Partnership Certificate Program - The Saint John Society

Certificate in Evangelization (CE)

“You must not hide your talent in a napkin, or your light under a bushel. I want a laity, not arrogant, not rash in speech, not disputatious, but men who know their religion, who enter into it, who know just where they stand, who know what they hold, and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it. I want an intelligent and well-instructed laity… I wish you to enlarge your knowledge, to cultivate your reason, to get an insight into the relation of truth, to learn to view things as they are, to understand how faith and reason stand to each other, what are the bases and principles of Catholicism.” (St. John Henry Newman, Present Positions of Catholics in England)

The Certificate in Evangelization aims to equip Catholics to be luminous witnesses to Christ in the world through deepened conversion of the mind. It is comprised of six courses and is carried out over two years, featuring three courses each year. Students sign up for courses one at a time; students who elect to continue through the full program will belong to a cohort that begins each fall. The program is led by priests of the Saint John Society, a congregation founded in Argentina two decades ago to preach afresh the Good News, in partnership with St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry.

Program Curriculum

The required courses meet for 10 consecutive weeks. The First Year begins with an introduction to evangelization, examining the Church as a missionary body in dialogue with the core tenets and approaches of the Catholic faith. The Second Year applies and deepens the principles developed in the first, and relates the transformational impetus of the missionary call to the person and mission of Jesus Christ.

Year One:

  • The Missionary Church (Fall, 1 credit)
  • Christian Anthropology (Winter, 1 credit)
  • Sacred Scripture as Text(s) of Transformation (Spring, 1 credit)

Year Two:

  • Philosophical Foundations of Faith (Fall, 1 credit)
  • Christology (Winter, 1 credit)
  • The New Life in Christ: Morality and Mission (Spring, 1 credit)
  • St. John Henry Neuman Symposium (Summer, non-credit)

At the successful completion of each course, the student will be awarded one graduate credit (for a maximum of six academic credits), which can be used towards a Master’s degree in Catholic theology at St. Bernard’s, should the participant wish to continue their formational journey on this path. Additionally, a yearly multi-day summer symposium will be offered to provide a chance to share experiences, principles, and the work of Christ in our lives in a retreat format.

Program Overview

New cohorts of certificate students will begin each fall. While we encourage students to take courses with their cohort, we welcome those who need to complete the program at a different pace or who would only like to take individual courses.

Courses will include a mixture of lectures, discussions, readings, and writing assignments. Participation in the course meetings can be completed synchronously or asynchronously from anywhere in the country via Zoom videoconferencing technology. We also encourage and facilitate in-person gatherings for students who reside in the same geographical area, especially those in our “hub cities” of Portland, OR; Corvallis, OR; Washington, DC; and Rochester, NY.

We take Newman’s comments as a mission statement, and we humbly add the summons to go forth boldly on Christ’s behalf! We hope that this certificate serves as an instrument to form well-instructed missionary disciples who will be salt and light in the world, both by their witness of life and also through their explicit proclamation of the New Life in Jesus.

The Certificate in Evangelization aims to provide an opportunity for theological and missional formation at a reasonable cost to the participant. The cost per course is $200 plus a $20 technology and registration fee, totaling $220. In sum, the entire certificate will cost the participant $1,320 (cost of the Summer Symposium not included). Auditing is available at a lower cost, but students are permitted to audit only a single course, given that the audit option is conceived as a means of discerning participation in the program.

Students interested in applying for this program can complete the online application by clicking below. The first course will begin in the last week of September. Applicants interested in a fall 2021 start must apply by September 16th.