Loyola Institute for Ministry Overview

Loyola Institute for Ministry (LIM) Homepage

Faculty & Staff

The Loyola Institute for Ministry’s (LIM) programs offer a master’s degree in religious education (M.R.E.), a master’s degree in pastoral studies (M.P.S.), a graduate certificate in theology and ministry, and a post-master’s certificate in pastoral studies in three formats, (1) on campus, (2) online, and (3) at extension sites in cooperation with a local sponsoring agency. The institute also serves the continuing education needs of adults by offering a certificate in religious education (C.R.E.), a certificate in pastoral studies (C.P.S.), a continuing education certificate in theology and ministry, and an advanced continuing education certificate in pastoral studies. Dual master’s degrees are offered on campus in pastoral studies with counseling, criminal justice, and business administration.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements include:

  1. A formal completed application. Students may apply online or send their application by postal service directly to the LIM admissions office. Prospective students can view the application process on the LIM website.
  2. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum 2.5 GPA for all degree-seeking students.
  3. For degree-seeking students, submission of official transcripts from the college or university that awarded the applicant’s bachelor’s degree, plus any coursework taken beyond the bachelor’s degree. Transcripts are mailed directly from the academic institution and may not be submitted online.
  4. A three-page statement of educational purpose tailored to the individual program. Read the instructions for the statement: 
    • Online Program Statement of Educational Purpose
    • Extension Program Statement of Educational Purpose
    • On-Campus Program Statement of Educational Purpose

  5. Two recommendations (on forms supplied by the institute) attesting to student’s capability for graduate study. Applicants can supply the contact information of their recommenders in their online application to have an online form directly sent to the recommender. A completed online recommendation will be sent to the LIM admissions office.
  6. $20 nonrefundable application fee. This fee is waived for applicants who apply online.
  7. For extension students, a notification of application form (supplied by Loyola) should be sent directly to the sponsoring agency. This form is generated automatically and sent electronically if an applicant applies online and selects the appropriate diocese/sponsoring agency.
  8. All materials should be submitted online or sent directly to the LIM office two months prior to the start of the student’s first course or semester. This allows time for transcripts and other supporting documents to reach the LIM admissions office and subsequently for the admissions committee to come to an admission decision. (International extension students not applying online have their materials sent directly to their administrative liaison at their sponsoring agency.) Late applications are accepted, but such applicants may only be admitted to their first LIM course as transient students. All admissions requirements must be fulfilled in order for a student to be enrolled in their second course or semester.

See specific admissions requirements by program.

Admission to Candidacy

The Institute offers courses of instruction leading to the degrees of Master of Religious Education and Master of Pastoral Studies for properly qualified students who have been admitted to degree candidacy. To apply for candidacy the student must file a formal petition to the Institute’s Graduate Studies Committee on the basis of items listed below.  (Extension and online program students complete the petition as part of the discernment process.)

  1. Not less than 12 credit hours or more than 15 credit hours in the institute’s graduate courses with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. For on-campus and online students, of these hours at least six must consist of core courses, including Introduction to Practical Theology.
  2. Students must evidence responsible and competent participation in the learning process.
  3. Currently registered for credit at Loyola. Prospective students can view the application process on the LIM website.
  4. Degree candidates will be notified and such notification will become part of their permanent records. Students not admitted to candidacy will be informed of their deficiency. Removal of such deficiency under the direction of the student’s adviser must take place upon completion of 15 credit hours. The student must then reapply for degree candidacy.

Course Requirements

The candidate must complete a total of at least 36 credit hours of graduate work including the work earned prior to his or her admission to degree candidacy. A course in which the student has earned a grade of less than a C cannot be counted toward the completion of the credit hour requirement for graduation, but will be used in determining the student’s grade point average.

Academic Probation

In order to remain in good standing, a graduate student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in Loyola University graduate coursework. A student who earns below a C in a graduate course, or whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0, will be placed on academic probation. Students admitted under the conditional status are admitted on academic probation and will be notified of their probationary status in their letter of admission. Graduate Grading Scale

A student on probation has six hours or two semesters (whichever comes first) to remove the academic deficiency. If the deficiency is not removed in the allotted time, the student will be excluded from the program as a graduate student.

  1. Upon receipt of course grade transcripts from the Office of Student Records, the Institute will notify students who have been placed on academic probation.
  2. Conditionally admitted students who do not remove their academic deficiency in the allotted time will be excluded from the university as a graduate student.
  3. A probationary student who fails to make up his or her academic deficiency in the six hours or two semesters will be excluded from the university as a graduate student.

Change of Academic Status

Students may change from graduate status in the program to continuing education status by written request. Continuing education students may apply to the LIM admissions office for graduate status, subject to the standard graduate admissions requirements. Either change of status must occur only between courses or semesters. Students have the option of changing their status only once during their course of study.

Academic Advisement

Upon admission, all LIM degree students are assigned an academic advisor, who is a full-time faculty member.

On-campus students consult with an academic advisor in planning his or her full program of graduate courses. The student should meet each semester with his or her advisor,

Extension students may contact their academic advisor at any time. Instructors of record are also available for consultation on academic concerns. Because extension students are often working full time and live at a distance or in various time zones, they are encouraged to email the IOR or their academic advisors when possible to set up individual phone and/or video conferences.  Extension students are required to participate in a three-session discernment process before selecting a focus area.

Online students may contact their academic advisor at any time. Because online students are often working full time, and live at a distance or in various time zones, they are encouraged to email their academic advisors to set up individual phone and/or video conferences with their advisors. Online students participate in an online discernment process and with their academic advisors before selecting a focus area.

Transfer Credit

On-campus and online students in accord with the university’s graduate transfer credit policy (outlined below) are allowed to transfer between six and nine hours of credit for graduate coursework done in theology, religion, religious education, or pastoral ministry studies from an accredited institution. Because of the extension program’s unique educational methodology and sequential curriculum format, extension students are allowed to transfer up to six hours of of Loyola-approved graduate coursework in lieu of focus area courses.The learning from the transferred courses is to be integrated into the student’s capstone pastoral/educational praxis course (Course Ten). Graduate Studies must approve transfer credit in advance. Students are to send the request to Graduate Studies along with original transcripts and a 3 to 5 page rationale for the request.

If you wish to transfer credit earned at Loyola to another educational institution, you should contact that institution to determine if the institution will accept credits earned at Loyola University New Orleans prior to executing an enrollment contract or agreement.

Transfer of Graduate Academic Credit For Students Without A Graduate Degree
On-campus and online students who have earned academic credit at another accredited college or university (including Loyola University New Orleans) may be allowed to transfer a maximum of six (6) credit hours with a minimum grade of 'B' and with the approval of the departmental chair and/or dean of the college. Transfer credit will be awarded only as earned hours. Transfer of credits earned more than five years prior to enrollment will ordinarily not be considered.

Transfer of Graduate Academic Credit For Students With A Graduate Degree 
Students who have earned academic credit at another accredited college or university (including Loyola University New Orleans) may be allowed to transfer a maximum of nine (9) credit hours with a minimum grade of 'B' and with the approval of the departmental chair and/or dean of the college. Each degree program has certain restrictions concerning acceptance of courses completed at other institutions. Transfer credit will be awarded only as earned hours. Transfer of credits earned more than five years prior to enrollment will ordinarily not be considered.

Transfer students will be informed of the amount of credit which will transfer prior to their enrollment, if possible, but at the latest, prior to the end of the first academic term in which they are enrolled.

In any case of a transfer, original transcripts must be presented along with a request to the Graduate Studies Committee. For transfer credit in areas other than those mentioned, it is incumbent upon students to justify a clear and systematic relevance of the work to their LIM degree program. A request must be made to the Graduate Studies Committee, along with a 3 – 5 page rationale. If the transfer is accepted, the learning from the transferred courses is to be integrated into the student’s Pastoral/Educational Praxis course.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Persons who participate under the continuing education status are persons who have extensive ministry experience, often in diocesan, school, or parish leadership positions, and have the ability to do the graduate-level reading. Some CEU students lack the required bachelor’s degree to enroll for the graduate degree, while others already have graduate credentials and do not wish to earn another graduate degree. Persons who register as CEU students will receive continuing education units as defined by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. CEUs are recorded on a Loyola CEU transcript and kept in the permanent records of the university.

Continuing education credit is determined by class attendance, competent participation in the learning group or on-campus course, completion of reading assignments, and other activities necessary for participation in those sessions. Three CEUs are granted for each course in the extension program. On campus, one credit hour equals one CEU. Focus courses require CEU students to submit written responses to reflection questions. All CEU students who complete the extension or on-campus program receive a continuing education certificate in religious education or pastoral studies.

Financial Aid

Please view the LIM Financial Aid and Tuition page for detailed information about aid for each of the LIM programs.

Programs of Study

Degree Programs (Offered On-Campus, at Extension Sites, and Online)

Dual Degree Programs (Offered On-Campus Only)

Certificate Programs (Offered On-Campus, at Extension Sites, and Online) 

Advanced-Level Certificates

Loyola Pastoral Life Center (LPLC) Specialized Certificates

 Policies and Procedures

Course Descriptions

Loyola Institute for Ministry Graduate Course Descriptions