Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Pastoral Studies


IPS New Digital Communication Concentration in MAPS

IPS New Digital Communication Concentration in MAPS

Loyola University Chicago’s Institute of Pastoral Studies is pleased to announce a new concentration available to students beginning fall 2015: Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies degree with a Concentration in Digital Communication.

The first program of its kind in the US, the Concentration in Digital Communication combines courses from Loyola's IPS and its School of Communication. As the contemporary world—and with it, today’s Church—is ever more driven and influenced by content delivered through digital platforms and social media, it is critical that pastoral leaders be skilled in the use of the newest tools for effective evangelization and outreach.

This degree concentration will allow students to hone their communication skills and learn best practices for using digital media in the dissemination of parish/congregation/diocese news, events, and the message of the Gospel in order to reach a wider audience than is possible through, but doesn't exclude, “legacy” print and broadcast media.

Earlier this year, IPS hosted a launch event featuring a panel discussion to introduce and celebrate this new concentration.

After opening remarks from Archbishop Blase Cupich, the event was moderated by Don Wycliff, distinguished journalist in residence at Loyola University Chicago. Wycliff was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in editorial writing in 1996, has been inducted into the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame and received a lifetime achievement award from the Chicago Journalists Association. He was also a long time editor for the Chicago Tribune and is a nationally recognized expert on ethics.

Panelists for this event include four prominent leaders in Catholicism’s “digital revolution”:

  • Bishop Christopher Coyne (@bishopcoyne)—On his 2011 appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Indianapolis, then Fr. Coyne became global Catholicism’s first blogging priest to become a bishop. In the time since, Bishop Coyne has expanded his digital ministry to podcasting, Facebook and Twitter—an outreach which saw him featured on the Today show. A former director of communications for the Archdiocese of Boston and a host on the CatholicTV cable network in late 2014, the US bishops elected Bishop Coyne as chair of their Communications Committee.
  • Rocco Palmo (@roccopalmo)—The voice behind the influential Whispers in the Loggia news blog site and a former US correspondent for the London-based international Catholic weekly The Tablet, he's been a church analyst for mainstream print and broadcast outlets including the Chicago Tribune, New York Times, BBC, CNN, and National Public Radio. In 2011, Palmo co-chaired the Vatican’s first-ever conference on social media, convened by the Pontifical Councils for Culture and Social Communications, and guided the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' national seminar on the "digital church" in 2012.
  • Kerry Weber (@Kerry_Weber)—Currently the managing editor of the Jesuits' America Magazine in New York, frequently appears as a co-host on"America This Week," a weekly radio program, The Catholic Channel. She is a recipient of Catholic Relief Services' Egan Journalism Fellowship recognizing excellence in the Catholic media. A graduate of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Providence College in Rhode Island, she is a former associate editor for Catholic Digest and The Catholic Observer, as well as a onetime TV producer and reporter, Weber’s account of daily spirituality for the Millennial generation, Mercy in the City, was recently published by Loyola Press.
  • Fr. Manuel Dorantes (@TweetingPriest)—Known affectionately around Chicago as "Fr. Manny," he is “La Voz del Vaticano” (“The Vatican’s Voice”) as the Holy See Press Office’s chief liaison for Spanish-speaking media. A priest of the Chicago archdiocese and MBA candidate at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Dorantes is a veteran of NBC and Univision and can now be heard worldwide via Vatican Radio as its Spanish narrator and translator for major papal events.