The Pre-Ministry Track
Choosing a Track and Major
Pre-ministry students must choose a major (pre-ministry is not a major). What major the students choose will depend upon which pre-ministry track or path students decide is right for them. Students choose from the preferred admission/advanced standing track, the alternative track, and (for Catholic students) the Catholic ministry track.
Preferred Admission/Advanced Standing Track
- In this track, students take a religion major, with special focus on biblical and theological study, and complete a New Testament Greek minor.
- This is the recommended course of study for students seeking preference in admission and scholarship aid at the seminary of their choice. Moreover, religion majors with a strong focus on theological and biblical language study regularly enter seminary with advanced standing, up to one-quarter of the total credits needed for completion of the degree, allowing them either to shorten the length of time needed to complete their program or to take more advanced courses (Association of Theological Schools, Educational Standards 7.4.1-3).
- Students also complete two religion internships, meet at least twice each semester with their ministry mentor, and meet at least once a semester with the pre-ministry advisor.
- For students in the preferred admission/advanced standing track, the pre-ministry advisor also serves as their major advisor.
- This track is a good choice for students envisioning a vocation in ministry outside the mold of traditional pastoral ministry. It is also an excellent choice for students considering the ministry but also weighing other career options.
- In this track, students choose a major in any field. Majors in the humanities, such as archaeology, anthropology, art history, classical studies, economics, English, ethics and social change, foreign language, history, international studies, music, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, sociology, or creative writing, are especially recommended.
- With the guidance and help of the pre-ministry advisor, students choose a minor and/or other courses outside their major that contribute to their ministerial formation.
- In addition, students complete at least one internship, meet at least twice per semester with their ministry mentor, and at least once a semester with the pre-ministry advisor.
Catholic Ministry Track
- This track is intended for students discerning a vocation to the priesthood, as well as students intending to pursue a masters in theology leading to certification as a lay ecclesial minister, such as director of religious education, catechist, director of worship and liturgy, pastoral associate, or lay hospital chaplain.
- Students discerning a vocation to the priesthood: The preparation of these students is under the care of their diocesan vocations director. The student, the vocations director, and the pre-ministry advisor work closely together to map out an individualized plan of study offering optimal preparation to enter, in some cases with advanced standing, a graduate program in pre-theology. Areas of study offered at the University of Evansville that may provide particularly helpful preparation include coursework in biblical and early church study, philosophy, religion, ethics, communication, and especially Greek and Latin. “A knowledge of Latin and the biblical languages is foundational and should be given the emphasis that church teaching accords it” (Program of Priestly Formation, 5th ed., p. 189).
- Students following a path to lay ecclesial ministry: These students work in close contact with the director of their diocesan Office of Catechesis and with the pre-ministry advisor to plan an individualized course of study oriented to their specific goals for graduate education and for ministry.
General Education and Electives
The student and the pre-ministry advisor consult together to choose general education offerings and elective courses that contribute to the student’s academic and vocational formation. This may include coursework in the humanities, especially literature and the arts, as well as courses in public speaking, communication, management, and counseling.
The pre-ministry advisor and the student work as a team to plan the best course of study to meet the student’s specific vocational goals. All pre-ministry students should meet with both their academic advisor in their major department and with the pre-ministry advisor at least once each semester.