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LIM receives grant to translate coursework into Spanish

June 4, 2010

The Loyola University New Orleans Institute for Ministry received a $106,000 grant from an anonymous donor to fund the translation and inculturation of four certificate courses into Spanish. This will enable Loyola to offer its graduate certificate in theology and ministry to Spanish-speaking adults.

LIM undertook the translation project in response to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' “National Pastoral Plan for Hispanic Ministry,” which addresses the needs of Spanish-speaking Catholics. Hispanics account for one third of the Catholics in the U.S., but nearly one in five have converted to another denomination or lost their faith altogether, according to a recent study by the Pew Hispanic Center.

This grant will help LIM assess and enhance education of pastoral leaders in national and international areas that have little access to such graduate-level programming and limited support ministries for Spanish-speaking Catholics. LIM offered certification training for seven bilingual facilitators in January 2010 is currently piloting the Spanish-language “Introduction to Practical Theology.” In fall 2010, it will pilot the second course “Jewish Roots of Christian Faith.”

LIM will use portions of the grant to convene a one-day meeting to assess the success of the pilot courses and hire consultants credentialed in Hispanic theology and biblical studies to infuse course materials with bibliography, illustrations and church documents drawn from Hispanic contexts. LIM will also hire a bilingual coordinator with a master's degree in theology to work to organize the program for two years.

Tom Ryan, Ph.D., director of LIM, said the grant will help the Catholic church captivate one of its most significant populations.

“We have always offered our distance-learning programs in areas underserved by Catholic colleges and universities,” Ryan said. “This generous grant gives us an opportunity to serve a group, Spanish-speaking Catholics, who have been similarly underserved and who are so important to the Church in the U.S.”

Housed in the College of Social Sciences, LIM prepares women and men for religious education and ministerial leadership in Catholic and other religious communities through professional graduate education and through professional continuing education. It has pioneered distance education through its unique extension model in the United States and abroad since 1983 and is one of the largest ministry formation programs in the country with nearly 3,000 graduates.

For more information about LIM and its extension program, visit www.lim.loyno.edu and www.lim.loyno.edu/extension.

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