Ministry To Black Catholics Certificate Program (MBC)

Certificate in Ministry to Black Catholics (MBC) (25 Credit Program)

STS, in cooperation with the Office for Black Catholics of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, offers a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry to Black Catholics (MBC). The MBC program is especially designed for those engaged in or preparing for involvement in various forms of pastoral service to parish communities of largely African-American Catholic membership. The program is also open to those who are interested in this field of ministry in general.

The goals of the MBC Certificate program are:

• To foster a greater knowledge and a deeper appreciation of the Catholic Church, its theological traditions and its pastoral mission.

• To enrich the faith life and theological understanding of those who offer pastoral service to parish communities.

• To develop a familiarity with and an appreciation for the rich history and cultural contributions of Black Catholics in the United States.

• To provide practical and supervised training in various pastoral skills needed for ministry to communities of largely Black membership, particularly in an urban setting.

• To foster the development of pastoral leadership among Black Catholics for the enrichment of the Church.


History of Black Catholics and Saints
Introduction to Theology
Old Testament
New Testament
Church History
Catechism I: Creed and Sacraments
Catechism II: Morality and Prayer
Leadership and Renewal in Black Catholic Communities
Practicum (1 Credit)


This course offers overview of the history of African-American Catholics from the period of Afro-Hispanic settlements, through the slavery and emancipation period, and up to contemporary struggles for Civil Rights, with particular attention to the religious movements which developed among African-American clergy, religious and lay leaders in the American Church, with special focus on black ministry in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. This course will survey the life and spirituality of Saints of African heritage. (3 credits)


The foundation of this course is the Catholic understanding of the relationship between faith and reason as discussed in John Paul II’s Fides et Ratio. This course introduces students to the metaphysical and epistemological principles fundamental to Christian philosophy. Special emphasis is given to Saint Thomas Aquinas. This course then offers a general introduction to the science of theology, to theological content and to contemporary catechesis, especially the role of the Bible, Tradition, and the Magisterium in setting forth the mystery of God and His Revelation. This course also Course includes an introduction to Scriptures and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the nature and method of sacred theology itself. (3 credits)


This course is an overview of the Old Testament in the context of the history of Israel. This course offers a systematic study of God’s developing relationship with His people in salvation history, the land of Israel, a survey of the theology of the Pentateuch and an introduction to Psalms, Wisdom Literature, the kings of Israel, and the prophets, with a focus toward their fulfillment in Christ and His Church. (3 credits)


This course is a survey of the New Testament, including a consideration of the interrelationships among the three synoptic Gospels, an introduction to the Johannine Gospel, Acts, the Pauline and Catholic epistles, and the book of Revelation. (3 credits)


This course will present a brief overview of the history of the Catholic Church, as founded upon Christ and His apostles and led by the Holy Spirit through the centuries. This course includes investigating persons, periods, events, movements, controversies, and heresies related to the Church. (3 credits)


This course offers an introduction to the doctrine of the Trinity and its development in the history of theology. An investigation of Jesus Christ as the center and fulfillment of Scripture; the Gospel’s confession of Christ as God and man, the apostolic kerygma and catechesis of Christ, and the Magisterial development in the doctrines related to Christ. This course also includes an introduction to the Church. Secondly, this course offers a general introduction to grace and the sacraments – their history, theology and catechetical value. Course includes an introduction to the theology of worship through an examination of Sacrosanctum Concilium and of the sacramental rites. Course provides a survey of the Sacraments of Initiation, with emphasis on the various dimensions of the Eucharist as the central Sacrament of Christian living, the Sacraments of Healing, and the Sacraments of Service. The Catechism of the Catholic Church will be used, along with other Magisterial documents. (3 credits)


This course offers a presentation of the fundamental principles of Catholic moral teachings as developed from Sacred Scripture, the Tradition of the Church, and the Church’s Magisterium; with a focus on moral principles including truth, charity, the Commandments, the two great commandments, the virtues, the Beatitudes, as well as topics like conscience, moral absolutes, sin and free will, and mercy. Secondly, this course explores the many dimensions of prayer, with attention to various forms of prayer and the tradition of Christian spirituality which emerged from the heart of the Church. Special attention will be given to the Lord’s Prayer and the Liturgy of the Hours; with analysis of major historical and theological movements which have shaped that tradition and a study of representative spiritual writings from those periods. The Catechism of the Catholic Church will be used, along with other Magisterial documents. (3 credits)


This course prepares students for leadership in Black Catholic ministry. It includes a discussion on the distinction of the Black Catholic community and culture and an investigation of a variety of critical pastoral issues which arise in ministering in parishes and schools in the African-American community, with reflections upon various Church documents on these issues; the course also addresses concerns about family life, liturgy and spirituality, religious education and evangelization, especially in urban settings, with attention to recent Church statements addressing the needs of African-Americans. (3 credits)