Religious Education Certificate

About the Religious Education Certificate at Loyola

As the realities of education in the 21st century continue to evolve at a dynamic pace, the need for knowledgeable and skilled educators to deliver specialized content in a manner that maximizes student learning is as great as ever.

The Graduate Certificate in Religious Education at Loyola's Institute of Pastoral Studies (IPS) offers powerful preparation to engage, catechize, and educate groups of all ages.

As a student in the program, you will engage in coursework, dialogue, and other learning experiences designed to teach religion in schools and parishes, as well as administer religious education programs.

Program Structure

The Graduate Certificate in Religious Education is a 15-credit-hour program that includes two required courses and three electives chosen from the core course requirements of Loyola's MA in Pastoral Studies program.

A bachelor's degree is required for entry into the Religious Education Certificate program.

The certificate program can be pursued full-time or part-time. All of the program coursework can be completed online. On-campus classes are held weekday evenings at Loyola's Water Tower Campus, conveniently located off the Red Line in the heart of Chicago.

Why Choose Loyola for Your Religious Education Certificate?

An expanded range of opportunities for teachers and religious leaders

By earning your Graduate Certificate in Religious Education, you will be prepared for expanded professional opportunities teaching religion in schools, parishes, and other spiritual settings.

Since three of the program’s courses come from the core requirements of Loyola’s MA in Pastoral Studies curriculum, your work in the Religious Education Certificate can be seamlessly rolled into the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies program.

All of the required courses and electives are offered online, allowing you to complete the program in a way that is flexible and best suited to your specific needs.

In addition to the program’s two required courses, you will choose three electives from the core curriculum of the MA in Pastoral Studies program, which means you can customize course selections to focus on your interests and career goals.

You will join fellow students and faculty who form a tightly-knit community both within the certificate program and at the IPS, providing a learning environment that is personalized, supportive, and focused on empowering you to succeed.

The Institute of Pastoral Studies was founded in 1964, and today is recognized for its excellence in academic and extracurricular programming throughout Chicago and across the country.

Meet the Faculty

Loyola is proud to have talented and nationally-recognized scholar-teachers as part of our diverse community of exceptional faculty, students and staff. Loyola faculty are known for their commitment to teaching, the dissemination of knowledge through innovative and interdisciplinary scholarly research, and a commitment to social justice and cura personalis, or care for the whole person. Visit the Institute of Pastoral Studies faculty and staff directory to learn more about the teachers and mentors involved with the Religious Education Certificate program.

Faculty and Staff

Curriculum and Program Outcomes

While courses for the Religious Education Certificate program may vary from semester to semester, Loyola’s extensive Academic Catalog will always house the official listing of courses, programs of study, academic policies, degree requirements, and specialization or concentration options.

Additionally, this resource will provide Religious Education Certificate learning outcomes, showcasing the commitment to specific skills and growth graduates can expect to achieve following completion of the program.

2024-2025 Catalog
Browse Academic Catalog

Costs, Scholarships, and Aid

Loyola University Chicago is committed to making your graduate and professional studies a reality. Our Cost & Financial Aid page can help better inform you about the costs and potential funding opportunities through scholarships, loans, and aid for graduate and professional education.

If you are a current Loyola undergraduate or recent alum, you may be eligible for a Returning Rambler discount. Learn more and see if you qualify on our Returning Rambler Scholarship page.

Tuition and Costs

The estimated tuition and fees for the Religious Education Certificate totals $12750.00, or 15 credit hours at a cost of $850.00 per credit hour. Please note that tuition and fees for all of Loyola's academic programs are subject to change.

For more detailed information about tuition and fees, and a breakdown of how these costs are calculated on a yearly basis, please visit Tuition and Fees from the Office of the Bursar.

Institute of Pastoral Studies Financial Aid & Scholarships

More information about financial aid opportunities can be found on the Institute of Pastoral Studies Financial Aid page.

Appointments and Events

Whether you’re just beginning your search, in the midst of the application process, or eager to explore our graduate and professional programs, our admissions staff is here to assist you every step of the way.

Schedule an Appointment

The Institute of Pastoral Studies offers graduate open houses, information sessions, individual appointments, open Zoom and text sessions, and a multitude of other ways to get to know us better.

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Visit and Connect With Us

With our visit opportunities, you can tour our beautiful Chicago campuses and learn more about Loyola's ties to one of the most prestigious cities in the world.

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Application Process

Application Deadlines

The available start terms and corresponding application deadlines for the Religious Education Certificate are listed below. Please keep in mind that both the application and the required materials must be submitted by the specified deadline.

Fall, Spring, & Summer
Rolling admission

Recommended Deadlines
Fall: July 15
Spring: December 10
Summer: April 15

Final admission is 10 days before the start of classes

Application Requirements

Application requirements for the Religious Education Certificate include:

  • Official Transcripts

  • 2 Letters of Recommendation

  • 3.0 Minimum GPA

  • Statement of Purpose

Statement of Purpose Details

Please submit a 1,500-word essay describing your personal, educational, professional, and ministerial background and how these have prepared you for the specific MA or Certificate program for which you have applied. In your essay, also address the following:

  • Prior undergraduate or graduate study in theology or philosophy, if any

  • The ways in which your professional life and any volunteer service have emphasized spiritually, community and social justice

  • A theological book(s) that has helped to shape your understanding of your proposed vocation and course of study

  • Your vision of ministry, your strengths relative to this vocation, significant influences on your faith life (including minsterial mentors or role models), and the professional context in which you see yourself working upon completion of your program

  • Why you are choosing to pursue this degree at Loyola's IPS

Official Documents

Official transcripts are those that are sent directly by the college/university to Loyola University Chicago. Transcripts sent by the student to Loyola are considered unofficial documents, and while they may be utilized for initial review of your application, official transcripts are still required. Official documents should be sent by the institution to

International Applicant Requirements

An official English language proficiency exam is required for international applicants whose native language is not English. If you have non-U.S. educational credentials, you are required to submit an official transcript evaluation. The transcript evaluation cannot be waived.

Please visit our International Applicant Requirements page for specific information regarding the application process for international students.

International Applicant Requirements
Start Your Application

Applying online to the Religious Education Certificate program is a swift, uncomplicated, and cost-free process. After submission, you can proceed to send and upload any additional requirements.

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