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The St. Francis de Sales School for Pastoral Ministry

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The St. Francis de Sales School for Pastoral Ministry

Course Descriptions | Class Dates | Special Courses | Instructors | Registration | Payments 



Tuition Assistance available. Please contact Sandra Martinez with any questions at 510-267-8371.


The mission of the Saint Francis de Sales School for Pastoral Ministry is to form adults to be “missionary disciples,” inspired and equipped to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to their families, parishes and the wider world.



Saint Francis de Sales School for Pastoral Ministry aids the formation of the Faithful of the Diocese of Oakland to help them realize the universal call to holiness.  Centered on the constitutions of the Second Vatican Council and shaped by the vision of Pope Francis for the New Evangelization, this integrated set of courses is newly designed to form students to be “missionary disciples.”  It provides formation in Christ-centered spirituality and prayer, a style of teaching that flows from and inspires transformation in Christ, and a missionary outlook focused on witnessing to the Gospel within our families, parishes, and the wider world.

The courses are designed to complement and build upon each other.  In Year One, students deepen their knowledge of God and human existence through an exploration of biblical revelation; they also receive formation in Christian spirituality and prayer.  Year Two moves on to explore the theological tradition and worship of the Church.  Year Three prepares students to engage in the mission of evangelization within and around their parish communities.

The School meets one Saturday per month for three years.  Using an adult-learning model, students take classes, which include lectures, discussions, reading, and theological reflection.  They also pray together and participate in the sacraments and liturgies of the Church.  Courses are tailored to meet the needs of the working professional.  As participants engage with the course content, they are challenged to grow in intentional discipleship and missionary passion.

Following this program, students will have the opportunity to specialize their studies in a particular area of ministry or area of interest.


  • Spirituality and Prayer in the Christian Tradition
  • Sacred Scripture
  • The Documents of the Second Vatican Council
  • Church History
  • The Creed: Trinity, Jesus Christ, the Paschal Mystery, the Holy Spirit, the Church and the Last Things
  • Sacraments
  • Transformation in Christ
  • Catholic Social Teaching
  • Catholic Moral Thought
  • The New Evangelization
  • The Mission and Spirituality of the Laity
  • Evangelization through Film and Fiction


Qoutes-SPM.gifCourse Offerings – Fall Semester 2018

Year 2:
A.M.—“The Creed, Pt 2: The Holy Spirit, the Church and the Last Things”
P.M.—“Introduction to Liturgy and Canon Law of the Sacraments”

Year 3:
A.M.—“Catholic Social Teaching”
P.M.—“Marriage and Family: Theology, Spirituality, and Pastoral Ministry”



  • Individuals or couples who wish to grow in missionary discipleship as they encounter Jesus Christ through study, prayer, and service.
  • Lay ministers who would like to deepen their knowledge of God’s self-revelation, cultivate a robust spiritual life, and build their practical ministerial skills.
  • Catholic School teachers who want to enhance their Catholic identity through a deeper engagement with our spiritual and theological traditions.
  • Catechists and those interested in applying as Master Catechist candidates. Please check with the Diocese if interested in pursuing this certificate.



Classes start January of each year. While applications are received mainly between September and December of each year, applications may be received year-round. Applicants will be notified as to whether or not they have been accepted. Please register in a timely manner since space for each new class is limited.

Register online today here



$25.00 Application Fee + online registration fees (non-refundable)

$450.00 per school year (4 courses and 1 retreat for a total of 60 hours of formation). Cost of the program does not include textbooks. Tuition assistance is available upon request.