Published May 20, 2004
Nine people from the Atlanta extension site of Spring Hill College at Holy Spirit Church earned master’s degrees in theological studies at the graduation ceremony for the 225 members of the class of 2004 held May 9.
They are Richard Mauney, Julia Ray, Pat Crellin, Toni Vilardi, Deacon Keith Kolodziej, Mark Dannenfelser, Bob Kenney, Kathy Hoffman and John Staten. Graduate theology students from Atlanta, Mobile, Birmingham and Jackson, Miss., attended the graduation retreat from May 6-8 at the Seton Center in Mobile, where the Jesuit college is located. Graduates and their families attended a Baccalaureate Mass at 5 p.m. Saturday on the college campus and the Sunday graduation where they took a historic walk down the Avenue of the Oaks.
The keynote speaker for the graduation was Father William J. Byron, SJ, interim president of Loyola University New Orleans, who also received an honorary doctorate of humanities along with Fannie Ernestine Motley, the first African-American to graduate from Spring Hill College.
“I get people calling me all the time about it,” said Ann Bailey, Atlanta extension program coordinator. “It’s meeting the needs of a lot of people in the area and also is going to help the archdiocese by people becoming so (educated in) their faith. I think it’s a tremendous program.”
Deacon Jerry Korte and Mary Korte were the first married couple to complete the program.
Spring Hill College, The Jesuit College of the South, has provided an extension site in Atlanta at Holy Spirit Catholic Church since 1997. Spring Hill offers a variety of degree programs in theological study aimed primarily at the “non-traditional” student. The program offers a contemporary, ecumenical perspective in theology from the Catholic tradition. Courses provide the challenge of serious theological reflection for laymen and women as well as clergy and Religious. The program is appropriate for preparation for pastoral ministry or religious education, as well as continuing education or as a journey in personal enrichment. The program has attracted students from a diversity of backgrounds: teachers, nurses, lawyers and business professionals, lay ministers and Catholic and Protestant clergy.
Each year, Spring Hill offers four Saturday courses. Classes usually meet every other Saturday for a total of six class meetings. In addition, at the Atlanta site, one course is offered on weeknights, typically on Tuesday evenings, from 6:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m., for twelve weeks during the fall and spring semester. Each course is offered for undergraduate or graduate credit with separate and distinct requirements for each level. The cost per credit is $230. Most courses are three-credit courses. Additional courses are offered through the Summer Institute of Christian Spirituality in Mobile and the Atlanta Institute of Christian Spirituality; session one is June 20-25 and session two is June 26-July 1. Spring Hill will also offer a certificate in spiritual direction beginning in September 2004. Registration is underway for the Atlanta Institute of Christian Spirituality, an outgrowth of the degree program. Bailey said the summer classes are for one credit hour but can also be audited.
“They get some high quality instructors from people willing to come down for the summer,” she said.
Beginning in September, Dr. Emmanuel J. Cutrone will teach “Reconciliation” and Dr. Dent Davis will teach “Leadership and Ministry.”
Kathy Hoffman, a member of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Alpharetta, enrolled in the master’s program out of her desire to teach theology in a Catholic high school. “Spring Hill helped me realize my goal, and I began teaching theology at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in August 2003.”
For further information about the programs in theological studies or application and registration procedures, contact Ann Bailey at (404) 252-4513, ext. 28, or visit www.shc.edu.