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Orientation Course for Incoming Pastoral Ministry Workers

Kimmage Development Studies Centre, in collaboration with the Catholic Church and Congregations, has designed a tailor-made course aimed at incoming pastoral workers. This course aims to support the integration and orientation process of incoming pastoral workers and to prepare them for ministry in parishes and congregational settings.

Learning Objectives

On completion of the course participants will have received an holistic introduction into life in Ireland which will help them adjust to their new home, feel confident in fulfilling their pastoral role and ensure that their ministry meets the needs of those they serve. Students will:

  • Gain insights and understanding of approaches to ministry in Ireland
  • Explore issues related to liturgy and spirituality in the context of pastoral ministry in Ireland
  • Be introduced to innovative and appropriate outreach approaches to facilitate authentic engagement with congregations and communities
  • Explore various themes of inter and cross cultural communication (change, conflict, authority, leadership, listening, collaboration and personal well-being)
  • Have received a broad overview of the socio-economic, political, cultural landscape and history of Ireland
  • Be awarded a certificate of training from the National Board of Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland and be fully compliant with the protocol for safeguarding training for people in ministry in Ireland

Themes covered on the course

Acculturation, communication and collaboration
  • Coping with change and transition issues
  • Understanding new contexts, responsibilities and relationships
  • Dealing with cultural nuances, attitudes, norms and behaviours
  • Developing and nurturing positive, authentic relationships
  • Awareness and ability to negotiate power dynamics, authority
  • Resilience, well being and self care
  • Conflict resolution
Ministry in Ireland
  • Structure of the Catholic Church, Bishops’ Conference, Association of Missionaries and Religious in Ireland, diocesan and parish settings
  • Introduction to key liturgical policies and practices from the Bishops’ Conference in Ireland related to ministry in Ireland
  • Understanding responsibilities and duties of roles in both parish and congregational settings
  • Effective ministry preaching and communicating styles
Ministry in Action
  • The role of incoming pastoral ministry workers
  • Day to day pastoral work, making the link between the Church’s teaching and everyday life
  • How to connect authentically with congregations, communities and individuals
  • The role of women in the Church
  • Acknowledgement of the role of the Church in a post Christian Europe
Historical, economic & social introduction to Ireland
  • Introduction to key Irish historical events
  • Critical social challenges: poverty, exclusion, homelessness, inequalities of access to healthcare, education, work and housing
  • Brief introduction to taxation and Irish social welfare system and entitlements
  • How to access information
  • A certified 2-day training from the National Board of Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland is included which ensures that participants are in compliance with the safeguarding protocol for those working in pastoral ministry

Course Information

Scheduling This course takes place in 4 blocks of 3 x 3 consecutive days, and 1 x 4 consecutive days over a two month period.

  • October 4th, 5th and 6th
  • October 18th, 19th and 20th
  • November 7th,8th, 9th and 10th
  • November 29th, 30th and December 1st
Class Size KDSC works with groups of 12-15 participants per facilitator. This is considered best practice and most conducive to learning, the maximum number of participants will not exceed fifteen.
Teaching Style The approach to teaching is student centred and participative in style. Students are encouraged to critically reflect on and engage with the course content through group, plenary and individual exercises and methods.
Further supports It is encouraged that all participants are paired with a mentor from their sponsor or host community to support their learning throughout the course and beyond. KDSC provides clear signposting to additional resources relevant to each area of content as required throughout the course (for example; support agencies for mental health issues, social welfare issues, housing, health and employment supports).
Course Fees The course fee is €1,600 per participant. This covers full tuition, NBSCCCI certification, hot lunch and refreshments, library access and course materials. Participants are responsible for their own accommodation arrangements.

All participants must be approved by their sponsor or host congregation in Ireland.

Please Note:

  • This course does not cover any aspect of evangelical ministry.
  • A working knowledge of both written and spoken English is required in order to benefit from and participate fully in the course.

Apply now for the next course starting in Autumn 2017.

Course Location: Kimmage DSC, Kimmage Manor, Whitehall Road, Dublin 12

Tel: +353 (0)1 406 4343


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