Loyola Institute for Ministry (LIM) Homepage

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Overview | Admissions | Academic PoliciesServices | Spanish Program Policies | Statement for North Carolina Students


The Loyola Institute for Ministry (LIM) offers a master’s degree in religious education (MRE), a master’s degree in pastoral studies (MPS), a graduate certificate in theology and ministry, and a post-master’s certificate in pastoral studies in three formats, (1) on campus, (2) online, and (3) at extension sites in cooperation with a local sponsoring agency. Students may also study in the online and on-campus programs on a non-degree basis for individual courses. Dual master’s degrees are offered on campus in pastoral studies with counseling, criminal justice, and business administration. The institute also serves the continuing education needs of adults who do not have a bachelor's degree or do not wish to earn a graduate degree by offering a certificate in religious education (CRE), a certificate in pastoral studies (CPS), a continuing education certificate in theology and ministry, and an advanced continuing education certificate in pastoral studies, as well as a Spanish-language certificate in theology and ministry offered at extension sites.  

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Admissions Process

Based upon the credential sought and the applicant's desired status as a graduate or continuing education student, the admission requirements include:

  1. A completed application form.
  2. For degree-seeking applicants, a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, with a minimum 2.5 GPA.
  3. For degree-seeking students, submission of official transcripts sent to the institute directly from the college or university that awarded the bachelor’s degree, plus any coursework taken fr academic credit beyond the bachelor’s degree. 
  4. A three-page statement of educational purpose tailored to the individual mode of delivery — online, on-campus, or extension.
  5. Two recommendations forms attesting to the student’s capability for graduate study. 
  6. $20 nonrefundable application fee which is waived for applicants who apply online.
  7. For extension students, a notification of application form (supplied by Loyola) should be sent directly to the sponsoring agency. 

All materials should be submitted online or sent directly to the LIM office two months prior to the start of the student’s first course or semester. This allows time for transcripts and other supporting documents to reach the LIM admissions office and subsequently for the admissions committee to come to an admission decision. (International extension students not applying online have their materials sent directly to their administrative liaison at their sponsoring agency.) Transient admission may be granted for a student for his or her first term of studies if the admissions requirements are not fulfilled when his or her first course begins.  A student must be fully admitted to be enrolled in his or her second semester of coursework.  

  • Additional details regarding the application requirements for online, on-campus, and extension programs GO»
  • Additional details regarding the application requirements for the Spanish-language program GO»
Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid

Prospective students can view the information on tuition, fees, and aid on the Institute for Ministry website. GO»

Transfer Credit

The institute will consider an admitted student's written request for transfer of credit for graduate course work done in theology,  religious education, pastoral ministry, or other relevant fields from an accredited institution, according to the policy in the Graduate Bulletin. A student must submit relevant materials (such as a syllabus and course description) in order for LIM to make a determination if the course is transferable. A student will be informed of the amount of credit which will transfer prior to his or her enrollment, if possible, but at the latest, prior to the end of the first academic term in which he or she makes the request. If the transfer is accepted, the student must integrate the learning from the transferred courses is to be integrated into Pastoral and Educational Praxis, the program's capstone course. 

If you wish to transfer credit earned at Loyola to another educational institution, you should contact that institution to determine if the institution will accept credits earned at Loyola University New Orleans prior to executing an enrollment contract or agreement.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
Students who participate under the continuing education status should have extensive ministry experience, often in diocesan, school, or parish leadership positions, and have the ability to do the graduate-level reading and discussion. Some CEU students lack the required bachelor’s degree to enroll for the graduate degree, while others already have graduate credentials and do not wish to earn another graduate degree. CEU students will receive continuing education units as defined by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. One credit hour equals one CEU. CEUs are recorded on a Loyola CEU transcript and kept in the permanent records of the university.

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Academic Policies

Academic Advisement

Upon admission, all LIM degree-seeking students are assigned an academic advisor, who is a full-time faculty member. CEU and nondegree-seeking students are advised by staff. The name of the academic advisor is included in the admissions acceptance letter. Advisors are available for consultation throughout the student's academic career. Students in the extension program may also contact the instructor of record for each course in which they are enrolled or clarification of course content. 

Academic Expectations of Students

Graduate students must complete readings, papers, examinations, or other work assigned for evaluation.  

Continuing education students complete all assigned reading and fully participate in class activities. However, Loyola does not require CEU students to complete papers, examinations, or other work assigned for evaluation of graduate students. In some courses, CEU students must submit special CEU written assignments.

Academic Probation

In order to remain in good standing, a graduate student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher in Loyola University graduate coursework. A course in which the student has earned a grade of less than a C cannot be counted toward the completion of the credit hour requirement for graduation, but will be used in determining the student’s grade point average. A student who earns below a C in a graduate course, or whose cumulative grade point average falls below 3.0, will be placed on academic probation. Students admitted under the conditional status are admitted on academic probation and will be notified of their probationary status in their letter of admission. Graduate Grading Scale

A student on probation has six hours or two semesters (whichever comes first) to remove the academic deficiency. If the deficiency is not removed in the allotted time, the student will be excluded from the program as a graduate student.

  1. Upon receipt of course grade transcripts from the Office of Student Records, the institute will notify students who have been placed on academic probation.
  2. Conditionally admitted students who do not remove their academic deficiency in the allotted time will be excluded from the university as a graduate student.
  3. A probationary student who fails to make up his or her academic deficiency in the six hours or two semesters will be excluded from the university as a graduate student.
Attendance and Participation

Students are subject to the university policy regarding attendance as explained in the Bulletin

For students in online courses, each course’s instructor will set requirements for how many times during the week students must log into Blackboard, a Web-based learning management system designed to support fully online courses, in order to read fellow students’ comments and the instructor’s feedback and to share one’s own comments in a dialogue with course members.

For students in the extension program, attendance is compulsory. Courses generally require at least 10 meetings to carry out a three-hour learning design provided by the institute. In the event of illness or emergency, a student who misses up to three sessions may make these sessions up and remain in the course. Any request for a waiver of this policy must be put in writing. A student who engages in behavior which is disruptive to the learning group environment is in violation of the Learning Group Agreement and Loyola Policy. Such conduct may cause removal from that learning group and can result in removal from the course with a grade of W. A second such disruption may result in suspension or dismissal from the university. The student has the right to appeal the decision in accord with Loyola policy.

Change of Academic Status

Students may change from graduate status in the program to continuing education status by written request. Continuing education students may apply to the LIM admissions office for graduate status, subject to the standard graduate admissions requirements for subsequent coursework. Either change of status must occur only between courses or semesters. Students have the option of changing their status only once during their course of study.

Refund Policy

On-campus and online students are subject to the university policy regarding attendance as explained in the Bulletin. The university will comply with all state refund policies governing our online students studying in other states.   

Students in the extension program also follow university policy regarding withdrawal. However, those who cancel or withdraw must complete an official cancellation/withdrawal form found in the LIM Policy Manual. For extension students, tuition refunds are made on the following schedule:

  1. If a student was not in attendance at the first session, a 100 percent refund, less a $50 administrative fee is issued;
  2. If a student was not in attendance after the fifth session, a 50 percent refund is issued;
  3. If a physician’s certificate is attached to the cancellation/withdrawal form for nonattendance at any point in the course, a 100 percent refund is issued. 
Withdrawal from Courses

Students are subject to the university policy regarding withdrawal from courses as explained in the Bulletin. For students in the extension program, the administrative withdrawal period ends with the fifth session of the course. Through this time, students may withdraw from a course and receive a W in the course. After the fifth session, a student may withdraw from the course and receive a WP in the course. Failure to obtain a withdrawal will result in the grade of F. 

Students are subject to the university policy regarding medical withdrawal from courses as explained in the Bulletin. Students in the on-campus and online programs should contact the LIM office for a medical withdrawal.  Students in the extension program must submit a medical withdrawal form found in the LIM Policy Manual along with the health care professional’s statement before the final session of the course.

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Disability Services

Students with learning, physical, or other disabilities may contact Disability Services for information on the services and accommodations that are available. Students may contact Disability Services by stopping into the Academic Success Center on campus, emailing arc@loyno.edu, calling 504-865-2990, or writing directly to the director of Disability Services at Loyola University New Orleans, Campus Box 41, 6363 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana 70118. All contacts and information provided are confidential. In order to receive any reasonable special services or accommodations, students will be asked to provide documentation of the learning or physical disability. Copies of the university policy are available from Disability Services.

Library Services

Loyola’s Monroe Library provides a full range of services including borrowing privileges, electronic article and book access, and one-on-one research assistance. Borrowing privileges are the same for online, extension, and on-campus students, and the circulation desk will issue bar codes for any students wishing to borrow materials from Loyola’s libraries. Distance Learning Services are explained on the library’s website and in the LIM Guide to Written Theological Reflection, a resource that is available to LIM students. Students may contact Distance Library Services by emailing libref@loyno.edu or by dialing direct to 504-864-7152 or 504-864-7138 during business hours. When contacting Distance Library services, students should indicate that they are LIM students in the online or extension program.  

Additionally, extension students should have access to a professional local library established by its sponsoring agency. The institute recommends that this local library include the books on the Common Curriculum bibliographies.

Writing Assistance

The Writing across the Curriculum Center provides LIM on-campus and online students with free assistance with writing assignments. The service gives students the chance to confer with a trained writing consultant on all phases of the writing process. See the Writing Across the Curriculum Center's web page for further information regarding on-campus and online services. Detailed information on the writing service is also found in the LIM Guide to Written Theological Reflection, a resource that is available to LIM students.

In conjunction with Loyola’s Writing across the Curriculum center, the extension program’s writing consultant provides LIM extension students with free assistance with writing assignments. The service gives students the chance to confer with a trained writing consultant on all phases of the writing process. Students in the extension program may contact a writing consultant by calling the LIM office or e-mailing the consultant at limwrite@loyno.edu.

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Spanish-Language Program Policies and Services

Students in the Spanish-language program may view academic policies on a separate page GO»

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Statement for North Carolina Students

Degree programs of study offered by the Loyola Institute for Ministry have been declared exempt from the requirement of licensure under provisions of North Carolina General Statutes (G.S.) 116-15(d) for exemption from licensure with respect to religious education. Exemption from licensure is not based upon any assessment of program quality under established licensing standards.

Refund Policy for Students in the State of Georgia

For students in Georgia, refunds are determined based on the proration of tuition; this policy applies to students no matter where they are in the program.  For example, a student in Georgia is eligible for a 100% refund of a semester’s tuition and fees if the student does not attend the first class, requests a refund within three business days of paying the tuition, and returns any course materials in an unopened package along with the cancellation/withdrawal form.  90% refund of a semester’s tuition and fees is refundable if the student does not attend class after the first session (of ten sessions); an 80%, 70%, and 60% refund of a semester’s tuition and fees is refundable if the student does not attend class after the second, third, or fourth session respectively.  A 50% refund of a semester’s tuition and fees is refundable if the student does not attend class after the fifth session (or after the first peer group meeting for Focus Courses). 

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Programs of Study

Course Descriptions