Anna Maria College in Paxton has launched a master's degree in pastoral ministry.
According to the college, the program is designed to help students seeking to deepen their faith and learn the skills necessary for faith leaders.
In a statement, Marc Tumeinski, assistant professor of theology at the school, said the college was reopening the graduate program to carry on the charism of Anna Maria's founders, the Sisters of St. Anne.
Already, 12 candidates are taking courses this spring and summer. The group is preparing for ordination as deacons in the Worcester diocese, and the program could be opened for catechetical leaders in the diocese, Tumeinski said.
The degree will allow graduates to teach religious education in a parish setting or theology in a school, work as a chaplain or pastoral associate in a medical setting, direct a campus ministry office, lead adult faith formation programs or work as a pastoral associate within a parish.
Students in the four-year program can be eligible for tuition discounts for serving in parishes or Catholic schools in the Worcester Diocese.