Certificate in Lay Ecclesial Leadership

The Graduate Certificate in Lay Ecclesial Leadership empowers laypersons to effectively meet the ministerial needs of their parish by providing a unique integration of theological understanding, professional formation, and practical application of skills.  The certificate requires a minimum of three courses, which are delivered online and can be completed within the space of a single calendar year.  Two of these courses are fixed; the third is an elective chosen in consulation with the applicant's pastor or parish leader to reflect the specific needs of the parish which they will be serving.  Every course is accompanied by two, practically-oriented, 4-hour workshops facilitated by a successful lay ecclesial minister in an area of pertinence to the applicant's own ministry.  This program provides parishes with an efficient, cost-effective means of forming laypeople to support the life of the Church.

If more coursework is desired over and above the three required courses, students may take up to two additional graduate theology courses.  (For example, if a pastor wanted a catechist to deepen their knowledge of Scripture, they could supplement the three required courses with THEO 682 and THEO 683.)  If, upon completion of the certificate, a student is interested in continuing in our MA program, the courses taken through the certificate may count toward fulfillment of their MA requirements.

Admission Requirements

  • Official transcript(s) of undergraduate and any graduate study sent directly from the applicant's college(s) to Walsh University Admissions Office.

  • Written endorsement by the applicant's pastor or parish leader, clarifying the need that is to be met by the applicant's participation in the certificate program.

  • Affidavit of good moral character.

  • Interview with the Program Director.

  • Evidence of proficiency in written English.  Student will be required to produce a writing proficiency sample.

  • Minimum 3.0 grade point average at the undergraduate level (4.0 scale).

    • An applicant with a grade point average below 3.0 may, with the Program Director's permission, be granted conditional acceptance.  To convert conditional acceptance to full acceptance, the applicant must earn at least a "B" in their courses.  They may take a maximum of two courses (6 credit hours) as a conditionally accepted applicant.  A conditionally accepted applicant who earns a "B-" who wishes to continue in the program must develop a remediation plan in consultation with the Program Director.  A conditionally accepted applicant who earns less than a "B-" will not be allowed to continue in the program.

THEO 676Lay Ecclesial Leadership3
THEO Elective (see below)3
THEO 681Ecclesiology3
Elective Course Options
Psychology of Learning
Teaching and Learning
Not-For-Profit Accounting
Services Marketing
Parish Administration
Total Hours9