A Jesuit, Filipino, and Asian Ecclesiastical Faculty of Theology

Sunday, February 25, 2018
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The Certificate Program in Basic Pastoral Ministry (BPM) aims to help pastoral ministers of the Church, especially religious sisters, religious brothers, and lay persons, to acquire the necessary practical knowledge and skills for effective work in their field of service in the Church. The program is also open to anyone who would like to enrich his or her knowledge and practice of the Roman Catholic faith. It introduces participants, within the span of one (1) school year, to a range of themes and issues of the various areas of Roman Catholic theology and ministry − Systematic and Sacramental Theology, Church History, Biblical Theology, Moral Theology, Spirituality, and Pastoral Care and Leadership.

altThe non-degree Certificate Program in Basic Pastoral Ministry requires eight (8) courses in the various branches of Roman Catholic theology and ministry. These are 3-unit credit courses wherein students fulfill the course requirements and receive marks at the end of the semester. Being basic theology courses, they are considered propaedeutic, i.e., preparatory for higher degree studies in theology or pastoral ministry. They are not considered as graduate theology courses and therefore cannot be credited as graduate units in the Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) and Master of Arts (M.A.) programs. Those intending to take courses at LST for the purpose of obtaining a degree should enroll in one of the degree programs offered at LST.

Four (4) of the required eight (8) courses of the Program are offered in the First Semester, while the other four courses are offered in the Second Semester.  Each course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive overview of a particular branch of theology that will enable them to participate in discussions about related topics, to become acquainted with sources for a deeper understanding of the themes, and to relate and apply these to their ministry and way of life.
BPM 101 Introduction to the Mystery of Faith. This course is an overview of the essential elements of the Christian Faith. It provides the students with a basic introduction to Christology, which is the systematic faith reflection on the person, ministry, teaching and significance of Jesus Christ as presented in the Gospels, the first ecumenical councils and various christologies. Students will be guided in identifying “moments” of faith, hope and charity in their life in order to appreciate theological studies as a critical reflection on a living faith that is expressed within the context of a community called the Church. The course includes practical exercises and a modest research project to foster active and fruitful appreciation of the fundamentals of the faith.

BPM 102 Introduction to the Old Testament. This course introduces the students to Church teaching regarding Scripture in general and Biblical inspiration. It guides the students through the world of the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament which reflects the socio-political and religious history and ideals of ancient Israel. The following topics are treated: 1) the Bible and the Literature of the Ancient Near East; 2) the formation of the canon of the OT; 3) the books of the Torah; 4) the books of the Prophets; 5) the books of the Writings; 6) the overall message of the Old Testament and its relationship to the New. The course offers pedagogical tools in interpreting the Old Testament and in explaining and proclaiming the Sacred Scriptures to students and parishioners and to whomever the participants minister.

BPM 103 Overview of Moral Theology. This is a synthetic course on Christian morality that offers an overview of fundamental morality, sexual ethics, bio-ethics and social justice. It presents the historical richness and diversity of the Church’s moral tradition, seeking to provide the students with an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the sources of the moral tradition. Through the use of cases, the course will illustrate methods of moral analysis and the application of moral principles.

BPM 104 Basics of Christian Spirituality. This introductory course in spirituality includes an overview of the turning points of the history of spirituality (including the great mystical or spiritual leaders in the East and West); the key areas and movements of Christian spirituality; how spirituality relates to theology, religious practices, religious institutions and churches, major philosophical trends, and religious devotions or rituals. The course also provides a basic training in Ignatian discernment, spiritual direction and retreat-giving.


BPM 105 Church and Sacraments. The course examines the foundations, historical developments, nature, and mission of the Church. It presents the major themes of Vatican II’s ecclesiology, situating them in the council’s historical context. It considers such questions as: the interrelationship between the Church and the Kingdom of God, interreligious dialogue, ecumenism, evangelization and mission, inculturation, basic ecclesial communities, as well as Mary’s place in the Mystery of the Church. The course also introduces students to the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church. Beginning with the experience of worship and ritual in life, it considers the nature and scope of liturgy in general and the sacraments in particular. Key principles of sacramental theology are explained with a view to the further study of the individual sacraments.

BPM 106 Introduction to the New Testament. This course introduces the student to diachronic and synchronic methodologies in interpreting the Bible. With this methodological background, the student is given the opportunity to read and study the texts of the New Testament and so gain a basic overview of their content and major themes and concerns.

BPM 107 Turning Points in Church History. The course guides the students through two millennia of Church history: from the Early Church to the Second Vatican Council. It pays close attention to several historical developments and movements in the Church from its beginnings to the present period and their consequences for Church life, organization, structure, spirituality and doctrine, particularly through a consideration of the councils and synods of the Church.

Elective. The student chooses a course from among LST's offerings as an elective in the Certificate Program.

In view of fulfilling the requirements and of receiving the Certificate, students may, with the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, substitute any of the above propaedeutic courses with other M.A. or S.T.B. level courses offered at LST provided they belong to the same branch of theology. In fact, students in the Certificate Program in Basic Pastoral Ministry may take additional units beyond the eight courses prescribed in the curriculum. They may choose, still as non-degree students, from among the courses offered to STB and MA students, which may eventually be utilized as credits in case they decide later to apply to, and enroll in, LST’s MA or STB degree programs.

Admission Requirements 

Those with at least two (2) years of college education may be admitted to the Program. No prior philosophy or theology courses are required. The following application requirements should be submitted to the Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs a month before the opening of classes:

  • Duly accomplished LST Application Form (click here to download the form)
  • One ID picture (“2 x 2”)
  • One photocopy of original Transcript of Records from previous school and its English translation if the Transcript is in a foreign language
  • One page single-spaced Personal Essay introducing oneself and indicating one’s motivation in applying to the Certificate Program
  • Letter of Recommendation from the Religious Superior, Bishop or Official of the applicant’s institution
  • LST English Proficiency Test (PhP 100.00)
  • Application Fee (PhP 100.00)


Tuition and Fees

A semester for a new student taking 12 credit units or 4 courses at LST will cost around PhP 28,040.00 (USD 627 or EUR 494). Computation is based on tuition and fees for SY 2014 – 2015. For updated information regarding tuition and other fees, click here.

For complete information regarding admission procedures to the various academic programs of the Loyola School of Theology, click here.