Lay Formation Programs Study

Take the Survey

The Second Vatican Council declared that, without the ministry of the laity “the apostolate of pastors is unable to achieve its full effectiveness.” As the Church in New England faces a well-known shortage of priests, we see how true this is: despite their devotion, the demands of sacramental ministry, pastoral care, and administration are too heavy for parish priests to bear alone. Twenty years ago, Saint John’s Seminary admitted its first Lay Formation students in order to meet that need. A generation later, the need for lay ministry has intensified and lay formation must develop to meet it. In New England, Saint John’s will be at the forefront of that effort.

Preparing lay ministers to serve the Church means that we need to understand their responsibilities in the Church, their professional needs, and obstacles to pursuing further training. Saint John’s seeks feedback from clergy and laity across New England to answer those questions. We have prepared a short, 10-minute survey that will allow priests, religious, and laity to evaluate the needs and effectiveness of lay ministers in parishes and other organizations. This small investment of your time is crucial to our work of forming disciples and proclaiming Jesus Christ in the 21st Century. We ask you to support us in this way as we prepare men and women to serve future generations.

Take the Survey

Saint John’s Seminary is conducting a study in support of its graduate programs for Lay Ecclesial Ministers: the Master of Theological Studies for the New Evangelization (MTS) and the Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM).

The first phase will:

  • Analyze the impact of the two programs over their first twenty years
  • Determine the strengths of the programs, and how each may be improved
  • Propose changes that will respond to the future needs of dioceses, parishes, and other institutions across the region.

We are sending this survey to ordained clergy, graduates of the programs, and those working in lay ministry in parishes and other institutions regardless of their previous training.

Please take a few moments to complete the survey, and please note that after the sixth question there is a division between clergy and lay minister sections in order to provide more specific responses from each group.

The second phase of the study will be a series of focus groups, conducted during mid-November. To broaden the opportunity for participation in these sessions, there will be an option to join electronically. If you are willing to be a member of one of these groups, there is space at the end of the survey to enter your contact information. We hope you will consider helping us in this way.

Saint John’s Seminary’s goal is to continue providing excellent programs that will prepare graduates to work effectively with ordained clergy in the service of God’s people as joyful disciples of the Lord. Your participation in this study is an important first step.