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Elms College offers an advanced certificate in theology and pastoral studies (ACTPS). Candidates enroll in the certificate program for ITPS units or college credits. Each institute course is offered for three (3) academic credits or twelve (12) institute units. Candidates decide at the beginning of each course whether to register for ITPS units or college credits. Since course requirements for Master of Arts in Applied Theology candidates and ITPS certificate candidates significantly differ, academic credit may not be granted retroactively for courses originally taken for ITPS units. This certificate program when taken for graduate credit can be transferred into the Master of Arts in Applied Theology degree program. ACTPS candidates matriculate with guidance and support of the Master of Arts in Applied Theology director.

Practicum and Internship

Certification as a lay ecclesial minister requires two additional courses – a practicum in a specific area of ministry and a supervised internship through the appropriate diocesan office, although in some cases this may be delegated to Elms College. The 11 academic courses offered through Elms College Institute of Theology and Pastoral Studies provide only an Elms College certificate, not certification as a lay ecclesial minister. Certification in two areas of ministry would require two practicum courses, but one supervised internship may possibly be negotiated with those responsible for overseeing the specific areas of ministry.


Click to view course requirements for the Advanced Certificate in Theology and Pastoral Studies (ACTPS).

Required Credits

33 credits or 132 ITPS units