I work full time and still have children at home. How do I fit this in?
Most of our participants work full or part time and have family obligations in addition to parish and volunteer commitments. The program is designed for busy adult learners. Certificate classes meet on Saturday morning and afternoon at satellite locations and Tuesday evening and Saturday morning at the main campus. MAPM classes meet on weeknight evenings and Saturday morning.
I haven't been in school in years.
Will I be able to keep up?
While academic abilities vary, our 750 graduates attest to the fact that the program is "do-able" for almost everyone. Our outstanding faculty is accustomed to working with adult learners and pace their classes, assignments and lectures accordingly. In addition, remember that you are in good company! Your fellow students are in the same situation and you will have a lot of support and encouragement. If you are a parent, a commitment to your own education, homework assignments and class attendance will set a good example for your children.
I confess…I wasn't always the best student. What if I fail?
Our experience shows that past academic achievement (or lack thereof!) has no bearing on student success in the LPMP. You are a different person now than you were when you were 18 and you will be studying something of vital importance in your life. In addition, there is a great support system in place. Mentors, advisors, teachers and fellow students are all available for encouragement and help.
Money is tight, and I help support my elderly parents. Is there any financial aid available?
The Athenaeum has a limited amount of financial aid available for students fully admitted to the program. Those applications are available in June and are due in early July. A copy of your tax return is required. In addition, we encourage participants to inquire about the possibility of support from their parish or civic organizations. Catechists may qualify for scholarships from the Archdiocesan Gabrielle Bouscaren fund. Call the Office of Evangelization and Catechesis at 513-421-3131 for more information. Since students can pay for each quarter as they progress through the program, most participants find their tuition expenses will fit into a careful budget.
I am discerning a call to the permanent diaconate. How does that fit with the LPMP? Which program option is the best choice?
The full MAPM, the Graduate Certificate and the Non-degreed Certificate Option all meet the prerequisites for application to permanent diaconate formation and men have entered deacon formation from each option. If a man is also preparing to serve as a DRE, Pastoral Administrator, High School religion teacher or professional staff member, the MAPM or Graduate Certificate is highly recommended. Typically, application for the permanent diaconate is initiated 12 to 18 months prior to the start of a new diaconate formation cycle. Applicants to the permanent diaconate must complete the Tribunal Training class (an elective in the Certificate option) and undertake Field Education in an area of social justice. All graduation requirements MUST be completed by August 15th of the year beginning permanent diaconate formation. Men will be withdrawn from diaconate formation or their entry deferred due to incomplete LPMP work. For specific questions about the permanent diaconate, the application process and possible impediments to ordination, call Mr. Barry Mersmann, Director of the Office of Permanent Diaconate, 513-421-3131.
What do people "do" with the LPMP degree or Certificate?
LPMP graduates serve the Church and their communities in a variety of ways: as parish staff members and volunteers at all levels, as teachers in Catholic schools, as permanent deacons, in hospitals, hospices and nursing homes as staff members or volunteers, as jail or prison chaplains, in non-profit agencies as staff members or volunteers, and as well-educated parents, neighbors and co-workers. They become informed and passionate witnesses serving their families, communities and workplaces more effectively.
Are we guaranteed a job in a parish or non-profit agency when we graduate?
No lay formation school or course of study can guarantee you a job, and you should be wary of programs that make such an offer. Some of our graduates serve the Archdiocese in staff level positions in parishes, schools and non-profit agencies, while many others choose to use their education for personal enrichment and to bring Catholic values to the marketplace and boardroom. The education you receive at the Athenaeum will enhance your resume and your chances for employment, but hiring for specific positions will depend on a variety of factors including experience, skills, educational background, aptitude and inter-personal skills.
I'm going to be _____years old when I finish the program! Am I too old for this?
You will eventually be ____years old, no matter what! The question is not whether you will grow older, but whether you will grow in faith, knowledge and skills along the way. The program is transformative. Although the commitment is real, the time you spend in the program goes by quickly. It is an investment that pays rich dividends no matter what your age. In recent years, our youngest participant was 25 and our oldest was 80—both had great, but very different, experiences.
How long will it take to complete the program?
Taking two classes per quarter (considered full-time for LPMP students), you may complete the MAPM in three years and both of the Certificate Options (graduate and non-degreed) in two years. Some students choose to take fewer classes per year due to finances, family or career commitments. This is your choice. It is expected that students will complete the academic requirements in five years. Students may petition for an extension to complete the program in 10 years.
Can I take classes without being admitted to the program?
I just want to see if I like it. While people are welcome to enroll in classes without being admitted to the program, the course work is most effective when paired with mentoring, academic advising and the practical skills gained through Field Education and the Project in Ministry. These help insure that the four pillars of formation (intellectual, spiritual, human and pastoral) work together effectively. We do not encourage people to take more than one or two classes prior to initiating the application process, since the formation pieces are integral to the learning.