St Mary’s University, Twickenham has announced the expansion of its Diaconate Programme, increasing the reach of its foundation degree in Pastoral Ministry and postgraduate degree in Catholic Social Teaching.
Since 2008, St Mary’s has been linked to a number of Catholic dioceses in southern England and Wales in their formation programme for the permanent diaconate who study the Foundation Degree in Pastoral Ministry and the MA degree in Catholic Social Teaching at the University. These include Arundel and Brighton, Brentwood, Cardiff, East Anglia, Southwark, Westminster and the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
From September this will be expanded to include students from the eight Catholic dioceses of Scotland, and four students will be joining from the dioceses of Dunkeld, Galloway, Motherwell and Paisley.
The Bishop of Paisley, the Rt Revd John Keenan, who is the bishop responsible for the formation of deacons in Scotland, commented, “Scotland has benefitted from the ministry of permanent deacons in parishes across the country for the past generation. We now welcome this next step in the formation of deacons for the years ahead through partnership with Saint Mary’s and are looking forward to building closer relationships with the Church in England and Wales in the building up of our ministries and dioceses.”
The Vice Chancellor of St Mary’s, Anthony McClaran, added, “An important part of our mission as a Catholic university is direct educational service to the Church in support of ministry and evangelisation. We are delighted to be able to work with our friends and colleagues in Scotland’s dioceses in providing formation for those called to the permanent diaconate.”
For their first two years of formation students complete our Foundation degree in Pastoral Ministry, which gives a thorough grounding in the study of theology and the practice of pastoral ministry. After this they study at least part of the unique Master’s programme in Catholic Social Teaching, as deacons in the Catholic Church are expected to have a specialist knowledge of this branch of moral theology.