Defense Date

9-30-2010

Graduation Date

2010

Availability

Immediate Access

Submission Type

dissertation

Degree Name

PhD

Department

Theology

School

McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Maureen O'Brien

Committee Member

William Wright IV

Committee Member

Anna Floerke Scheid

Keywords

catholic, laity, lay ecclesial ministry

Abstract

Lay ecclesial ministry has become an increasingly important part of the experience of ministry in the Catholic Church today. The numbers of those engaged in lay ecclesial ministry, particularly in the United States, continues to rise. Yet questions as to how, or if, to describe lay ecclesial ministry as a vocation continue to cause tensions in the church. Key to those tensions are the underlying issues of the definition of the laity, the understanding of the secular character of the laity, the relationship between the ordained and laity in ministry, the basis of "call" to ministry, and the relationship between lay ecclesial ministers and the laity in general. It is critical that those issues continue to be developed if lay ecclesial ministry is to flourish. The purpose of this dissertation is to offer an articulation of a theology of ecclesial vocation for non-clerical faithful who are called by God as laity to ministry. It will use the concept of principal mutually transformative relationships to describe the secular character of the laity and apply that relationship to the ecclesial repositioning found in ministry.

Chapter one presents the current state of lay ecclesial ministry and will provide background on a Roman Catholic understanding of lay ecclesial ministry, including definition of terms, types of ministry, and statistical information. Chapter two will analyze two important understandings of communion ecclesiology, represented in the works of Yves Congar and Pope John Paul II, that have implications for an understanding of lay ecclesial ministry as a vocation. Chapter three will explore the understanding of the term "laity" and propose the concept of principal mutually transformative relationships. Chapter four will provide an understanding of ministry that can include lay ecclesial ministry while appreciating the need for a distinct ordained ministry using Edward Hahnenberg's concept of relational ministry with the addition of principal mutually transformative relationship. Chapter five will present the vocation of lay ecclesial ministry as a particular understanding of the vocation and mission of the laity founded on discipleship.

Format

PDF

Language

English

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