On May 22nd, Dean Anderson gave a talk on Careers in Ministry at the Lincoln Center campus. The Dean looked at historical trends in the development of the Church and set today’s Church in that context. He discussed avenues to serve in ministry through educational institutions, houses of worship, non-profits, hospitals and many other avenues. With the reduction in the number of people in the clergy and religious orders, Dean Anderson discussed the need to train lay people now to fill roles traditionally filled by the clergy in the past. He used the current student body of the Graduate School of Religion to illustrate the shift of so many people from other careers to second careers in ministry. He discussed the creation of new ministries in the work of Dorothy Day and St. Ignatius of Loyola and related them to new trends today.
What are the needs of the times? Dean Anderson discussed the call for new ministries to match the needs of the day in Lumen Gentium and in Ignatius’ writings. As the number of people in religious orders has declined steadily, the GSRRE has continued to grow. How has this happened? The number of lay people, particularly second career people, in our program has grown steadily. The Dean discussed the shifts in his school to meet the needs(degrees) and schedules(night courses, online courses, summer intensives) of people serving the 21st century Church. In looking at future trends, the Dean expects continued growth in mission positions in organizations like hospitals, colleges, etc.