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June 2022

Nice students and alumni attending a GPPM networking event.

Nice students and alumni attending a GPPM networking event.

New Markey Center for Leadership and Ministry Broadens Pastoral Ministries Program

A donation from the estate of Rev. Francis L. Markey will enable the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries to establish a new center to expand programs, workshops, internships, and more.

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jun. 30, 2022—Santa Clara University’s Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries (GPPM) in the College of Arts & Sciences is establishing the new Rev. Francis L. Markey Center for Leadership and Ministry. Funded by a generous donation from the Estate of Rev. Markey, the center will offer opportunities to build skills for those already working in ministry or those interested in doing so, while also offering expanded resources toward building inclusive and just communities.

“The Estate of Rev. Francis L. Markey has been a tremendous blessing to the GPPM,” said Joseph Morris, the program director. “It provides resources and opportunities to take what is offered and studied in the classroom out into parishes and communities through programs, workshops, internships, and spiritual opportunities that all seek to model and enflesh the servant leadership of Jesus. We could not do any of this without the generosity of the Rev. Markey Estate.”

The center will be the home of a number of existing programs already run by GPPM while planning to build and grow new programs based on the needs of the community. Some of these include:

  • Rev. Francis L. Markey “Women in Ministry” Speaker Series, a lecture series focused on highlighting and expanding the role of women in ministry
  • Internships, which will take place at community-based organizations, parishes, high schools, Diocesan offices/centers, and more.
  • New and existing leadership certification programs in areas such as restorative justice, chaplaincy, community building, liturgy, spirituality, and more.
  • Continuing education credits for the professional development of high school teachers, health care providers, and chaplains.
  • Building parish and community administrative skills, especially through social media and communication.
  • The new center will advance GPPM’s goals of fostering engagement in theology and ministry as well as educating leaders that serve in diverse ecclesial communities and pastoral positions. Additionally, many of the center’s programming components fulfill one or more of the Universal Apostolic Preferences of the Jesuits, further supporting the larger mission of the University. As an ecumenical body intended to benefit larger society, the center’s mission is geared towards meeting the needs of parishes, wider communities, and those most vulnerable—not just those of an individual faith.

In addition to funding the Markey Center, the gift has also funded a director position to run the center. GPPM has recently hired Janice Thornburg into the role. She brings 15 years of parish pastoral leadership, over 20 years of experience in parishes in children’s and youth formation, as well as RCIA, and over 25 years of leadership experience in nonprofit and for-profit settings. Janice has taught for the GPPM after receiving an M.A. in Pastoral Ministries from the program in 2012. She is currently working on the completion of a D.Min. in Congregational Development from Bexley Seabury in Chicago.

The Grand Opening of the center will be held on September 24, when GPPM will also celebrate 40 years since it began offering the M.A. in Pastoral Ministries at Santa Clara.

About the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries
Founded in 1983, the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries at Santa Clara University offers small classes in face-to-face or online blended formats, as well as fully online for those pursuing a MA in Pastoral Ministries. Tailored to students’ ministry goals, the program provides a strong theological foundation to an international body of students. With well over 600 graduates since its inception, the MA program specializes in courses in pastoral ministry, theology, spirituality, lifelong faith formation, and developing skills for ministry and accompaniment. The MA program now has three emphases: Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Restorative Justice and Chaplaincy, and Latina/o Ministries. Learn more at

About the College of Arts and Sciences at Santa Clara University
The College of Arts and Sciences is the heart of Santa Clara University. Our faculty integrate transformative teaching and innovative scholarship to engage students in the processes of learning, discovery, and reflection as members of a community of scholars. The College serves as the home of the undergraduate Core Curriculum, the Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries, and the Center for the Arts and Humanities, and offers programming through various initiatives, including the Frank Sinatra Chair in the Performing Arts. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Communications | | 408-554-5121


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Students and alumni attended a networking event for SCU's Graduate Program in Pastoral Ministries.