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Programs > Rural Outreach and Ministry > NCRLC Rural Practicum Course

NCRLC Rural Practicum Course

Each August, NCRLC and the Saint Paul Seminary team up to offer a Rural Ministry Practicum course to Theology III seminarian students. The purpose of the Practicum is to provide future priests with a new awareness of the rich and unique life that exists in rural communities. With the leadership of Jim Ennis, and NCRLC board member, Dr. Christopher Thompson, these aspiring priests engage in an intensive week examining various areas of rural life.

The week begins with classroom time that focuses on Catholic social teaching as it relates to agriculture, rural communities, and creation. Seminarians also became aware of the mission and history of NCRLC.  Guest speakers provided additional perspective and insight into rural ministry from rural pastoring experience and Hispanic ministry.  To cap the week, the Practicum participants take a short trek to a dairy farm to experience the rural setting. The week-long Practicum also provides group discussion, daily Mass, and personal reflection time. 
Further Reading:
Equipping our Pastors
Seminarian Testimonials:
“The Rural Ministry Practicum was an eye and heart-opening experience for me in many ways.  The Practicum helped me to realize the interdependent roles of priests and laity within rural ministry. Through the steadfast efforts of NCRLC, thousands of lives have been positively impacted due to the valuable information that they have helped to promote and share about rural communities. I will be sure to utilize their excellent educational resources, God willing, in my future ministry.”
- James E. Peterson, 2011 Practicum
“I came to a deeper understanding of what it means for Catholics to respect the earth and the environment.  It was good to be remindedthat there is a balanced, responsible way to go about this, and that the Church is concerned about these issues.”
- Joah Ellis, 2011 Practicum


Challenges of Rural Life

Creating a Rural Life Group

Green Ribbon Churches

NCRLC Lay Leadership Program

Pastoral Reflections

Rural-Urban Connection

Survey of Rural Parishes

Virtue of Rural Life and Family Farms