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Formation Resources

The following is a list of formation resources available to JST students, grouped according to the four areas of formation – intellectual, spiritual, pastoral, and human - outlined in U.S. Catholic Bishops’ documents on formation:   Program of Priestly Formation and Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord: A Resource for Guiding the Development of Lay Ecclesial Ministry.  Those resources that are specifically for lay students, or that are specific to a degree program, are indicated as such.

Spiritual Formation:

Individual spiritual direction

Retreat Days/Faith Sharing Experiences:

  • Small faith-sharing groups, initiated and led by students. These may be mixed groups of different students, or they may be specific groups such as lay students, sabbatical students, or Jesuit students.
  • Retreat days for students in the Master of Divinity program
  • Lay formation retreats (annual weekend overnight retreat)
  • Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius in Daily Life (the 19th Annotation retreat)
  • Days of prayer, for example, Advent and Lent retreat days
  • Pilgrimage experiences (for example, the Camino Ignaciano)
  • Retreats offered by Campus Ministry, Santa Clara University

Liturgical formation:

  • Daily Mass
  • JST community weekly liturgy on Tuesday evenings
  • Liturgies with lay presiding and preaching (bi-weekly)
  • Liturgies with student deacons preaching (bi-weekly)
  • Cultural celebrations such as Las Posadas, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Lunar New Year, Black Catholic History Month
  • Seasonal celebrations such as Advent and Lent reconciliation services
  • Sant’Egidio Lay Community liturgies (initiated and led by lay students)

Pastoral Formation:

M.Div. Field Education: placements at schools, prisons, hospitals, parishes, campus ministry, retreat centers

Skills-based semester-long courses such as spiritual direction, lay presiding, pastoral counseling

Bridge Courses”:  one-unit classes bridging academic theology with ministerial experience, or connecting theology with other disciplines.  Examples include: high school pedagogy, prison ministry practicum, pastoral Spanish, religion writing for a broader public.

Skills-based workshops, such as conflict resolution, boundaries in ministry, suicide prevention

Interreligious, course-based immersions

Service opportunities in the local community (separate from supervised placements), for example, serving meals to the homeless, visiting nursing homes

Practicum placements for students in the S.T.D, S.T.L., and Th.M. programs, for example, in parishes, prisons, campus ministry, retreat centers

Human formation:

Community formation:

  • Lay intentional living community
  • Tuesday night soup suppers after liturgy

Workshops in personality assessment such as Enneagram or Myers-Briggs

Career Advising and Placement Assistance (primarily for lay students)

Cultural formation:

  • Interreligious, course-based immersions
  • Various school events: JST, GTU, Santa Clara University, U.C. Berkeley, such as lectures, films, visual and performing arts
  • Resources (cultural, social, recreational) of the San Francisco Bay Area, such as performing arts, film festivals, museums, cultural celebrations such as Lunar New Year or Día de los muertos

Intellectual formation:

Academic Degree program classes

Visiting guest speakers, for example Religion and Culture series, annual Dean’s Lecture, lectures by visiting scholars

“Theology ThursDei’s” (weekly social gathering for theological discussion, initiated and led by students)

Various events at the GTU, Santa Clara University, and U.C. Berkeley, such as lectures and symposia