Alumna Returns to Teach New Course in Ministry

October 15, 2015

For the first time, The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity will offer a Ministry of Pastoral Care elective this spring. The course will be taught by Mary Lou Carney, who earned a Master of Divinity degree from the School of Divinity in 2009. She is also a board certified chaplain.

According to Carney, this course is offered in response to a growing need "in both our Church and community for Roman Catholic laypersons to invest in theological formation to bring to light God’s love, mercy and peace to the vulnerable and suffering in this world."

The Ministry of Pastoral Care course is designed for theology students who seek to develop a basic understanding of the pastoral care needs of the poor, the sick, the suffering, and the dying. Students will examine and critique strategies for caring for those suffering from the effects of aging, memory loss/dementia, substance abuse, mental illness, homelessness, and those from diverse cultures and nationalities. Students will begin to demonstrate a healing presence in times of ministry as we explore critical issues regarding death and dying and learn skills to work with challenging patients and families. Finally, students will reflect on their own spirituality in light of a pastoral ministry vocational call as they explore the diverse opportunities and settings of pastoral ministry.

When Carney decided to pursue graduate theological formation, she was following a sincere desire to grow closer to God and to discern and live out God’s will in her life. Not only has the theological instruction and formation been foundational for her work as a chaplain, it has deepened her relationship with God in profound ways.

For those discerning a career in ministry, she offers this advice: "It is a privilege to be a pastoral minister and to walk with others during some of the most sacred times in their lives. Pastoral ministry is grace-filled and is a transformative vocation for those served as well as the pastoral ministers, families and friends."


For information on the full Spring 2016 course schedule, degree programs and application information, please contact Amy Burback, Graduate Admissions Counselor:

e-mail or (651) 962-5069