Certificate in Theological Studies

Certificate in Theological Studies 2017/2018

On behalf of the Diocese of Ossory applications for the Certificate in Theological Studies Course is now commencing for 2017/2018


St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny

With the advent of Parish Pastoral Councils and the structured involvement of lay people in the life of the diocese, St Kieran’s College Kilkenny, as part of its mission of education and formation, wishes to offer, on behalf of the Catholic Diocese of Ossory, a programme of education for those involved in parish life.

St Patrick's Colletge Maynooth Ossory Adult Faith Development St Kieran's College NUIM

The Programme will be accredited by St Patrick’s College Maynooth as a Level 7 Certificate in Theological Studies (20 credit ECTS).The programme will be offered on the Kilkenny Campus of  NUI Maynooth, based at  St Kieran’s College. It will continue a tradition of education based on the values of the gospel, of both lay and clerical students, which began in 1782.

This course is intended for people with an interest in understanding the thinking behind the teachings of the church and the writings of scripture. It is, according to the students on the programme, both accessible to those new to theology and stimulating in its delivery and content. Those taking the course have learned about Old and New Testament scripture in a meaningful way and how it can be connected to their daily lives. Issues around how we live and should live our lives are addressed in an interesting and challenging way in Moral Theology. The Mass and the Sacraments take on a whole new meaning after completing an engaging module on liturgy and sacraments. The origins of church teaching in prayers such as the creed are traced through the teaching councils of the church over the centuries. Finally the course brings people through an exploration and discussion on the Church and our role in it.

The programme is informed by the teachings of Pope Francis and in that context it is a welcomed part of the overall move to greater participation in adult religious education in order to open the way for greater involvement in the local parish community.

This year there will be additional input, focusing the learning of the existing programme on parish leadership and participation in parish ministry. We will offer skills training in group facilitation, to help course participants to understand the basic principles behind working with groups. From the module on Church, there will be support around the area of parish pastoral councils and their formation. There will also be training to support those working with ministers of the Word through the development of greater insights into the way scripture is used across the year and in special liturgies. The liturgical module will focus its theory on helping participants to enhance the integrity of the celebration of the sacraments through a better understanding of liturgy. In this way course participants will be enabled to support those involved in both the ministry of the Word and ministry of the Eucharist.

While we hope that these additions will enhance the experience of participants and lead to the enrichment of ministry in parish, the course will also be of interest to those wishing to develop their own personal faith journey through greater insight and reflection.

Course Aims

  • To provide general theological education and formation in the main aspects of faith.
  • To provide the theological background needed for lay involvement and leadership roles at parish and diocesan level.

Specific Admission Requirements

  • Applicants under 23 must have achieved matriculation requirements.
  • Applicants over 23 are asked to submit a short piece of no more than 100 words on why they want to do this course.
  • Final selection will be based on a short interview.

Special requirements for progression to Certification

  • Attendance and participation (85% attendance mandatory).
  • Satisfactory completion of assignments.

Methods of Assessment

  • Written assignment will be completed at the end of each module.
  • The assignment will be decided by the staff member in charge of the module. Such an assignment could range from an essay, a reflective project or review, the completion of class assignments or a learning journal.

Course Duration

100 hours part-time over one academic year from September to May

Fee €450

For further information please contact the following:

Declan Murphy M.A. (Course Director)

Email: theology@ossory.ie or declanmurphy@ossory.ie

Telephone 056-7753624 or 087-9081470

Application Forms can be downloaded HERE

Closing date for applications: 22nd August 2017