Our new institute name is:

Click on the button below to access our new website, which has information about all our formation programs.  And contact us at IPL@usml.edu 

We have exciting news to share with you as important participants in the mission of our Institute.  On July 1, 2019, the Institute for Lay Formation was renamed the Institute for Pastoral Leadership.  In addition to the programs you are engaged in or may have graduated from, we are also responsible for the following new programs:


  • Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership

  • Post-Master Certificate in Pastoral Leadership

  • Advanced Pastoral Leadership

  • Summer Scripture Conference

  • Certification of DREs/PAs and Commissioning of Lay Ecclesial Ministers

  • Private Retreats

  • Programs that support parishes in the Renew My Church process

The roles of the staff have been adjusted to adapt to these new additions:


Dr. Linda Couri continues as Director of the Institute.


Bob Alexander is directing the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Formation Program and the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies Degree program at USML. He is also responsible for director-level certification for the Archdiocese (DREs and PAs) as well as commissioning of Lay Ecclesial Ministers.  In addition, he is managing some of the daily operations of the Institute.


Michelle Shaffer is directing the Lay Leadership and Catechetical Coordinator programs, and is also responsible for coordinator-level certification (CREs, CAFFs, CYMs).

Dr. Catherine Sims is coordinating the Doctor of Ministry Program, the Post-Master Certificate in Pastoral Leadership, Advanced Pastoral Leadeship, the Prist Ministry Development Series, Private Retreats and marketing for the Institute.

Kathy Szamocki is the Program Coordinator for Lay Ecclesial Ministry, MAPS, Doctor of Ministry and Post-Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Leadership.  


Diana Bernacki is the Program Coordinator for Lay Leadership, Catechetical Coordinator, Advanced Pastoral Leadership and Summer Scripture Conference.  


We are grateful for this expansion of the Institute, and pray that the Holy Spirit guides us through these challenging and exciting times in the Church.

© 2015 by The Institute for Lay Formation at University of St. Mary of the Lake

1000 Maple Ave. Mundelein, IL 60060 | 847.837.4550 |  ilf@usml.edu

Students of the LEM Program

Formation Day with Dr. Kimberly Lymore