Fact Sheet


What is the Diocesan Theological Institute?
Since September 2008, courses have been offered through the Ministry Formation Office for ongoing education in Theological Studies. Each course meets four times for three hours for a total of 12 clock hours per course.

Where will Courses be held?
Most classes will meet at the Diocesan Administration Building in Rockford. At times a course may be held at an alternative site such as Boylan Catholic High School in Rockford, the Newman Center in DeKalb, or St. Catherine of Siena in Dundee to accommodate an instructor or a large group.

Who can attend these classes?
Permanent Deacons and their wives and anyone who has completed the Ministry Formation Program or its equivalent are eligible to register.

Is Certification granted?
Any participant who completes 12 courses, one from each core area and six electives will earn certification from the Diocesan Theological Institute. A brief test or some form of evaluation will be required at the conclusion of each course to determine a Pass/Fail status. Participants can also register to audit a class for no credit towards certification in the Institute. Courses will satisfy ongoing formation requirements for Permanent Deacons and catechists.

What are the Core Theological Areas for course offerings?
Scripture (SC), Doctrine (D), Spirituality (SP), Morality (M), Church History (CH) and Liturgy/Sacraments (L)

How long will it take to complete coursework for certification?
This is totally up to the participant. A person can take one course a year or as many as one’s schedule allows.

What will it cost for each course?
Each course will cost $100.00. Checks are to be made out to the Ministry Formation Office and submitted with the registration form. Some courses will require a modest amount of reading. Prior to the start of the course participants will be notified of any required books to be purchased.

When do the courses begin?
Classes will be offered on Saturdays (both from 9:00 AM to noon, and from 1:00 to 4:00 PM) and weeday evenings (from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM) from September through May.

What if I have to miss a class?
A participant should plan to be in attendance for the entirety of every session of a course. If circumstances suddenly arise that prohibit one’s attendance for a session, the participant will be given a make-up assignment by the instructor. Missing two of the four sessions would nullify receiving credit for the course.

Whom should I contact for more information?
You can contact the Ministry Formation Office at 815-399-4300 Ext. 389 or email  John McGrath

Spring Schedule 2017

About the Classes

The Search for God: How to talk about God and share your Faith (D)
Deacon Rick Marcantonio

Saturdays—Jan 21 &  28, Feb 11 & 25, 2017—9:00 AM to Noon

St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Parish, 1023 McHenry Ave., Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Believers today find themselves increasingly surrounded by people who do not simply deny our faith but aggressively question belief in God at all. This course offers guidance for a defense of our faith using reason and common sense, using a charitable approach that respects the good will and sincerity of all people on both sides of the debate.

Joy and Praise: Two Writings of Pope Francis (D/CH)
Terry Banas

Saturdays—Jan 21 &  28, Feb 11 & 25, 2017—9:00 AM to Noon

St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Parish, 1023 McHenry Ave., Crystal Lake, IL 60014

Many have read about Pope Francis' writings but fewer have read Pope Francis' actual words.  This is a discussion based course focusing on analysis, understanding, and reflection on two major writings of Pope Francis:  Evangelii Gaudium: Joy of the Gospel and Laudato si: On Care For Our Common Home.  We will spend two sessions on each of the writings, hopefully plunging their depths and elevating our spirits with his enlightening insights.

Medieval Spirituality (SP)
Fr. David Peck


Saturdays—Feb 18, & April 1, 2017—9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

St. John Neumann, 2900 E. Main St., St. Charles, IL 60174

This course studies key men and women and religious orders whose faith and writings influenced Catholics throughout the Middle Ages. It was a time of deep faith guided by spiritual masters who still speak profoundly to the hearts and souls of Catholics today.

Exploring the Deuterocanonical Books of the Old Testament (SC)
John McGrath

Saturdays—March 4 & 11, 2017—9:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Diocesan Administration Bldg, 555 Colman Center Dr., Rockford, IL 61108

Judith, Tobit, Baruch, 1,2 Maccabees, Sirach and Wisdom are often under-appreciated spiritual classics in our Catholic Bible. Join us to see how they came to be part of our Biblical canon and to become familiar with their background, content and spiritual significance for today’s Catholics.

Registration Form

Registration Form
(PDF format)


None at this time.