Loyola Institute for Ministry Overview

Loyola Institute for Ministry (LIM) Homepage

Faculty & Staff

The Loyola Institute for Ministry (LIM) offers a master’s degree in religious education (M.R.E.), a master’s degree in pastoral studies (M.P.S.), a graduate certificate in theology and ministry, and a post-master’s certificate in pastoral studies in three formats, (1) on campus, (2) online, and (3) at extension sites in cooperation with a local sponsoring agency. The institute also serves the continuing education needs of adults by offering a certificate in religious education (C.R.E.), a certificate in pastoral studies (C.P.S.), a continuing education certificate in theology and ministry, and an advanced continuing education certificate in pastoral studies. Dual master’s degrees are offered on campus in pastoral studies with counseling, criminal justice, and business administration.

Admission Requirements

The admission requirements include:

  1. A completed application. Students may apply online or mail their application to the address indicated on the application. Prospective students can learn more about the admissions application process on the LIM website
  2. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum 2.5 GPA for all degree-seeking students.
  3. For degree-seeking students, submission of official transcripts from the college or university that awarded the bachelor’s degree, plus any coursework taken beyond the bachelor’s degree. Transcripts are sent directly from the academic institution.
  4. A three-page statement of educational purpose tailored to the individual program. Read the instructions for the statement: 
    • Online Program Statement of Educational Purpose
    • Extension Program Statement of Educational Purpose
    • On-Campus Program Statement of Educational Purpose
    • Spanish Program Statement of Educational Purpose

  5. Two recommendations attesting to the student’s capability for graduate study. Applicants can supply the contact information of their recommenders in their online application to have an online form directly sent to the recommender. 
  6. $20 nonrefundable application fee. This fee is waived for applicants who apply online.
  7. For extension students, a notification of application form (supplied by Loyola) should be sent directly to the sponsoring agency. 
  8. All materials should be submitted online or sent directly to the LIM office two months prior to the start of the student’s first course or semester. This allows time for transcripts and other supporting documents to reach the LIM admissions office and subsequently for the admissions committee to come to an admission decision. (International extension students not applying online have their materials sent directly to their administrative liaison at their sponsoring agency.) Late applications are accepted, but such applicants may only be admitted to their first LIM course as transient students. All admissions requirements must be fulfilled in order for a student to be enrolled in their second course or semester.

See specific admissions requirements by program.

Course Requirements

The candidate must complete a total of at least 36 credit hours of graduate work. A course in which the student has earned a grade of less than a C cannot be counted toward the completion of the credit hour requirement for graduation, but will be used in determining the student’s grade point average.

Academic Probation

In order to remain in good standing, a graduate student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in Loyola University graduate coursework. A student who earns below a C in a graduate course, or whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0, will be placed on academic probation. Students admitted under the conditional status are admitted on academic probation and will be notified of their probationary status in their letter of admission. Graduate Grading Scale

A student on probation has six hours or two semesters (whichever comes first) to remove the academic deficiency. If the deficiency is not removed in the allotted time, the student will be excluded from the program as a graduate student.

  1. Upon receipt of course grade transcripts from the Office of Student Records, the institute will notify students who have been placed on academic probation.
  2. Conditionally admitted students who do not remove their academic deficiency in the allotted time will be excluded from the university as a graduate student.
  3. A probationary student who fails to make up his or her academic deficiency in the six hours or two semesters will be excluded from the university as a graduate student.

Change of Academic Status

Students may change from graduate status in the program to continuing education status by written request. Continuing education students may apply to the LIM admissions office for graduate status, subject to the standard graduate admissions requirements. Either change of status must occur only between courses or semesters. Students have the option of changing their status only once during their course of study.

Academic Advisement

Upon admission, all LIM degree students are assigned an academic advisor, who is a full-time faculty member.

On-campus students consult with an academic advisor in planning their full program of graduate courses. They should meet each semester with their advisors.

Extension students may contact their academic advisor at any time. Instructors of record are also available for consultation on academic concerns. Because extension students are often working full time and live at a distance or in various time zones, they are encouraged to email the IOR or their academic advisors when possible to set up individual phone and/or video conferences.  Extension students are required to participate in a three-session discernment process before selecting a focus area.

Online students may contact their academic advisor at any time. Because online students are often working full time, and live at a distance or in various time zones, they are encouraged to email their academic advisors to set up individual phone and/or video conferences with their advisors. Online students participate in an online discernment process and with their academic advisors before selecting a focus area.

Transfer Credit

On-campus and online students in accord with the university’s graduate transfer credit policy (outlined below) are allowed to transfer between six and nine hours of credit for graduate coursework done in theology, religion, religious education, or pastoral ministry studies from an accredited institution. Because of the extension program’s unique educational methodology and sequential curriculum format, extension students are allowed to transfer up to six hours of Loyola-approved graduate coursework in lieu of focus area courses. The learning from the transferred courses is to be integrated into the student’s capstone pastoral/educational praxis course (Course Ten). An appropriate faculty member—that is, a full-time faculty member with expertise in the area of study to which the transferred courses relate—must approve transfer credit in advance. 

In any case of a transfer, original transcripts must be presented along with a written request submitted to the Manager of Admissions who will route it to the appropriate faculty member. For transfer credit in areas other than those mentioned above, it is incumbent upon students to justify a clear and systematic relevance of the work to their LIM degree program. 

Transfer students will be informed of the amount of credit which will transfer prior to their enrollment, if possible, but at the latest, prior to the end of the first academic term in which they are enrolled.

Transfer of Graduate Academic Credit for Students without a Graduate Degree

Students who have earned academic credit at another accredited college or university (including Loyola University New Orleans) may be allowed to transfer a maximum of six (6) credit hours with a minimum grade of 'B' and with the approval of an appropriate faculty member. Transfer credit will be awarded only as earned hours. 

Transfer of Graduate Academic Credit for Students with a Graduate Degree 
Students who have earned a graduate degree at another accredited college or university (including Loyola University New Orleans) may be allowed to transfer a maximum of nine (9) credit hours with a minimum grade of 'B' and with the approval of the departmental chair and/or dean of the college. Each degree program has certain restrictions concerning acceptance of courses completed at other institutions. Transfer credit will be awarded only as earned hours. 

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

Students who participate under the continuing education status should have extensive ministry experience, often in diocesan, school, or parish leadership positions, and have the ability to do the graduate-level reading and discussion. Some CEU students lack the required bachelor’s degree to enroll for the graduate degree, while others already have graduate credentials and do not wish to earn another graduate degree. CEU students will receive continuing education units as defined by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. CEUs are recorded on a Loyola CEU transcript and kept in the permanent records of the university.

Continuing education credit is determined by class attendance, competent participation in the learning group, online, or on-campus course, completion of reading assignments, and other activities necessary for participation in those sessions. Three CEUs are granted for each course in the extension program. On campus, one credit hour equals one CEU. Extension program focus courses require CEU students to submit written responses to reflection questions. All CEU students who complete the extension, online, or on-campus program receive a continuing education certificate in religious education or pastoral studies.

Financial Aid

Please view the LIM Financial Aid and Tuition page for detailed information about aid for each of the LIM programs.

Programs of Study

Degree Programs (Offered On-Campus, at Extension Sites, and Online)

Dual Degree Programs (Offered On-Campus Only)

Certificate Programs (Offered On-Campus, at Extension Sites, and Online) 

Advanced-Level Certificates

Loyola Pastoral Life Center (LPLC) Specialized Certificates

 Policies and Procedures

Course Descriptions

Loyola Institute for Ministry Graduate Course Descriptions