Master of Arts: Leadership for the New Evangelization

The MA in Leadership for the New Evangelization provides Catholics seeking to serve the Church through ecclesial lay leadership comprehensive theological, spiritual, pastoral and human formation to equip them to meet the needs and challenges of the authentic implementation of New Evangelization in the life of the Church. Students benefit not only from the guidance of the Institute’s experienced faculty, but also participate in specific practicum experiences in a school, parish, or apostolate in Denver guided by seasoned mentors in the field.

This unique formation is centered around four pillars of formation that provides a comprehensive formation for lay leaders to meet the unique needs and challenges of the New Evangelization so that the truth of Jesus Christ will be able to reach the minds and hearts of modern men and women through the following formational goals:

1. Theological Formation:

Students will receive a faithful and rigorous theological formation that is grounded in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the Church Fathers, the lives and witnesses of the saints, the Second Vatican Council and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This dynamic theological formation grounds the students in the great theological tradition of the Church with an eye towards the authentic implementation of the New Evangelization in the life of the Church.

2. Spiritual Formation:

Through course material, seminar and practicum experiences, students will receive a vibrant spiritual formation that will not only enrich their own personal encounter with Christ and His Church, but also a unique spiritual formation that will prepare them for the challenges and spiritual realities of lay ecclesial service.

3. Pastoral and Catechetical Formation:

Grounded in the pastoral vision of the Second Vatican Council, students will receive an authentic and balanced pastoral and catechetical formation that will equip them to effectively hand on the truth of Jesus Christ in this time of the New Evangelization. This formation is centered around sound principles of pastoral care and key methods of the authentic catechetical renewal particularly envisioned and articulated by the documents of Vatican II, the writings of St. John Paul II, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

4. Human Formation:

Through coursework, seminars and practicum experiences, students will also receive practical and essential human formation that will give them the tools and skills to be effective leaders for the New Evangelization. These crucial skills include the key moral virtues for lay ecclesial leadership, communication and management skills, an appropriate awareness and understanding of ecclesial life and structures, and interpersonal skills related to ecclesial life and service.

Student testimonial

"After working as a Diocesan Respect Life Coordinator for five years, the Lord called me to apply to the Augustine Institute. I was drawn to the MA in Leadership for the New Evangelization because my mission for the 5 years of diocesan work was rooted in the New Evangelization: to re-propose the Gospel of Life to those who have forgotten it. Not only have I grown intellectually through this program, but also professionally. There have been many opportunities to gain experience in other apostolates through the practicum component, which has helped me discern what apostolate the Lord is calling me to after graduation."
- Mary Catherine Damon

Course Requirements

12 academic courses at 3 credit hours each
4 credit hours (1 per semester for 4 semesters) of Leadership Seminar & Practicum
Supervised internship at a school, parish, or apostolate, 4-6 hours/week

Core Courses

SCRP 501 Salvation History
This course helps students to understand the unity of God’s plan of salvation from Creation to the Second Coming. By a thorough overview of the Old and New Testaments, this course introduces Catholic exegetical approaches and theological interpretation, aiding students in reading Scripture as the word of God. Students engage some comparative primary texts and grapple with historiographical questions that help them to demonstrate the reliability of the Bible. With a special focus on the themes of covenant and mission, the course illustrates how Jesus fulfills God’s promises and how he invites his followers to share in his work of evangelization.
3 Credit Hours

THEO 502 The Creed: The Trinity, Christ, and the Church
This course presents a synthetic summary of the symbolum fidei, the Christian Creed, with particular reference to its effective presentation in catechesis. The presentation follows that of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, making reference to other statements in minor creeds and magisterial documents, with particular emphasis given to the relevant portions of the Summa Theologiaeof St. Thomas Aquinas. Throughout the course, the unity and coherence of the fides quae (i.e. “the faith which is believed”) are stressed. In addition to the Catechism, two classic explorations of Catholic doctrine are considered: Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, and Sheed, Theology and Sanity.
3 Credit Hours

SCRP 502 Jesus and the Gospels
Among all the books of the Bible, the Gospels have “a special preeminence,” according to the Second Vatican Council, “for they are the principal witness for the life and teaching of the incarnate Word” (Dei Verbum, 18). This course examines Jesus’ life and mission in light of the Synoptic Gospels and the Gospel of John. Students engage insights from historical research into the life of Jesus and the world of first-century Judaism as well as gain a deeper understanding of the Gospels as narrative. In addition, the Gospels are also studied for their perennial theological and spiritual significance.
3 Credit Hours

THEO 503 Mystagogy: Liturgy and the Sacraments
Mystagogy is the ancient practice of learning to “see” the invisible Mystery made present in the visible signs of the sacraments. In this course, the Catechismand other sources of mystagogical practice serve as guides for a deeper knowledge of the plan of God made present in these wonderful gifts. After a theological and liturgical study of Christian worship, we gaze into each of the seven sacramental mysteries, learning to decode the signs they employ to dispose us better to receive what they reveal and communicate. In addition to the Catechism, texts considered include Ratzinger, Spirit of the Liturgy, and Corbon, Wellsprings of Worship.
3 Credit Hours

THEO 504 Moral and Spiritual Theology
Through an investigation of human personhood and the vocation to love and beatitude, this course helps students to understand moral action and the habits of character it establishes. Students examine the Biblical foundation of Catholic moral teaching with particular attention given to the Sermon on the Mount, the new life realized in us by the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the virtues of Christian living. The course treats the dynamics of the moral law, sin, repentance, and grace, as well as prayer and the stages of the spiritual life. In addition to the Catechismand the Summa Theologiae, texts considered include: Pinckaers, The Sources of Christian Ethics, and Garrigou-Lagrange, The Three Conversions of the Spiritual Life.
3 Credit Hours

THNE 501 Theology of the New Evangelization
This course examines the magisterial texts from Vatican II and the post-Conciliar pontificates in view of identifying the theological principles of the New Evangelization. Analysis of these principles focuses on: the Church’s missionary nature; holiness as the source and goal of evangelization; conversion as the condition for evangelization; and witness as the primary mode of evangelization. The course includes some pastoral indications based on these principles. Key texts include: Gaudium et spes, Ecclesiam Suam, Evangelii nuntiandi, Redemptoris missio, Tertio millennio adveniente, Ubicumque et semper, Porta fidei, and the documents of the Synod on the New Evangelization.
3 Credit Hours

Core Courses

THNE 601 Discipleship and the Christian Life
This course will investigate the history of discipleship, looking back to Scriptural times and the early Church to explore the foundations of a discipleship model as the cornerstone to effective evangelization and formation. There will be a treatment of the overall process of conversion and the unique stages of spiritual development involved, culminating in the practical arena by evaluating current ministry models to identify key earmarks of discipleship and formulating new methodologies in the practical implementation of a discipleship approach. Key texts include: Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi; Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium; John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio; and Eims, The Lost Art of Disciple Making.
3 Credit Hours

THNE 602 Catechesis for the New Evangelization
This course investigates the principles articulated by the Magisterium of the Church to govern and guide the practice of evangelization and catechesis—particularly as found in John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Catechesi tradendae—and explores the various methods used to implement these directives for the sake of the New Evangelization. The content and arrangement of the Catechism of the Catholic Church will be proposed as a synthesis of past catechetical practice and a sure norm for teaching the faith in the present and the future. Attention will also be given to pedagogical methods and the pastoral strategies needed for the effective evangelization of adults, youth, and children in our current cultural setting.
3 Credit Hours

THNE 603 Pastoral Care and Ecclesial Life
This course explores the theological foundations for pastoral care in light of the universal call to holiness issued by the Second Vatican Council. It also considers the Council’s proper interpretation and implementation by the Magisterium down to the present day, with particular focus on John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation on the vocation of the laity, Christifidelis laici. The course treats ecclesial life and service, including the history and present reality of lay leadership in the Church, diocesan and parish structures, the practical application of canon and civil law as it relates to leadership in the Church, and also the special pastoral challenges posed by today’s secular culture.
3 Credit Hours

THNE 502 Leadership for the New Evangelization
This course transmits the leadership skills necessary to be effective “ambassadors for Christ” (II Cor 5:20), who can, in turn, form others in the faith. These skills include the ability to speak, to write, and to lead. Students study skills for collaborative work, goal setting and achievement, group dynamics, and leadership theory. Students are also expected to demonstrate a graduate-level mastery of written and oral communication for leadership in apostolic work. Key texts include: Phelps, The Catholic Vision for Leading Like Jesus; Havard, Virtuous Leadership.
3 Credit Hours

THNE 500 Leadership Seminar and Practicum
Students will meet for a one-hour leadership seminar each week of their two years in the program. This seminar is the locus for the program’s effort in formation for lay ecclesial service and will serve to coordinate and consolidate both the individual mentoring of faculty advisors and also the students’ off-campus supervised internship work. Weekly meetings may be devoted to the discussion of a text read in common, a lecture by an Institute faculty member or guest speaker, or the periodic discussion of internship experiences.

Two Elective Courses*

*A variety of elective topics cycle through the curriculum each year. The electives shown below are examples of courses that have been taught or are going to be taught at the Augustine Institute.

  • Senior Thesis
  • Advanced Topics in Sacred Scripture
  • Peter, Paul, and the Origins of the Church
  • Mariology
  • Nature and God
  • The Challenge of Secularism
  • Catholic Social Doctrine
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