UIW Pastoral Institute Recognized with National Award

June 14, 2024

Institute Continues to Train Catholic Leaders of Tomorrow

Dr. Michael RomeroSan Antonio – June 14, 2024 – The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) and the UIW College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) is proud to announce that the UIW Pastoral Institute has been recognized with a national award from the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States (ACHTUS). UIW was well represented by Dr. Michael Romero, director of the Pastoral Institute and Sr. Eilish Ryan, CCVI and former longtime director of the Pastoral Institute at an award ceremony held by ACHTUS on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, in Boston.

The UIW Pastoral Institute prepares men and women for positions of leadership and service to communities and the Church through contemporary roles in ministry. In keeping with its mission, the department provides students with a breadth of knowledge in the liberal arts and Catholic culture, offers a solid foundation in biblical and theological studies in preparation for ministry and equips students with the leadership skills and intercultural fluency needed for effective pastoral ministry in today’s multicultural dioceses, parishes and institutions.

“I am deeply grateful for this recognition of the Pastoral Institute at UIW,” says Sr. Eilish, who led the Institute for more than 30 years. “To me, it acknowledges the vision, commitment and labors of many people for over 55 years to academic pastoral ministry education and formation, and in particular to Hispanic ministry development in Texas and across the United States.” 

Officially established in 1968, the Pastoral Institute at UIW was originally a certificate level academic and pastorally oriented program to promote the vision of the Second Vatican Council for a renewed church in which lay leadership was to be specifically encouraged and developed. In 1972, the Master of Arts degree program was initiated with the strong support of then Archdiocese of San Antonio Archbishop Patrick Flores. When the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC)opened, graduate students had the opportunity to enroll in some advanced courses focused on Hispanic theology and culture. The Bachelor of Arts degree was added in the 2000’s when an agreement was made between the two institutions that students enrolled in the BA program could take their core courses at UIW, the courses for their pastoral ministry degree at MACC, and receive an accredited bachelor’s degree from UIW. The relationship continues this way today for BA and MA students.

Over the course of more than five decades, hundreds of students have earned their master’s degree through the Pastoral Institute at UIW and even more have received certification. Today, there are 21 students studying at the BA and MA level.

“I was totally surprised when I received news of the award. It is an honor, and I am thankful to ACHTUS for the recognition,” says Romero. “The Pastoral Institute is collaborative by nature and will continue to be so as it grows. We have added new programs as a response to the need for them in the community. We have a new Chaplaincy Concentration in the master’s program where students will be able to earn Clinical Pastoral Education units, and we have added an associate’s degree. We are excited about the future of the Pastoral Institute and we look forward to many more gifts as God has given it.”

Media Contact:

Michael Valdes, Media and Public Relations ManagerOffice of Communications & Brand Marketing, (210) 829-6001, (210) 422-4052 or michael.valdes@uiwtx.edu

About UIW:

With over 140 years of tradition, the University of the Incarnate Word is committed to educational excellence in a context of faith in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God. UIW programs constitute a liberal education that fosters a well-grounded intellectual resilience, a disposition toward lifelong learning, and an acceptance of responsibility for the ethical consequences of our ideas and actions. Founded in 1881, UIW is the largest Catholic university in the state and the fourth largest private university in Texas. UIW students can choose from degrees offered at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. The University is committed to graduating students with the lowest amount of debt load possible and to help them secure a career that lifts their lives, their families and their communities. With a beautiful main campus in the heart of San Antonio, in 2019, UIW purchased a 10-acre landmark property at 4119 Broadway which increased the footprint of the UIW Broadway Campus by 15%. The building is now known as Founders Hall.  UIW has locations throughout San Antonio, South and Central Texas, two campuses in Mexico and a European Study Center in Strasbourg, France.  UIW is a leader in international education, with over 146 “sister schools” in 45 countries and it is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution. The University is a member of the NCAA Division I Southland Conference and is proud to have 25 teams representing 14 different sports. UIW is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.