The purpose of this initiative is to help retain, educate and develop outstanding young adult leaders from your diocese.  

With advanced degrees, young adults can apply their talents and energy as effective ministry leaders in your diocese
With advanced degrees, young adults can apply their talents and energy as effective ministry leaders in your diocese.

Catholic Extension has partnered with several Catholic universities, including Boston College, Fordham University and the University of Notre Dame, to offer a master's degree to outstanding young adult leaders from your diocese who commit to working for the Church in a supervised internship during their studies. This agreement covers 100 percent of the cost of tuition. 

During this period, Catholic Extension also will provide more than $30,000 to support a modest stipend, travel expenses and housing arrangements for each of the students while they are living and working in your diocese.

Over a two-and-a-half-year period, young leaders in their 20s and 30s will complete a degree in religious education, theology or pastoral ministry at one of the universities mentioned above. Courses occur in the summer, online or during various week-long intensive sessions in order to enable the student to work as an intern in a ministerial position that you assign locally. Ideally, this initiative should include two or three young adult leaders per diocese so students can create community and support for one another while they are studying and working.

If a diocese desires to hire a particular student upon completion of the program, Catholic Extension will provide the diocese with a $10,000 grant to help fund the graduate's first-year salary. 

Duration: 2.5 years
Value to Participating Diocese: $65,000 (per student)


To Apply

Applications to begin the program June 2015 are currently being accepted, with an application deadline of January 23, 2015Candidates do not apply to the school’s graduate programs until they are notified as to whether or not they have received funding.

  1. Read and review all program documents linked above.
  2. Complete the online application form.  Applications are expected to open again for this initiative in winter of 2015.


Contact Terry Witherell, Senior Director of Mission, at 508.668.1786 or