St. John’s University’s Catholic Scholars Program Recognized

St. John’s University’s Catholic Scholars Program at St. Thomas More Church
June 26, 2018

St. John’s University’s Catholic Scholars program received the 2018 Exemplary Award for Ministry in Discipleship from the Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA) on May 31. Awards are presented to Campus Ministry programs and activities that are best exemplified at the national level.

“This national honor is quite special as it recognizes how we at St. John’s live our Catholic and Vincentian mission by creating disciples who live the motto of the program as ‘light of the world,’” said James R. Walters, Ed.D., Director of the Catholic Scholars program and Residence Ministry. “We are extremely grateful to our students and alumni who are inspirational, our dedicated colleagues across the University, our external partners, and to CCMA for their support and leadership in higher education.”

The award was presented at the CCMA National Convention in Bloomington, MN. Megan Rodriguez, St. John’s Residence Minister for Catholic Formation and Leadership and Catholic Scholars Sophomore Moderator, accepted the award on behalf of the University, Campus Ministry, and the Catholic Scholars program.

The goal of the Catholic Scholars is to create a community of committed students who are called to serve as leaders in the Roman Catholic Church. Catholic Scholars take part in a four-year developmental program that translates faith into action.

“It is wonderful for the Catholic Scholars to be recognized this way,” said Jacqueline Alvarez Vaca, a Government and Politics major.

“I know that wherever my life takes me, my faith will always be present. My faith has been strengthened by the program and the support of everyone involved with the Catholic Scholars.”

Students apply for membership in their senior year of high school. If accepted into the University and the program, they commit themselves to faith-based leadership training, service, and prayer, to form a deeper understanding of what it means to be a leader inspired by the Catholic tradition. This fall, St. John’s welcomes 36 freshmen into the seventh cohort of the program.

“The Catholic Scholars program taught me not only what it means to be a member of a Church and University that commit to caring for their community, but it also taught me how I can take my faith and make it my own,” said Kyle Waibel, a student in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences who will graduate in 2021.

The Catholic Campus Ministry Association is the national organization for Catholic campus ministers dedicated to the comprehensive vision of campus ministry outlined in the 1985 US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ pastoral letter, “Empowered by the Spirit: Campus Ministry Faces the Future,” as it attempts to create a culture of vocations on college campuses. CCMA is comprised of nearly 700 campus ministers serving students on more than 500 college campuses and in 144 dioceses throughout 49 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information on the Catholic Scholars program, please contact James R. Walters, Ed.D., Director of the Catholic Scholars program and Residence Ministry, at [email protected]; 718-990-6327.