In one week, Catholic bishops and diocesan delegates from around the country will convene in Orlando, Florida, for a historic Convocation of Catholic Leaders. Motivated by Pope Francis’s call to missionary discipleship in Evangelii Gaudium, the gathering aims to assess the landscape of the Church in the United States and hold a collaborative brainstorm for new means of evangelization in the Church today. Saint Joseph’s College Online Theology Program will be there to offer dioceses educational support and opportunities to form the faithful as they embark on this new adventure.

The Saint Joseph’s College Online Theology Program develops beneficial relationships with a variety of organizations to meet the educational needs of their employees and associates. This online program partners with Catholic dioceses and institutions, offering doctrinal and pastoral formation that is both accessible and affordable. Partners receive discounted tuition and application fee waivers, ongoing assessment of educational needs and assistance in addressing institutional challenges, and development of customized educational programs to meet the specific needs of the diocese. An educational partnership with the Saint Joseph’s College Online Theology Program is non-exclusive, allowing dioceses to maintain already established relationships with other institutions.

Saint Joseph’s College has intentionally created online programs that address the ministerial needs of the Church today, from catechist formation through post-graduate continuing formation, and is excited to collaborate with participants of the Convocation of Catholic Leaders on new ways to empower those in ministry. All faculty receive the mandatum from the local bishop of the Diocese of Portland, as Saint Joseph’s College is committed to offering programs that are faithful to the Magisterium. Optional on-campus opportunities during the summer and study-away programs satisfy the need for online students to have face-to-face connections.

The Catechism for Catechists is an online, non-credit course that provides intellectual formation for catechists and ideally serves as the doctrinal component for any diocesan catechist certification program. Created for those serving as parish catechists or teaching the Catholic faith in the Catholic school system, as well as those interested in general adult faith formation, the curriculum is derived from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The Saint Joseph’s College Online Theology Program offers a Bachelor of Arts in Theological Studies with an allowance of up to 95 transfer credits, making it the perfect completer program. At the graduate level, the Master of Arts can be taken in Pastoral Theology or Sacred Theology. Permanent deacons also have the option of a third specialization in Advanced Diaconal Studies. Saint Joseph’s College is also home to the only completely online Catholic Master of Divinity program, with an accelerated track for those who already have the Master of Arts.

Realizing that some may not be able to commit to a full degree program, the College has developed a number of online certificates that can serve as stepping-stones to a degree. The Certificate in Catholic Catechesis is ideal for the parish catechetical leader, director of religious education, and the advanced catechist. Consisting of six courses of one-credit each, it covers the same topics as the non-credit course, but in more depth and with stronger assessments. With each course carrying one undergraduate credit, courses may be applied toward a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Certificates in Theology at both the undergraduate and graduate levels count toward the online Bachelor of Arts or Master of Arts degrees. The Bachelor of Arts degree also has a Fast-Track to M.A. Option, which allows the undergraduate student to begin working on the Master of Arts while earning the B.A.

Other online certificate programs include Ministry to Black Catholics and Ministry to Latino Catholics, which prepare the faithful for pastoral ministry and religious education among Black Catholics (including the African-American community and more recent African immigrant communities) and Latino Catholics. In the area of interfaith relations, a graduate certificate in Jewish-Christian Studies is offered jointly with Gratz College in Elkins Park, PA.

The Saint Joseph’s College Online Theology Program also works one-on-one with diocesan diaconal formation programs to provide intellectual formation that awards permanent deacons a Master of Arts degree or undergraduate certificate at the end of their formation.

For ministry professionals looking for robust continuing education, the Post-Graduate Certificate in Theology and Ministry, consisting of six courses of one credit each in specialized areas, is challenging yet manageable. The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study is an innovative post-graduate certificate that allows students to take courses inside or outside of their profession and degree area.

With such a vast array of programming, the Saint Joseph’s College Online Theology Program has much to offer to the New Evangelization. To learn more, visit