The Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE) enjoyed success in 2012-2013 in several important areas.
Curriculum Review and Revision
The greatest accomplishments for GRE this past year involved curricular redesign, review, and revision to meet the needs of the 21st-century church and the changing job opportunities for GRE students. In spring 2013, faculty and administration began implementation of a core curriculum that, for the first time, is shared by all master of arts (MA) programs, save for the counseling program. Provisional student learning outcomes are in place in MA programs, and will be used as the starting point for developing an outcomes assessment plan.
The GRE Faculty Council and the dean enacted a new committee structure for school governance and the review of new syllabi, courses, programs, and area strategic planning. GRE faculty and deans created a three-year course plan for the entire school that increases efficiency and quality.
In a remarkably busy year, two new GRE master’s degree programs in Christian spirituality and in pastoral studies were approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED), and two new advanced certificates in Latino ministry and spirituality were also prepared for NYSED review. In addition, the master’s in religious education, the advanced certificate in spiritual direction, and the Doctor of Ministry went through curriculum revisions.
The master’s programs in Christian spirituality and pastoral ministry noted above will be available online, along with the advanced certificate programs in Latino ministry and spirituality when they are approved. The Doctor of Ministry program has also been reformatted to allow students to complete it through online courses and intensive summer courses. Exceeding the school’s original plans, eight new online courses were in production. These changes, combined with the doubling of the number of GRE degrees available online, will allow GRE to continue current success in reaching national and international audiences.
A new GRE faculty-mentored program to train online instructors began with three current faculty members teaching online for the first time. The program was developed both to eliminate the need for outside consulting and to integrate all that GRE has learned in four successful years of online education.
Collaboration and Partnerships
GRE implemented new collaborations with the Jesuit Collaborative to train spiritual directors and leaders for other Jesuit ministries. GRE students will complete internships at Jesuit Collaborative retreat houses, and future areas for collaboration will be explored.
GRE’s work with the Catholic Extension Society has expanded in terms of students and outreach. The dean of the school,
C. Colt Anderson, Ph.D., visited the mission dioceses of Richmond, Va., Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C., to build on GRE service to mission dioceses, both through the Catholic Extension Society and through GRE programs and aid. Additional GRE connections have been established in 10 other mission dioceses.
The historic strength of GRE in Latino ministry continues. In addition to sponsoring the National Symposium on Catholic Hispanic Ministry and a new Latino ministry certificate, a new Novak Scholars program will support future leaders in Hispanic ministry.
In spring 2013, GRE co-sponsored a conference with the National Association of Catholic Chaplains on trauma and hosted a conference on the new evangelization featuring diocesan leaders from New York and Brooklyn. With the Department of Theology and the Curran Center for American Catholic Studies, GRE jointly sponsored the visit of Father Timothy Radcliffe, former master of the Dominican order, to Fordham. GRE also continues its close work with the Archdiocese of New York, hosting its annual Faith Formation Forum in November 2013, and with Maryknoll/China, training priests and women religious for the church in China.
In 2013-2014, GRE will engage in planning for a program of noncredit workshops for GRE students and new audiences that leads to certification in lay ministry and chaplaincy. In collaboration with the Graduate School of Business Administration, GRE will develop a Catholic leadership program for Fordham alumni and is working to create a joint master’s degree in mission and administration. GRE is also exploring a partnership to create a master’s degree in digital ministry. GRE is preparing to offer new degree programs in a hybrid format (online courses and intensive winter/summer on-campus sessions). Discussions are taking place to create a massive open online course (MOOC) with WFUV on music and religion, and work will begin on revising the curriculum of the doctoral program in religious education.