. Angela Franks, Director of Theology Programs for The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization (including the Master of Theological Studies [link] and the Certificates [link]), published a chapter in Women, Sex, and the Church . The work was edited by Erika Bachiochi and published by Pauline Books and Media in the fall of 2010. Kimberly Hahn called it a “tour de force—highly recommended.” Dr. Franks contributed the chapter on contraception. The book is used for the Catholic Theology Certificate program on apologetics.