Saint John's Introduces New Program Name: The Theological Institute - Saint John's Seminary
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Saint John's Introduces New Program Name: The Theological Institute

August 31, 2023

Starting in September, lay alumni of Saint John’s Seminary will see a new title on seminary correspondence – or perhaps, a new, old title. With the new academic year, the Seminary will inaugurate the Theological Institute of Saint John’s Seminary to host its M.A.M. and M.T.S. degree programs.

For more than 20 years, these degree programs have prepared hundreds of lay students for careers in teaching, chaplaincy, or ecclesial ministry. Saint John’s opened its first lay degree program, the M.A.M., in the year 2000, under the leadership of Fr. Paul Ritt and Dr. Aldona Lingertat. In 2011, the M.T.S. degree program was established, and the combined programs were named the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization (TINE).

Alongside the degree programs, TINE also sponsored a catechetical certificate program, to serve all Catholics with an interest in learning more about the faith but no desire to pursue graduate study. In 2019, administration of the catechetical certificate program, and the TINE name, was transferred to the Archdiocese of Boston’s Secretariat for Evangelization. Saint John’s retained responsibility for the graduate degree programs.

This summer, both the certificate programs and the Theological Institute moniker will be returned to the Seminary. While the archdiocese has ably stewarded the Theological Institute as it has continued its important catechetical work, this administrative move promises to be fruitful for both Saint John’s, the Church in New England, and, of course, the Archdiocese of Boston.

Under the care of Saint John’s Seminary, the Theological Institute will find a new capacity to reach out to and engage the faithful from across New England, and not merely from the Boston area. It promises to strengthen the seminary’s graduate degree programs by exposing certificate students to the subject matter encountered in the M.A.M. and M.T.S. programs. And the transition will allow for a more efficient allocation of personnel across the archdiocese, since many certificate instructors are full-time members of the Seminary’s academic faculty.

This administrative change, in short, will streamline the ministries of catechesis and theological instruction within the seminary and Archdiocese, while leveraging Saint John’s regional connections to help The Theological Institute reach a larger and more diverse audience.