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.
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 750 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.
Our graduates serve the larger Church in a variety of ways:
- Permanent Deacons
- Parish staff members and parish volunteers
- Teachers in Catholic schools
- Bereavement coordinators
- Hospital, hospice and nursing home staff and volunteers
- Youth ministers and youth ministry volunteers
- Directors of religious education and parish catechists
- Non-profit agency staff and volunteers
- Life advocates
- Archdiocesan directors and associates
Most importantly, graduates become informed and passionate witnesses, serving their families, communities and workplaces more effectively.