2024-2025 CATALOG

The Academic Catalog is the official listing of courses, programs of study, academic policies and degree requirements for Loyola University Chicago. It is published every year in advance of the next academic year.

Institute of Pastoral Studies

Mission & VisION

The Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago, a Catholic and Jesuit institution, facilitates the integrated ministerial development of diverse and dynamic leaders for creative, compassionate, and courageous service to church and society. 

The Institute of Pastoral Studies aims to be a renowned global hub for educating and forming leaders in ministry who can adapt to the rapidly changing religious and social landscapes of the 21st century.

Degree Programs

IPS has six graduate degree programs and six degree concentration options that engage students at the nexus of theory and practice. Each program is built on foundational knowledge, enhanced by professional skills, and requires contextual education. No degree program at IPS is complete without an integration project, ensuring that the academic knowledge, skills, and context come together so that our degree students graduate as true "Masters" in their chosen field of study. Our placement rates for graduates are strong, as each student has access to Loyola's career center as well as one of the largest, global network of ministerial alumni from a Catholic institution.

IPS degree programs are offered in Chicago, online, and in Rome, Italy. In addition to the assistance that may be provided by the University's Financial Aid office, IPS manages grants and scholarships available exclusively to its students seeking a graduate certificate or degree. As we live in an increasingly diverse and global world, IPS supports international education for its students through a special fund established for that purpose.

Being at a world-class institution in a world-class city means that IPS attracts a world-class faculty. Students study with highly-qualified professors, many of whom also bring ministerial experience to the program. Whether our students seek a program that leads to a career in ministry, service in the Church, counseling, spirituality, or social entrepreneurship, IPS has a degree or certificate to meet their needs.

To learn more about the Institute of Pastoral Studies, please complete the request for information form or attend an online information session, "All About IPS."

The Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University Chicago (IPS), is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools. The Board of Commissioners of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) granted full accreditation to IPS on June 10, 2019.

The Association of Theological Schools
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh PA 15275-1110
Telephone: 412-788-6505
The following IPS degree programs are approved by the Commission on Accrediting: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Spirituality (Professional MA), Master of Arts in Counseling for Ministry (Professional MA), Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling (Professional MA), Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (Professional MA), and the Master of Arts in Social Justice (Professional MA) were also approved, as were our comprehensive online (distance education) programs.

Graduate Certificates

The Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) offers eight graduate certificate programs. All certificate programs are accessible online. Some of these programs provide practical skills and can be obtained without an advanced degree, while others require an advanced degree to support the additional scholarly study. Please see the individual descriptions for prerequisite requirements.

The certificate programs provide participants with the opportunity to pursue a concentrated series of courses in Pastoral Counseling, Spiritual Direction, Christian Spirituality, Social Justice, Social Enterprise, Pastoral Leadership, Church Management, and Religious Education. In each of the advanced graduate certificate programs, students may substitute some courses for others, with the approval of the program director, in order to avoid redundancy or in order to create specialized professional focus.