New: Certificate in Liturgical Art and Architecture

Here’s some very good news from St. John’s University School of Theology and Seminary in Collegeville, MN: a new graduate certificate program in Liturgical Art and Architecture will begin in June 2020. The certificate can be earned with a total of four weeks on campus – two weeks in each summer of 2020 and 2021.

Promoting the design for beautiful places of worship, this program is grounded in the traditions of the church. It is rite-based and faithful to the Second Vatican Council and more recent documents such as Built of Living Stones and the Rite of Dedication of Churches. In order to serve the liturgical churches the program has an ecumenical focus. It is informed by architectural and pastoral experience with the building and renovating process from start to finish, inclusive of churches with limited resources. It is sensitive to accessibility, diversity, and multicultural issues. In all aspects it is supportive of the highest standards in workmanship and artistry. This program is for those seeking more in-depth understanding of liturgical art and architecture and its practical application in the design of places of worship.

This is a 13-month program. The 18 graduate credits are offered as follows:

  • 2 weeks on campus June 8-20, 2020, “Liturgical Consultancy I” and “Sacred Architecture.”
  • “Liturgical Space Analysis Project,” on-site and online during academic year.
  • “Rites of the Church,” fall semester, online.
  • “Initiation and Eucharist,” spring semester, online.
  • 2 weeks on campus June 2021, “Liturgical Consultancy II” and “Sacred Art.”

“Liturgical Consultancy” I / II and “Liturgical Space Analysis Project” are 2 credits. All other courses are 3 credits.

Among the regular faculty are Carol Frenning, Johan Van Parys, Fr. Daniel McCarthy OSB, and Br. David Paul Lange OSB. Further national and international experts will present by video hookup during the on-campus summer courses.

This new program is endorsed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Bishops, who said,

“I commend St. John’s for launching a program which promises to serve the Church and her liturgy well. Godspeed!”

More information is forthcoming, and a website will be going up soon, but we couldn’t wait to get the word out now.

Program director Carol Frenning serves as a founder and president for the Association of Consultants for Liturgical Space. She has served as chair of the national advisory board for IFRAA-AIA (now Interfaith Design), and on the board of Faith and Form. She has served as the convener for the Visual Arts and the Liturgy Seminar of the North American Academy of Liturgy and as past chair of the Society of Architectural Historians Minnesota and past chair of the Art and Environment Committee for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Inquiries can be directed to Carol Frenning: cfrenning001 <at>


  1. Sounds great! A small quibble if this description is one you intend to use more broadly: might you be able to replace “workmanship” with a gender neutral term? Maybe just “highest standards of work and art”?

  2. This is a great opportunity to continue the work of renewal called for by the Holy Spirit working through the bishops assembled in the Second Vatican Council, after almost three decades of retrenchment. Carol Frenning is an excellent choice to lead this effort. Thank you and God’s blessing on all involved. Onward!

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