Saint Patrick’s Pontifical University and Bon Secours Health System sign professional development agreement

24 Nov, 2023 | Church, News

(Caption: At the signing of an agreement between Saint Patrick’s Pontifical University, Maynooth (SPPU) and Bon Secours Health System (BSHS) for the provision of Professional development programmes by the university, to BSHS is Rev Prof Michael Mullaney, President of SPPU and Andrew McCarthy, Chief Sponsorship and Mission Officer, BSHS.

In response to challenges in the provision of Pastoral Care, BSHS has made available a bursary to develop a continuous education initiative which will support the ongoing professional development of pastoral care workers in areas of work in diocese, parish, healthcare, education, prison and military.

BSHS identified SPPU as a partner in the provision of such professional development, especially for those in Catholic pastoral care roles and to assist with the continuous education and training of people working in Pastoral Care or Chaplaincy roles.

The President of SPPU, Rev Prof Michael Mullaney and Chief Sponsorship and Mission Officer at Bon Secours Health System, Andrew McCarthy have formally signed the agreement for provision of these educational services between both organisations.

SPPU will develop and provide Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programmes, micro credentials and short courses aligned to the National Qualifications Framework.  These will be made accessible on its online learning platform and are being designed to accumulate toward recognised certification and can scale to Master’s level.  SPPU will develop three Level 9 courses in the field of Ethics, Pastoral Care and Values based leadership.  Academic content will be developed and delivered by SPPU. Utilising the online learning platform means the programmes are accessible at times suitable to those in employment.  These programmes will roll out in 2024.

Commenting on the agreement to develop and deliver these programmes, Professor Mullaney, said: “I am very encouraged to see this agreement come to fruition between both organisations.  At SPPU we see our role as being at the forefront of Pastoral and Ministry education and ensuring professionals in the field have adequate skills to make a real difference in the lives of those they serve.  Partnering with such a strong group as Bon Secours Health System to assist them deliver their Pastoral care and Chaplaincy mission is a perfect fit for us.  I welcome the team at Bon Secours to the SPPU learning community and look forward to celebrating their achievements at future graduations”.

Mr McCarthy, added: “Our mission in Bon Secours Health System is deeply rooted in providing compassionate and exceptional medical care to those in need.  We believe in the important role pastoral care plays in healthcare and related fields.  This partnership signifies a significant step forward in advancing the education and training of pastoral care professionals, ultimately benefiting the communities they serve.”

The development of these pastoral and outreach programmes is a real demonstration of SPPU delivering on its mission of drawing on its Catholic tradition, committing to the highest levels of teaching, learning, research, and publication to promote the intellectual, human and professional development of its students.  The programmes for Bon Secours Health System will be delivered by the team at the University’s recently launched Centre for Mission and Ministries.

Commenting on the agreement, Dr Jessie Rogers, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at SPPU remarked: “This agreement is an exciting development for us here at SPPU.  It is a tangible representation of how our Mission and Ministries programmes aim to equip people for effective ministry in both church and society.  The roll out of programmes through our online platform responds to the needs of today’s professional learner who needs to juggle professional development with busy careers and family life.  Our online platform puts the learner more in control of when and how to engage with their individual learning needs”.



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