New Openings in Study of Theology & Religion for Adults at Mary Immaculate College
A very momentous graduation ceremony for New Openings in the Study of Theology and Religion for Adults (NOSTRA) students took place at Mary Immaculate College recently, which saw the first ever student to graduate with a Higher Certificate in Theology & Religious Studies. Meanwhile six students graduated with a Certificate in Theology & Religious Studies and a further 18 students from a West Clare Cluster group received certificates for an Introduction to Pastoral Ministry module that they recently undertook in Kilrush as part of a NOSTRA parish outreach programme.
The NOSTRA programme was launched in 2005 following a recognition of the need amongst adult learners to pursue an accredited, certified course of study, one that is flexible and adaptable to the busy demands of today’s lifestyle. The programme is particularly suited to people who have not been in formal education for some time, or who may enjoy delving into a subject they love in a relaxed and supportive environment. The course allows participants to choose from a variety of modules that best meet their interests and specifications and, as there is no time limit or deadline, the modules can be completed at a pace that suits the individual student. NOSTRA is based at Mary Immaculate College but offers modules in many locations, including online modules. Since its initiation, more than 220 students have taken modules on the programme.
In his welcoming address to those about to graduate, Fr Tony Mullins, Chair of the Governing Body of MIC, said: “Many of you have commented that you have found the whole experience personally enriching and in so many ways the world of Theology has been opened up to you as you have begun a journey that is both challenging and exciting. It has introduced you to ways of reflecting on your life, your relationship with God and with the Church. Hopefully you will continue to develop and follow up on what you have achieved during your time on the NOSTRA programme.”
Following the graduation ceremony, Prof. Eamonn Conway, Head of Department of Theology & Religious Studies at MIC, commended the achievement of NOSTRA graduates, asking, “Is the Church ready for the gifts you have to offer? It should be. This puts a huge responsibility on those of us in leadership roles, whatever they may be, to continue the effort to have much more joined up thinking about the renewal of the church and to connect the energy, the gifts, the grace and the faith, which you have developed and that you have been given as gifts, with the needs that are there in the Church and to make sure that the Church is able to receive them and to act upon them.”
Upcoming NOSTRA modules include: ‘The Epic of Evolution,’ which will explore the insights of some of the world’s greatest thinkers in relation to the evolutionary history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the present (21 September to 9 November 2011) and ‘An Introduction to the Gospel of St John’ (1 February to 14 March 2012). For further information, please contact Prof. Eamonn Conway on 061 204353 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Recipients of the Certificate in Theology & Religious Studies with Prof. Eamonn Conway, Fr Tony Mullins and Dr Eugene Duffy
Members of the West Clare Cluster group who received certificates for an Introduction to Pastoral Ministry module