A new professional qualification for Second Level Teachers called the Diploma in Catholic Education will be offered by St. Patrick’s College Maynooth. This course represents a partnership between St. Patrick’s College-Maynooth, NUI-Maynooth and the University of Notre Dame.

Diploma in Catholic Education at St. Patrick’s College-Maynooth

Context of Proposal:

The Diploma in Catholic Education at St. Patrick’s College- Maynooth is an initiative borne out of the successful Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) programme that is administered by the University of Notre Dame, which is located in South Bend, Indiana, USA.

Overview of Proposal

St Patrick’s College, Maynooth has forged a link with the National University of Ireland-Maynooth's Postgraduate Diploma in Education to create a second-level teacher-training programme for Catholic schools. The rationale for this proposal is the lack of programmes dedicated to training post-primary teachers to work in Catholic schools, despite the fact that approximately 57% of post-primary schools in Ireland are Catholic. The introduction of this programme will encourage and support committed and enthusiastic teachers, and could have a considerable impact on the ethos of post-primary Catholic schools.

Objectives of the Diploma in Catholic Education

The objectives of the Diploma in Catholic Education are to inspire a cohort of students to:

  1. A greater understanding of the theological foundation and history of Catholic Education.
  2. A more significant awareness of their role and responsibility as Catholic School teachers.
  3. A deeper sense of their own spirituality and how it is expressed through their day-to-day experience as teachers in Catholic schools.

Pillars of Proposed Programme


We will be targeting ten students who are currently enrolled or have recently completed the Professional Diploma in Education at NUIM. In addition to the NUIM classes the participants have already or are presently taking, they will undertake classes at St Patrick’s College that will continue their formation as Catholic schoolteachers. As a capstone experience to the Diploma in Catholic Education, students will spend two weeks (June 15th- June 29th 2013) at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana USA participating in both academic and retreat experiences.


  • Catholic Education- Roots, History and Content
  • The Spirituality of the Catholic Teacher
  • The Christian Moral Life
  • Catholic Social Doctrine
  • Introduction to the Christian Scriptures
  • The Christian Creed


Participants in the programme will be encouraged to develop spiritually in the context of community. This will be achieved through:

  • Three retreat experiences
  • Opening retreat in October 2012
  • Lenten retreat in March 2013
  • Closing retreat in June 2013
  • Bi-weekly opportunities for Mass and prayer
  • Students will participate in the monthly ACE Advocate Masses in the Keough-Naughton Notre Dame Centre in Dublin.
  • Students will meet with the Community Chaplain and Supervisor once a month for Mass and dinner in Maynooth.


The participants in the Diploma in Catholic Education will be asked to form a community outside the academic component of the programme. Students will be required to meet monthly to celebrate Mass and dinner with the Community Chaplain and the Community Supervisor. Students will also be asked to attend the monthly ACE Advocate Gatherings at the Keough-Naughton Notre Dame Centre to tap into a wider community of those involved in Catholic Education.

Cost of Course:

· 500 euro including travel and board for the two week programme at the University of Notre Dame


  • September 2012:
  • The programme will be outlined at a meeting of all PDE participants (organised through NUIM). A further meeting will follow for those who may be interested in applying.
  • Information leaflets will be sent to school to engage those currently teaching that may be interested in the programme. People will be invited to the information session to be held at NUIM.
  • Late September 2012
  • Students wishing to take part in the programme complete an application and are interviewed in late September 2012.
  • October 2012
  • Weekend Retreat Experience
  • Students begin Module 1 of the Diploma in Catholic Education.
  • February 2013
  • Students begin Module 2 of the Diploma in Catholic Education.
  • March 2013
  • Lenten Retreat Experience
  • June 2013
  • Students travel to Notre Dame for Modules 3 -6 of the Diploma in Catholic Education. A retreat experience and commissioning Mass are also included.


John O'Malley

Coordinator, Diploma in Catholic Education
c/o Keough - Naughton Notre Dame Centre
58 Merrion Square
Dublin 2

email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now