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Loyola Institute for Ministry receives national award for religious education

Loyola press release - May 12, 2014

The Loyola University New Orleans Institute for Ministry and its distance learning extension program, LIMEX, are together receiving the highest award from the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. The Catechetical Award recognizes the Loyola Institute for Ministry’s outstanding contribution to religious education and the success its graduates have had in becoming leaders in the church’s catechetical ministry locally and around the globe. An awards ceremony will take place during the organization’s annual meeting May 21 in St. Louis, Mo.

“What an honor for Loyola and the Loyola Institute for Ministry to receive this national recognition. We're only the fourth institutional recipient in the award’s 29-year history. It's an affirmation of the contribution that the Loyola Institute for Ministry and its graduates have made to the church and its catechetical ministry nationally,” said Tom Ryan, Ph.D., director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry.

Leland Nagel, executive director of National Conference for Catechetical Leadership, says the Loyola Institute for Ministry’s reputation is longstanding with its organization.

“The number one reason the Loyola Institute for Ministry is receiving this award is the number of people it has served who were able to get a good professional education and then moved into diocesan leadership to continue the good work,” Nagel said.

The Loyola Institute for Ministry's distance education program, LIMEX, allows people from all over the world and all walks of life to take advantage of its award-winning religious education. Ryan, along with faculty and Loyola Institute for Ministry students and graduates from New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Mississippi and Tennessee, recently visited seven LIMEX students who are inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. They spent time with the prisoners in conversation and prayer, followed by a mass.

“The Loyola Institute for Ministry’s efforts in continuing to provide people options without having to move or spend a summer away on campus is critical in terms of their willingness to respond to needs of people in the catechetical field,” Nagel said.

Ryan and the Loyola Institute for Ministry also offer numerous free opportunities to the public, cosponsoring the Spirituality in the City Series, which brings in local leaders to initiate conversations about their spiritual traditions, as well as webinars and Taizé community prayer services.

The National Conference for Catechetical Leadership has been a leader in Catholic religious education in the U.S. since 1967. It is dedicated to bringing the teaching ministry of Jesus to every Catholic child, youth and adult.