Institute for Lay Ecclesial Ministry (ILEM)

“As a pastor, I have been blessed to work with two graduates of the first ILEM class: our current DRE at St. Catherine of Siena, and a ministry coordinator at Mary, Queen of Peace when I served as pastor there. If my experience is any indication of the effectiveness of ILEM, I can say without a doubt that ILEM is very effective indeed! They serve humbly, knowledgeably, and with great joy. I am looking forward to working with another ILEM graduate, who will serve as Youth Minister at St. Catherine starting this summer.”

– Fr. Ronald Caulkins, Former Pastor at St. Catherine of Siena Parish

Interested in a robust Catholic leadership program? This program consists of ministry training that combines theological studies with human, spiritual and pastoral formation, culminating in a special commissioning by one’s diocesan bishop as a Lay Ecclesial Minister.

The Institute for Lay Ecclesial Ministry (ILEM) of Notre Dame Seminary is a full-fledged formation program for leaders and essential volunteers in ministry and teaching, creating a community of well-formed and well-educated laity who are commissioned to assist bishops, priests, and deacons as they shepherd God’s people. It includes the same four dimensions of formation that are integral to diaconate and priestly formation programs, including human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation as detailed in the USCCB document Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord. After successful completion of the program, both new and veteran lay ecclesial ministers are sent forth to catechize, form and evangelize others.

“Having been sent and evangelized, the Church herself sends out evangelizers. She puts on their lips the saving Word, she explains to them the message, she gives them the mandate which she herself has received and she sends them out to preach… not their own selves or their personal ideas, but a Gospel of which… they are the ministers, in order to pass it on with complete fidelity.”

– Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi no. 15

Scholarship Opportunity

You may be eligible for our two scholarships: Handing on the Faith and Ecclesial Ministry Discount! Please see attachments for qualifications.



“The word I always use to describe the Institute for Lay Ecclesial Ministry program at Notre Dame Seminary is “empowering”. Being formed in such a comprehensive program helped me develop my faith and gave me the ministerial skills I could not get from a straight academic program.”

– Michelle Alley, Director of Religious Education

Course Requirements

  • 23 credit hours = 11 formation credits of human, spiritual, intellectual, pastoral + 12 credits of scripture, liturgy/sacraments, morality, dogmatic
  • All requirements may be completed in 2 years.


ILEM MAPL Handbook – 2019

Contact Us

Don’t be shy! We’re happy to help with your discernment!

Jordan Haddad, Ph.D. (cand.) Director of Lay Ministry Programs and Lay Formation 866-7426 ext 123

Pamela Cosse, Administrative Assistant, (504) 866-7426 ext 742