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LPMP History

  Developing Lay Ministers Since 1975

The Athenaeum's Lay Pastoral Ministry Program (LPMP) began as a grass-roots movement of lay Catholics interested in continuing their theological educations beyond college.

Bernadin - Anne Gander

In 1973, a group began to meet with the Rev. Robert Hater, then director of religious education for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Through the collaboration of Father Hater and the rector of Mount St. Mary's Seminary, a Committee on Pastoral Ministry and Catechetics was developed with members appointed by the Athenaeum Board of Trustees to explore the possibility of establishing a lay ministry training program through Mount St. Mary's Seminary.

In 1975, the committee proposed the formation of the LPMP and the board of trustees and the Athenaeum chancellor approved it, naming Sister Ellen Frankenberg, an Athenaeum faculty member, as coordinator of the new program. Twenty-one students began classes in the fall of 1975. No new students were admitted the following year, to enable an effective evaluation of the progress made. A new class was admitted in 1977 and every year since then.

Since 1975, more than 850 men and women have graduated from the Athenaeum of Ohio's Lay Pastoral Ministry Program, earning a master's degree or a non-degreed two-year certificate. LPMP graduates are found in all parts of the Archdiocese, representing almost every parish and community in our local Church.


Responding to Pope Francis' call for missionary disciples, our graduates become informed and passionate witnesses, serving their families, communities and workplaces more effectively.

We hope you will browse the information available here and contact us at 513-231-1200 or smcgurgan@athenaeum.edu for more information about our programs. 


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