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Loyola's flexible online theology master's programs ranked top 20 in U.S.

Loyola press release - June 24, 2014

The Loyola University New Orleans Institute for Ministry, along with its extension program LIMEX, is nationally recognized as one of the top 20 online theology master’s programs in the U.S. The rankings were announced just last week by TheBestSchools.org, a leading resource for prospective students seeking a college or university degree. TheBestSchools.org singles out the Loyola Institute for Ministry’s Master of Pastoral Studies and Master of Religious Education degrees as offering flexible and convenient high-quality religious education options students can pursue from anywhere in the world.

Loyola’s online theology degree programs are nationally ranked by TheBestSchools.org based on several factors, including academic excellence, course offerings, accomplishment of faculty and reputation, including the university’s reputation of excellence for online degree programs. Loyola has offered its theology programs in a distance format for more than 25 years, giving it a long history and much experience in an otherwise young industry, according to TheBestSchools.org. The 36-credit hour online theology master’s degrees aim to develop students’ theological and ministerial capabilities through a blend of academic study, theological reflection on ministerial practice, and the student’s personal experiences as a person of faith.

Coming off last month’s honor from the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership, which recognized the Loyola Institute for Ministry for its exemplary contribution to the ministry of catechesis, the university’s online theology degrees are setting the standard as outstanding programs that offer lay people and ministers alike the opportunity to further enhance and enrich themselves and their community.

“Other factors that contributed to this recognition surely include the high number of graduates in leadership positions, the international character of our student body—we have students in 10 countries—our focus on the practical implications of our studies, and our commitment to exploring the contributions of digital media to ministry,” said Tom Ryan, Ph.D., director of the Loyola Institute for Ministry.

The Loyola Institute for Ministry’s Master of Religious Education degree caters to lay ministers working in a variety of religious education backgrounds, including diocesan and parish schools, to promote within their students a sense of identity, reverence and responsibility for life. Lay people working in parishes, schools and diocesan offices can pursue a Master of Pastoral Studies degree, which allows students to gain specific competencies in the focus area of their choice becoming more effective ministers and leaders.

A special online open house is scheduled for 8 p.m. Central time Tuesday, July 22. The online open house offers a flexible way to learn more about the nationally recognized online programs and the admissions process. It's free and open to the public.

For more information, contact James Shields in Loyola's Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5888.