Licentiate for Sacred Theology in the New Evangelization: A Live Lecture from Fr. Michael Wollbaum

Recently Fr. Michael Wollbaum completed his requirements for a Licentiate for Sacred Theology in the New Evangelization (STL) from the Angelicum in Rome through Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan which is affiliated with the Angelicum.  This specialized degree program has been in existence for several years and was a response to St. John Paul II’s call for a new evangelization by the Archdiocese of Detroit.  The program is a typical masters’ program with 48 credit hours of required study in courses of different areas of theology such as dogmatic, spiritual, biblical and moral theology.  There is a special emphasis in each course in how the subject matter relates to the new evangelization.  There was a special summer program where the priests taking the course from various countries would live in house for approximately 5-6 weeks, with the rest of the courses being taught online during the year over the course of a 4 year period.  Many of the priests came from different ministries and backgrounds and were either religious or diocesan priests.  The priests in the STL program would eat, pray and learn together and also have fraternal time together.  There were various opportunities to experience how the new evangelization was playing out in various parishes of the Archdiocese of Detroit, who had finished their archdiocesan synod around the time we were beginning ours as an archdiocese.  The experience was powerful for Fr. Wollbaum and he learned from his professors and colleagues in ministry about the challenges and successes in carrying out the new evangelization.  As well, he personally grew in faith and felt taking the degree improved his ministry and life as a priest.  Those in the program had the opportunity to learn about various models and methods for evangelization.  In addition to the courses, Fr. Wollbaum had to complete a thesis, which he did on the subject of how the laity share in the priesthood of Christ called “The Common Priesthood of the Faithful as a Foundation for the New Evangelization”.  To complete the requirements for the Licentiate, Fr. Wollbaum had to prepare a special lecture series for the STL Lectio Coram Committee, consisting of 10 lectures from all of the various areas of theology studied in Detroit.  Most of these were based on previous papers written, but some new lectures had to be prepared as well.  In the end Fr. Wollbaum did a 45 minute Lectio Coram to a panel of professors from the seminary in Detroit called “Salvation at Stake:  The Reality of Demonic Activity and the New Evangelization” and passed the exam.  Fr. Wollbaum has chosen to share the video of the lecture for the benefit of the Archdiocese, as this is an area of the faith that is not often discussed but can be very helpful for us in our daily spiritual living.

Fr. Wollbaum hopes to be a resource for our archdiocese and the province to assist those who are interested in the field of evangelization, whether it be couples, families, church groups or parishes.


*A little note about the lecture:  Fr. Wollbaum made a mistake about one of the sources in his lecture, Adam Blai.  He is not a priest or an exorcist but is a layman from the Diocese of Pittsburgh who is an expert in demonology and exorcisms and helps to train exorcists for their ministry as well as being a resource.