Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

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Loyola’s Institute of Pastoral Studies and the Seminary Contortion For Urban Pastoral Education Affiliation Announces New Advanced Degrees

CHICAGO, October 26, 2009 – Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) and the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE) are pleased to announce their new Master of Arts degree concentration in Community Development. The degree will be officially announced on October 28, at 7 p.m., in Beane Hall, in Lewis Towers, on Loyola’s Water Tower Campus. The new degree concentration, the first of its kind in the nation, will begin in January 2010.

This new degree program, which is an expansion of the IPS’s Master of Arts in Social Justice to a Master of Arts in Social Justice and Community Development (MASJCD), is ecumenical in nature. It connects a major Jesuit university with a cluster of Protestant seminaries to offer a faith-based academic degree program for professionals (both clergy and laity) who want to lead social justice and community development efforts.

This new program is under the leadership of Mary Nelson, PhD, and Susan Rans. Dr. Nelson was the founding President and CEO of Bethel New Life for 27 years. A faith-based community development corporation focused on a low-income, African-American, West Side Chicago community, the organization’s annual budget grew from $9,600 to over $14 million under Nelson’s guidance and now employs almost 350 individuals. Bethel has been a pioneer in building a sustainable community by harnessing the strengths and capacities of people in a place that others had written off as a ghetto.

Rans is the author of several publications from the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at Northwestern University: Asset-Based Strategies for Faith Communities (2002), Hidden Treasures: Building Community Connections (2005), and The Engaged Library (2006). She has taught at North Park University, the Chicago Semester, and the Urban Studies Program of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest.

The program director of the MASJCD is Mary Elsbernd, OSF, professor of the IPS faculty, renowned for integrating social justice and ministry into a practical theological foundation for students. The community development track will provide a vibrant ecumenical, multicultural, and intergenerational opportunity that will provide concrete experience for newcomers to social justice and inspiration to seasoned veterans of community work, says Elsbernd. This program equips students with the intellectual and practical skills necessary to make a genuine difference on the ground, says IPS Director Robert Ludwig, PhD.

On October 28, Loyola Provost Christine Wiseman and Director Ludwig will join SCUPE leaders in announcing this unique degree. Dr. Nelson and Susan Rans will discuss community development and the direction of this program. Carol Ann McGibbon, executive vice president of SCUPE, will describe the ambitious vision that Loyola and SCUPE bring to this collaborative effort.

About the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education
For more than 30 years, the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE) has been at the forefront of providing opportunities in leadership development and theological education that are ground-breaking, contextually-based, culturally relevant, and transformative in the lives of diverse church and community leaders serving urban areas across the country. The consortium, sponsored by twelve seminary members, offers five graduate programs. It has become a national leader in educating theologically and socially conscious Christians for active and dedicated lives in an increasingly urban world. SCUPE, a 501 (c)(3) nondenominational, faith-based organization, is located in Chicago, Illinois.

About the Institute of Pastoral Studies
The Institute of Pastoral Studies, founded in 1964, is now in its 5th decade and continues to expand the horizons of ministerial faith-based service. IPS offers 6 graduate Master of Arts degrees: Divinity; Pastoral Counseling; Pastoral Studies; Religious Education; Social Justice and Community Development; and Spirituality/Spiritual Direction. All IPS programs are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. For more information, please visit: LUC.edu/ips.

About Loyola University Chicago
Committed to preparing people to lead extraordinary lives, Loyola University Chicago, founded in 1870, is the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic university. Enrollment is more than 15,600 students, which includes more than 10,000 undergraduates hailing from all 50 states and 82 countries. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy. Loyola also serves as the U.S. host university to The Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in Beijing, China. Loyola’s ten schools and colleges include arts and sciences, business administration, communication, education, graduate studies, law, medicine, nursing, continuing and professional studies, and social work. Loyola offers 71 undergraduate majors, 71 undergraduate minors, 85 master’s degrees, and 31 doctoral degrees. Loyola is consistently ranked among the “top national universities” by U.S.News & World Report, and the University was named a “best value” in their 2010 rankings. In addition, Loyola is among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations like the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information about Loyola, please visit LUC.edu.

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