Archdiocese hopes to expand Theological Institute with new sponsorship

BRAINTREE -- The Theological Institute for the New Evangelization (TINE) announced this week that sponsorship of the institute will shift from St. John Seminary to the archdiocese's Secretariat for Evangelization and Discipleship.

The secretariat was to send an announcement through the seminary to current degree students, faculty, and alumni by July 19. It was also to be included in the seminary's weekly mailing.

The announcement read in part, "This decision was made with the hope that TINE will be able to expand its offerings in order to draw more lay disciples and others into these activities."

For over eight years, TINE has provided laypeople, religious, and deacons with formation opportunities, including Master of Arts in Ministry (MAM) and Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degrees as well as a Catechetical Certificate program.

St. John Seminary will continue to offer the MAM and MTS degrees, with classes continuing to be held at the Pastoral Center. All non-degree programs will remain with TINE, and the secretariat hopes to expand the range of topics for which TINE offers certificates and workshops.

A new board of advisors will be created for TINE, with Assistant Secretary for Evangelization and Discipleship Michael Lavigne as its president.

"I think it's an opportunity. TINE's got a great history. They've done a nice job for the last eight years, and so we're just looking to build upon what they've already begun," Lavigne said July 16.

He said that his department has been hoping to "cast a wider net at a lower level," and that the programs they want to develop are intended for those in parishes who recognize that they need more training, but may not be able to commit to pursuing a degree.

"The things we're doing are things my team's heard, on the ground, from people in parishes, things that they need," he said.

The secretariat has developed a three-year plan for TINE, including a tiered system of current and potential offerings, such as certificate programs for evangelization, ministry leadership, liturgical music, canon law, and finance and operations.

The secretariat plans to make the TINE programs more accessible and flexible for participants by offering them in multiple languages, beginning with Spanish, and utilizing a combination of in-person and online training.

Hopefully, Lavigne said, there will be "more folks who are trained at a variety of levels so that we have volunteers across the archdiocese who are a little more trained, and then we have some of these next-level folks who are looking maybe to begin to dabble in some leadership in their parishes and then maybe even work for our parishes and schools."

Questions about the MAM and MTS degree programs can be directed to Dr. Aldona Lingertat at 617-779-4104 or Questions regarding the Catechetical Certificate can be directed to Joan Lamar at 617-746-5749 or