Category : IPS Student Orientation

IPS Continues To Invest In Students By Awarding Merit-Based Scholarships

Over the last two years, Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) has awarded close to 40 merit-based scholarships to various students in an effort to continue its mission to facilitate the integrated ministerial development of diverse and dynamic leaders for creative, compassionate, and courageous service to church and society.

“Due to the generosity of many benefactors, we can provide these scholarships to our students so upon graduation they can make a meaningful difference unencumbered by high levels of debt. We believe the world needs our students,” said Brian Schmisek, director of Loyola’s Institute of Pastoral Studies. “These scholarships reflect the hope and promise we see in them and their bright futures.”

Every year, IPS administers a limited set of scholarship and grant funds.  IPS awards merit scholarships and ministry grants on the basis of academic achievement, leadership, embodiment of the IPS mission, and commitment to social justice.  Merit awards cover a portion of for-credit tuition for the duration of the academic year in a degree program at the institute. Some of the scholarships offered include:

Deacon WP Worden Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Richard C. and Rosemary K. Leach Endowed Scholarship
Blanche Marie Gallagher B. V. M. Endowed Scholarship
Joan G. & Leonard D. Richman Family Foundation Scholarship
Ginny Lynch Memorial Scholarship
Rachel (Randy) Gibbons Endowed Scholarship
Robert O’Gorman Endowed Scholarship

Richard Daly is in his 3rd year at IPS pursuing the M.A. in Pastoral Counseling.  When asked about how receiving an IPS scholarship has impacted his life, Richard, an ordained Episcopalian priest, says:

“This is my third year at IPS. I have taken 30 credit hours so far. The IPS scholarships and grants have greatly and tremendously impacted my life in that I do not have to work as much in my side jobs. I am helping my daughters with their loans and paying my tuition, too. Additionally, I also have more free time to volunteer in the community or serve at a parish. Without that aid, my time would be spent trying to rustle up tuition money through side jobs.”

“Next year, when I retire, the scholarships will help me even more. Though I am in a dialogue with my Bishop’s office about returning to parochial ministry, my studies at the IPS are of high priority to me. If I could not meet my financial obligations to the IPS, I know that without a doubt I would readily and easily give up on this program because I am going to be even further stretched financially in 2019.”

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“Everyone in the room is now your cheerleader.”

A Warm Welcome to New IPS Students from SEC Chair, Hannah Thompson

During last week’s New Student Orientation, Student Engagement Committee (SEC) chair Hannah Thompson welcomed all new IPS students with warmth and energy, delivering the below:

“You are about to embark on an amazing journey!  You should be so excited.  I am a part-time social justice student.   I commute from Elmhurst every week.  For undergraduate, I got my degree in communications. When I graduated from Elmhurst College, I interned at different nonprofits, did some advocacy work with the Federal Communications Commission and the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation for five years then came back to school.”

“In this department, I have had Dr. Mike Canaris and Dr. Peter Jones as professors.  They were tremendous.  Everyone here wants you to succeed.  I feel like they know you will do the work.  As a student who takes twice the time it takes you to do a paper, I can attest that the workload is reasonable.  This is graduate school.  Feel welcome to communicate with professors but you cannot afford to not put in the effort.  As long as they know you’re trying, they will help you.  For example, in Mike’s class, I was doing well on the assignments, but I wanted to throw the textbook out the window.  I expressed that to him, and he said, “I know you don’t have a background in theology.  It’s okay.”  We worked through it.  Every single professor wants you to succeed.  They truly do.”

Photo Source: Chicago Parent Magazine

“Ok, now I get to talk about the fun stuff!  I am the Student Engagement Committee (SEC) chair.  Last year, I was sitting where you are.  I decided to go to the first meeting.  It’s really fun.  Now, I’m in a leadership position.  With my disability, I could have easily been the online student that no one really knew.  That identify did not sit with me very well.  Getting involved really and truly is rewarding.  For one, I can walk into a classroom and have an idea of who that professor is and vice versa.  Your experience is so much richer if you get involved.  We also need members to make the Student Engagement Committee work.  The majority graduated last spring so I hope you at least come to the first meeting scheduled for September 5th at 3 o’clock.  We won’t have it the first week because that would be crazy but the second week on Sep 5th at 3pm, please come.  Getting involved only leads to good things.

“To sum up, everyone in the room is now your cheerleader.  We need to be present.  Get to know people.  These professors have touched my life.  This is a very devoted group of faculty that will challenge you while respecting your beliefs.  As for me, I’m the woman using a wheelchair, who uses a communication device to speak, usually in pink.  I’m real easy to recognize.  I want to get to know you.  I hope to see you around and chat.”

May the entire IPS family have a blessed academic 2018-2019 year and continue its mission to facilitate the integrated ministerial development of diverse and dynamic leaders for creative, compassionate, and courageous service to church and society.


If you want to reach out to Hannah directly, you can email her at  To learn more about IPS, go to  For those interested in applying to IPS, go to

2018 IPS Commissioning and Graduation Celebration (photos)

Photos from IPS Commissioning and Graduation Celebration

May 7, 2018
Beane Hall, Lewis Towers
Link to Commissioning photos:




Photos from 2018 Graduate School & Institute of Pastoral Studies Commencement

Loyola University Chicago’s Graduate School and Institute of Pastoral Studies Commencement ceremonies were held together at the Gentile Arena on May 8, 2018.
Link to Graduation photos:


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IPS Intentional Living Community

April 26, 2018

For a number of years, IPS students have requested the opportunity to live in “Intentional Communities”.  There already exist several options for participating in intentional communities in Chicago (e.g., Amate House) but we want to make available as a pilot project the opportunity for students to self-select an “Intentional community” as a LUC residential life option.

For the upcoming year (2018-19) we have two suites (three bedrooms each) that are available for this purpose.  We anticipate three men will be in one suite and three women in the other suite.  To be clear, there is no programming specifically developed for this community but it does provide an opportunity for those who want to experience communal life with others and who wish to be intentional about this process.  Sometimes “intentional community” is defined as a community of those seeking a high degree of social cohesion.  Exactly what shape this particular intentional community forms will be up to the individuals who participate in this option.

Students will be assigned to a triple room apartment style suite at Baumhart Hall (26 E Pearson) along with two other IPS students.  Each student will receive their own bedroom with shared common living spaces.  These apartments come furnished with one bed, one desk and chair, and one dresser in each bedroom.  The common area is furnished with two kitchen stools, one sofa, and two side tables.  The annual room rate (fall semester, winter break, and spring semester) is $12,180-$14,470 USD per student.  Students are also required to submit a $500 USD deposit that will be later put toward the annual room rate.  Summer rates for 2019 have not yet been released but would be subject to an additional charge.  Meal plans are optional for an additional charge.

The deadline to apply for this opportunity expires May 15.  Students may submit a housing application through LOCUS by selecting the Residence Life link on the left hand side.  Interested students are encouraged to contact Kristin Butnik at in IPS or Clair McDonald, Assistant Director for Housing in the Office of Residence Life at


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Launch of Certificate in Pastoral Ministry for Dioceses in the North of England

Late this past January, two induction ceremonies took place in Liverpool and Darlington in the U.K. to mark the official launch of the new “Certificate in Pastoral Ministry for Dioceses in the North of England”, a program designed jointly by IPS in collaboration with Dioceses in the North of England.

Veronica Murphy and Catherine Darby, both from the Archdiocese of Liverpool, serve as the primary liaisons for this program.  They have shared the following photos from the two induction ceremonies, saying:

“We had a wonderful Induction Day with the students from this side of the Pennines on Saturday.  There was almost full attendance despite poor weather and great enthusiasm and excitement were apparent.  Both the Induction Days were very well received & appreciated.  (The students) very much enjoyed meeting one another face-to-face…It was a privilege to be with both groups who are now ready to launch into their first module!”

IPS professors Peter Jones and Michael Canaris will teach the first module — “What is Pastoral Ministry?” — starting this week.  Over 50 registered students are expected to explore what being called to pastoral ministry in the church means today.

The “Certificate in Pastoral Ministry” program will consist of 10 six-week modules delivered in an online format utilizing faculty from IPS and England.  The certificate is a non-degree, non-credit program offered over two years that equips lay ministers, teachers, deacons, and parish leaders with up-to-date knowledge, skills, and education for contemporary pastoral ministry.  Upon completion of the 10 modules, students will be awarded a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry by IPS.


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Meet ‘Masters in Spirituality’ Student: Br. Lee Colombino

December 8, 2017

Meet Masters in Spirituality Student: Br. Lee ColombinoCan you tell us a bit about yourself?

By origin, I am a yooper donchaknow, eh?!  But, most of my life has now been spent outside the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  A few years after undergraduate studies, I entered the Society of Jesus and I have been a brother for nearly twenty years.  I have been greatly blessed in my life as a Jesuit.  I have been in community with some fantastic men and I have met so many amazing people from the wide range of experiences I have had over the years.  Despite my many resistances, it has been a fascinating journey in seeking to grow within God’s Love.

What were you involved in prior to studying at IPS?  How did you discern IPS to be a next step?

Two years ago I was teaching in the Visual Arts Department at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, IL.  Then starting in September 2016, I worked with Jesuit Refugee Service in Kampala, Uganda, for four months.  In early January 2017, I went to Nairobi, Kenya for six months to participate in the East African Tertianship program (tertianship is the last stage of Jesuit formation).  It was a phenomenal experience, but one that I am still ‘unpacking’.  It was during this time in East Africa that I felt an expanding desire to grow in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, along with a desire to cultivate the skills in being able to give the Spiritual Exercises and to go into spiritual direction.

What are you currently studying at IPS?

Masters in Spirituality: Spiritual Direction concentration

What has your IPS journey been like so far?

In many ways, it has been the perfect continuation of my heart-based experiences in East Africa.  I feel very grateful for my instructors and classmates this semester.  I particularly enjoy our class conversations as they make the readings come to life.  Due to the nature of the readings and conversations, I’ve been doing quite a bit of ‘soul-work’, which has been helpful in ‘unpacking’ my experiences of the last year.  My experiences in IPS are providing me with substantially delicious ‘food’ for the journey. 

What are some of your favorite Chicago-related pursuits?

Walking around in the city to simply take in the city life; the Chicago skyline and architecture (Architectural Foundation walking tours and river boat tours); Art Institute, Robie House, & other museums; I am looking forward to getting down to Christkindlmarket in Daley Plaza after Thanksgiving, as well as getting glögg in Andersonville; finding new restaurants with friends; being by the lake; and walking through the Botanic Gardens.

If you could teach a class at IPS, what would it be called?

This is a fun question. Hmmm…something like: “The Contemplative Life and Art Appreciation / Art Making”

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

At this point, I would offer to my provincial my desires of working in a retreat house as well as my openness to possibly work abroad.

Finally, can you share a personal spiritual practice that continues to restore and re-energize your mind, body, heart and spirit?

Meditational and repetitive mark-making that is like saying the rosary, but instead of speaking, I draw with pen and ink on paper, with the work developing as it does.

If you want to reach out to Br. Lee directly, you can email him at
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