rinderknecht-jakob-1 UIW is proud to welcome Dr. Jakob Karl Rinderknecht as director of the Pastoral Institute. Rinderknecht comes to UIW via St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., where he was a visiting professor. He also served in the Department of Theology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. Rinderknecht earned a bachelor’s degree in liturgical studies from Valparaiso University, a Master of Arts in Theology from St. John’s University and a Doctor of Philosophy in Religious Studies from Marquette University.

He follows Sr. Eilish Ryan, CCVI, who recently retired as director of the institute. During her 35-year tenure, Ryan was instrumental for the program’s growth and development. In addition to the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, Ryan oversaw the addition of an undergraduate major and minor in Pastoral Ministry. These degrees are offered in cooperation with the Mexican American Catholic College (MACC).

Rinderknecht is looking forward to developing current programs hosted by the institute and continuing UIW’s long-standing commitment to making education available to the local church.

During this coming year, the university will be looking for ways to strengthen the M.A. program. “We are looking at a variety of options now,” Rinderknecht says, “which will likely include expanded blended and online offerings, along with some revisions to the program to suit the needs of today’s lay ministers. We would be grateful for input from alumni and from others as to what needs there are, and how best to serve the local Church.”

Initiated in 1968 as an undergraduate certificate program and expanded in 1972 to the graduate level, the Pastoral Institute has consistently responded to the educational needs of individuals in or preparing for professional or volunteer ministries and service in the Church. While Roman Catholic in its orientation, the program is open to applicants from all denominational backgrounds. Graduates of the Pastoral Institute serve in a wide variety of settings including Catholic and religious education as wells as diocesan program administration.

For more info, visit http://www.uiw.edu/pastoral/