Considering Grad School?

Like many other volunteers, you may find that volunteering spurs you to pursue graduate studies and go deeper in discerning your future career or vocation. In fact, there is a diverse group of graduate schools across the U.S. that offer opportunities specifically for volunteers who have committed to growing in faith and service to others. These opportunities include programs including theology and ministry, social work, education, law, and medicine, to name a few!

Catholic Volunteer Network is proud to partner with five Graduate Schools who have made a special commitment to providing educational opportunities for volunteers in our network.

2021-2022 Grad School Partners

We are proud to highlight five Graduate School Partners who support Catholic Volunteer Network and offer advanced degrees to former volunteers:


Boston College School of Theology and Ministry offers graduate programs that integrate rigorous academics with spirituality, service, and social justice. The STM holistically forms and educates its students, challenging them to develop their own theological voices and to cultivate new ministry skills and perspectives. A diverse and inclusive community supports students as they engage in theology grounded in faith and informed by lived experience. As a result, STM students are well prepared to apply their education in diverse contexts, emerging as just and thoughtful leaders throughout the world. 75% tuition scholarships are available to qualified applicants who have participated in a CVN member program. Additional opportunities for full tuition scholarships are also available. Students are able to fund their cost of living and gain valuable professional and ministerial skills through graduate assistant-ships and internships. To learn more, please click here.

Engage in a transforming, intercultural, academic experience at Catholic Theological Union, one of North America’s leading Roman Catholic schools of theology and ministry. Through graduate level degrees and certificates in theology and ministry, CTU continues its rich tradition of both academic excellence and preparing men and women for a life of ministry and service.

Generous scholarship opportunities are available for postgraduate volunteer program participants, including partial to full tuition programs, beginning with one free course. Come join a community of "spiritual first responders" being formed in theology and ministry, side by side with seminiarians, for future work in the church, social justice ministry, campus ministry, chaplaincy, or academia. To learn more and apply for scholarships, visit:

The Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) at EMU – The CJP offers two on-campus master's degrees (Conflict Transformation and Restorative Justice) and a hybrid, mostly online master's degree in Transformational Leadership for working professionals. In 2020-2021 courses and programs will be online due to COVID-19. CJP also offers graduate certificates and professional education programs through Summer Peacebuilding Institute (SPI) and Strategies for Trauma and Resilience (STAR), and they can develop specialized training for groups. Many former volunteers qualify for a tuition discount when enrolling in a degree or certificate program. For information, please click here.

The Graduate School at Loyola University Chicago – Become a leader in your chosen field at Loyola University Chicago. Our graduate schools offer more than 300 academic programs including master's degrees, doctoral degrees, and professional certificates. To learn more, please click here.

SIT – School for International Training – SIT Graduate Institute’s experiential master’s degree programs equip you with theoretical knowledge, intercultural communication skills, and work experience. You will learn how to examine critical issues from multiple perspectives, acquire intercultural communication skills, and enhance your ability to work toward greater social justice. You will be exposed to a variety of theories and ideas while learning from faculty, practitioners, fellow students, and your own experience. We offer master’s degree programs in part-time, low-residency and full-time, face-to-face, global formats. Whether you are a full-time student just entering the field or a working professional, you can find a program ideally suited to your career goals. SIT offers a 25% tuition scholarship for eligible former volunteers of CVN programs. To learn more, please click here.

Villanova University – Villanova Campus Ministry is offering a pastoral ministry internship to live and build Christian community in First Year dorms while s/he studies within an M.A. in Ministry and Theology or Certificate in Pastoral Ministry programs at Villanova. Interns receive room and board, full tuition remission for 48 graduate credits, and an $11,000 stipend during the academic year. For more information, please click here.

Additional Graduate Programs

The following academic institutions offer additional programs that may be of interest to former CVN volunteers:

Aquinas Institute - Part of the world-wide Order of Preachers, Aquinas Institute of Theology is a Catholic, Dominican-sponsored graduate school of theology and ministry in St. Louis, Missouri. Physically located in the middle of the country, our theological mission finds its home in the middle as well, as we strive to follow in the footsteps of our founder, St. Dominic, who intentionally centered himself in the study of the Word of God and placed himself in the middle of the Church so as to reach out to others in all directions. We offer multiple graduate and certificate programs in a variety of formats to accommodate the needs of our students. Situated adjacent to the large and beautiful campus of Saint Louis University, our students have access to all the academic resources of a large Jesuit university, while staying part of our close-knit community. As members of the Dominican family, we share life together in a variety of ways including liturgy and worship, meals, and social events. We are proud to waive the application fee for Catholic Volunteer Network alumni. Our Aquinas Scholars Program offers full tuition, merit-based scholarships for residential students in several programs. To apply or for more information, contact the admissions office at 314-256-8801 or or visit

Canisus College - At Canisius, we value your commitment to serving others. We want to help you achieve the education you need to further your career and continue to make a difference. We offer every accepted graduate student, who completed a year of service, a 20% tuition discount.The Jesuit Mission Grant is available to any student who: has completed a full year of full time service, in an established volunteer service organization; approval of length of service and organization will be determined by Canisius College; students must be accepted into a graduate program of study at Canisius. If you would like to request more information or the application materials, you can contact Canisius College Graduate Admissions at:

Claremont Lincoln University - At CLU, we offer 3 innovative Master’s degrees in Ethical Leadership, Interfaith Action, and Social Impact. Our students develop capacities for compassionate leadership across social sectors. In an interconnected age, these individuals will engage in dialogue and collaboration across cultural, ideological, religious and economic perspectives. Significant scholarship opportunities are available for each of the programs. Application fee waivers are also available through the Office of Admission. Please contact or 909-667-4485 for more information.

College of William and Mary - Masters of Accounting - You’ve spent the last few years helping others. This year, let us help you launch a meaningful career - Help worthy organizations thrive: identify problem areas and offer solutions; Act as financial steward: help hardworking boards invest wisely; Ensure that every charitable donation is used well - How? Understand the financial picture. At the W&M Master of Accounting program, we bring students from all over the world and from all walks of life together to achieve a common goal: become financial services professionals who make a difference. Non-accounting majors complete the program in ONE YEAR. MAcc program scholarships for Catholic Volunteer Network alumni and application fee waivers are available. For more information, contact Martha Howard, Sr. Associate Director, Master of Accounting program, 757-221-2875,

Creighton University - The Schlegel Center for Service and Justice (SCSJ) is now accepting applications for the Graduate Assistantship program. The SCSJ graduate assistant is a position designed to give graduate students (particularly those individuals pursuing Master’s degrees in Ministry, Christian Spirituality, or Negotiation and Conflict Resolution a chance to develop leadership and proficiency in faith/justice ministry as an integral member of the SCSJ team. Past Graduate Assistants have primarily worked with the Service & Justice Trips program, but have also worked with the Weekly Service program, office Communications Team, Ignatian Advocacy Team, Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice delegation, and office fundraising. Compensation includes either partial or full tuition depending on the graduate program, stipend, and numerous opportunities for professional development. Check out the full position description for more information. If you have any questions about the SCSJ Graduate Assistant position, please contact Kelly Tadeo Orbik, Associate Director of the SCSJ.

DePaul University - DePaul University - The Division of Mission and Ministry’s Frédéric Ozanam Scholarship Program, begun in the fall of 2004, provides full-time graduate tuition for former post-graduate volunteers who lead lives of service inspired by Sts. Vincent de Paul, Louise de Marillac and Blessed Frederic Ozanam. The Division of Mission and Ministry looks for candidates who are immersed in the Vincentian tradition and live out that charism, strive for social justice in their work and seeking educational opportunities to further their commitment to serve those on the margins. Scholarship recipients promote the Vincentian mission through service to the Chicago and DePaul communities, and scholarships are renewable for up to three years contingent on meeting program requirements. The Frédéric Ozanam Scholarship Program does not cover doctoral-level tuition costs. For more information visit:

Fordham University - Fordham University Graduate School of Religion and Religious Education (GRE) is a school of ministry and pastoral leadership committed to cultivating academic competence, scholarly research, and ministerial skills in religious education, pastoral counseling, spiritual care, spirituality, and pastoral studies. In accordance with its Jesuit Catholic tradition, GRE students integrate academic knowledge with personal wisdom, and serve faith communities and society as committed and compassionate leaders. GRE students and graduates are actively serving in a variety of contexts; for example, parishes, spiritual direction and retreat centers, chaplaincy offices, licensed mental health counseling clinics, Catholic schools, community organizing, faith-based not for profit organizations, Jesuit universities, and diocesan offices around the world. GRE offers a 50% tuition waiver to CVN alums and current full-time faith-based leaders, teachers, and church workers. For more information, visit or email

The Franciscan School of Theology (FST) offers three primary graduate degrees: The Master of Theological Studies, The Masters of the Arts, and The Master of Divinity. Additionally, FST offers a Non-Degree program where you may take individual courses, do sabbatical study, or obtain certificates in Theological Studies or Priestly Formation. FST is the ONLY graduate school of Franciscan theology and spirituality in North America. The curriculum offered at FST provides an interdisciplinary education with a theological foundation, preparing students for careers in education and professional ministry, as well as providing opportunities for enhanced knowledge of our Christian faith, particularly in the Franciscan tradition. This tradition is committed to embodying Franciscan theology in a religiously and culturally diverse world and to fostering concern for those on the margins of society. Moreover FST, is affiliated with the University of San Diego, which gives FST students access to a broad range of graduate courses at USD, including courses offered in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) and in the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies. Scholarships are available.

Illinois State University - Applied Community & Economic Development (ACED) Fellows Program at Illinois State University- The ACED Fellows Program at Illinois State University is designed for those with a dedicated history of service experience to take their careers to the next level. All ACED Fellows receive a 100% tuition waiver plus stipend, in addition to a guaranteed graduate assistantship in the first year of studies followed by a professional internship in the second year. Students pursue a master’s degree in one of five degree programs (anthropology, applied economics, kinesiology and recreation, political science, or sociology). The interdisciplinary curriculum covers a range of topics, including project design and management, grant writing, and other subjects in administration and planning. The ACED Fellows Program includes generous financial support, a truly interdisciplinary classroom, real-world experience, and individual attention. ACED Fellows must have at least one year of full-time experience (1,700 hours) in community development or social services—as either a paid professional or a volunteer—prior to starting classes. For more information, please visit or call 309-438-7090.

Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley - The Jesuit School of Theology (JST) in Berkeley is a professional theological school faithful to the intellectual tradition and apostolic priority of the Society of Jesus. JST is committed to social justice, the culturally contextualized study of theology, academic excellence, and the formation of leaders for the church of the 21st Century. Dedicated to inter-religious learning and dialogue, we are one of eight theological seminaries in the consortium of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California. Alongside excellent Jesuit training at JST, students can also take courses throughout the GTU and at the University of California at Berkeley. Students are able to study for the Master of Divinity (MDIV), the Master of Theological Studies (MTS), and in conjunction with the GTU, the Master of Arts in Theology (MA). Each year many former volunteers discern a call to go deeper into ministry, faith, theological study, and service through a degree program at JST. Our alumni go on to serve as: teachers, campus ministers, non-profit administrators, pastoral associates, community organizers, chaplains and retreat center directors. JST offers several full-tuition Presidential Scholarships for incoming Master of Divinity degree students. Additionally, JST awards up to 90% tuition grants for all degree programs.Visit for more information or contact the Office of Admissions at or toll free at (800) 824-0122.

Loyola University New Orleans - Pursue graduate study and practical ministry experience at Loyola University New Orleans - a great Jesuit university located in a great Catholic city…for FREE! Work with University Ministry on retreats and Christian Life Communities at Loyola in exchange for tuition for a Loyola Institute for Ministry master's degree in pastoral studies or religious education that is trans-formative and firmly rooted in Catholic theology and Ignatian spirituality. Room and board may also be available if you wish to serve as a residence hall chaplain. For more information, please see

Marquette University - The Trinity Fellowship was created at Marquette University and reflects the university’s mission to promote a life of faith and to develop leadership in service to others. Marquette is a Catholic, Jesuit university in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, where Trinity Fellows work to promote social and economic justice while earning a master’s degree in one of 15 fields of study. Trinity Fellows complete a master’s degree in 21 months, while serving in substantial, meaningful roles within a nonprofit or public organization for the entirety of their fellowship. Fellows are selected based on their academic achievement, passion for service and social justice, and leadership. They receive a generous financial package that including a full-tuition scholarship and monthly stipend. Fellows are a part of an interdisciplinary cohort which enhances the understanding and application of complex issues faced in the classroom and the field. Fellows participate in personal and professional reflection and professional development opportunities, and graduate prepared to lead and be the difference in their communities. For more information, visit

St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry - St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, a Roman Catholic graduate and professional school of theology, is a leader in New York State in assisting men and women to answer their call to faithful and loving service. Opened as a Roman Catholic Seminary in 1893 and restructured into an Institute for Theological and Ministerial Studies in 1981, St. Bernard’s forms students academically, interpersonally, and spiritually. The school offers a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies, a Master of Divinity and continuing education opportunities for those seeking professional training, personal enrichment, or a deeper understanding of their faith. Financial aid and scholarships are always available. For more information about St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, please email or visit

Saint John’s School of Theology & Seminary - The Volunteer Corps Scholarship is available to those who served in a Catholic volunteer corps programs. Volunteers who successfully completed a volunteer program and receive a letter of recommendation from their supervisor, will be considered for a scholarship of 75%-100% for full-time studies in the Master of Divinity, Master of Theological Studies, or Master of Arts in Ministry program. In addition to the scholarship, Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary offers several work awards, graduate assistant ships, or ministerial residency programs to full-time, degree seeking students. Visit Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary website: for more information and contact our admission team at

Saint Joseph's College Online - Saint Joseph's College of Maine was founded in 1912 by the Sisters of Mercy. At the heart of Saint Joseph's College is a Catholic liberal arts tradition and educational mission for men and women of all faiths and all ages. In 1976, Saint Joseph's introduced distance education to serve the needs of those who seek higher education through off-campus study. Graduate degrees currently being offered include: Master of Arts in Theology, Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Education, Master of Health Administration, Master of Science in Nursing, and Master of Accountancy, as well as many graduate certificate options. CVN alumni are able to receive a waiver of the new enrollee applications fee (currently $50) and a tuition discount of 10-15%. Learn more about this program at:

Saint Joseph's University - If you have completed at least one year of full-time service in an established volunteer service organization, you are eligible for a 20% tuition discount, with no application fee, on all master’s level graduate degree and certificate programs. Choose from graduate programs and certificates like: MBA, Education M.S., Organization Development Leadership M.S., Health Administration M.S., Educational Leadership M.S. and more. Learn more here:

University of Dayton - GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS at the University of Dayton –a Catholic and Marianist Institution. Share your faith ministering to college students while pursuing a Masters in Theology or Pastoral Ministry. Serve undergraduate students by journeying with them to cultivate faith, foster spiritual growth, and form Christian leaders through spiritual mentoring and discipleship, leading small groups, facilitating retreats, planning worship, coordinating service and justice initiatives, and more. Work alongside seasoned campus ministers and engage in holistic ministerial formation. Positions for the upcoming year will be comprised of unique portfolios that include a combination of the following: Residence Life Ministry, Retreats, Liturgy, Service and Justice, and Vocational Discernment ministries. Tuition, stipend, and housing are provided. Application and information at or from Kelly Adamson, 937-229-2574. Applications are due February 1.

University of Notre Dame - The Master of Divinity Program at the University of Notre Dame offers comprehensive formation for professional ministry, preparing students for service and leadership in the Church. All admitted lay students receive full-tuition scholarships and generous living stipends. Academic formation includes the study of theology and ministry with one of the largest and most renowned theology faculties in the world. During three years of study, lay students, alongside seminarians, also engage in three years of mentored field education, drawing from a wide array of ministry placement options and engaging in seminars for theological reflection on their ministerial experiences. Lay students form intentional community and commit to comprehensive human and spiritual formation, incorporating weekly community formation nights, regular one-on-one formation meetings, spiritual direction, retreats, and days of reflection. All graduates benefit from a 100% placement rate after graduation. Contact us at 574.631.4256 or, or visit our web site at THEOLOGY.ND.EDU/MDIV. Following a pre-application process, the application deadline is January 2.

University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs - The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) is one of the nation’s most comprehensive professional schools for public service. GSPIA offers master’s degrees and doctoral degrees specifically designed for students interested in public-interest careers, and prepares students to take on leadership roles in nonprofit organizations, charities, government agencies, and socially responsible private-sector organizations. The School offers highly respected programs in nonprofit management, urban affairs and planning, energy and environment, human security, and many other fields, from both a domestic and an international perspective. GSPIA seeks students who want to work to improve the human condition and show respect for human dignity across the globe. All CVN alumni qualify for an automatic application fee waiver. For more information, visit or email

University of San Francisco - The University of San Francisco has openings for Resident Ministers. These live-in positions are part-time (up to 15 hours per week), ten month appointments, that begin in August and include work in the University Residence Halls and with the programs of the University Ministry Office. A Bachelor's degree is required. This is an excellent opportunity for those working toward a master's degree in theology, ministry, education, or a related field, and for those with ministerial/volunteer experience that would effectively transfer to the mission and work of a Jesuit University. Compensation includes University Housing, University Meal Plan, and a monthly $100 stipend. For more information please visit or contact Angelica Quiñonez ( & 415-422-6796). To apply please visit

University of St. Thomas School of Law - The University of St. Thomas School of Law Dean’s Service Scholarship program is available to any admitted applicant to our law school who has completed or is scheduled to complete a service commitment (through a term of one year or more) with a CVN program, is guaranteed a 20% renewable three-year scholarship. Service scholars also are eligible for additional dean's scholarship awards ranging from 20% to 80%. No additional scholarship application is required for the Service Scholarship award, but applicants must include with his or her application a statement of service indicating his or her service period. Applicants may be asked for documentation verifying the completion of the service commitment. CVN volunteers and alumni can apply for admission and pay no application fee at

Scholarship and Fellowship Opportunities

Kathleen Marian Garrigan Leadership Award - Amount: $1,000 award to individuals between the ages of 18-25 who participated in a domestic community service project. The Kathleen Marian Garrigan Leadership award was established to commemorate the life of Kathleen Garrigan and inspire individuals to participate in domestic service programs. Kathleen, an alumnus of Oak Park and River Forest High School and St. Joseph College, Indiana was participating in a year-long service project in Alaska at the time of her death in 2007. Eligibility: Individuals between the ages of 18 and 25 with an uplifting attitude and a desire to serve others, one's community and one's nation. Applicants are required to complete a brief application and finalists will interview with the Kathleen Marian Garrigan Scholarship selection committee. Download application at:

Catholic Extension Society's Graduate Ministry Scholarships - Catholic Extension in partnership with Catholic Theological Union are offering Graduate Ministry Scholarships to these leaders in mission dioceses through CTU's distance-learning program. The program is designed to allow students to pursue a Master of Arts degree in pastoral studies without ever leaving the mission diocese they are currently serving. To learn more about this program, please click here.

Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships - The Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships are designed to recognize and reward the great steps students are taking to fight hunger in our communities across the United States. Applicants must be 25 years old or younger, have an on-going commitment to volunteer service in their community, and must be US citizens or permanent residents. Scholarship winners receive $5,000 for their education and $5,000 to award to a charity. For more information, please click here.

Mickey Leland International Hunger Fellows Program - seeks to develop leaders committed to finding lasting solutions to hunger worldwide. It is a unique two-year fellowship that exposes fellows to food security programming and policy while deepening their understanding of global hunger and poverty. During the first year, fellows work directly to build food security in the field. In the second year, fellows apply their field experience to the design of sound development policy at the organizational, national, and international level. Click here for more information.

Virtual Grad Fairs

Did you miss our Virtual Grad School Fair for Theology and Ministry Programs? We have recordings of the sessions available here:

St. Joseph's College of Maine:

Click here to view the presentation.

Boston College, School of Theology and Ministry:

AmeriCorps Education Awards

Congratulations! After successfully completing the Volunteer Program and AmeriCorps components of your program, you are now a CVN AmeriCorps alum!

If you qualified for an Education Award, you will want to apply this funding to your current students loans or towards future educational expenses within seven years. To access and apply the Education Award and other financial benefits, visit the My AmeriCorps Portal at The award is not payable to the member, but is applied directly to the lender or educational institution through the My AmeriCorps Portal. Remember: the Education Award may only be applied toward federal/public loans and Title IV schools.

Want to make your Education Award stretch as much as possible? There are a number of institutions that will match your Ed Award to double it's value. Click here to view the list of matching institutions.

Idealist Grad Fairs hosts graduate school fairs throughout the year at different cities across the U.S.  To see their events,  visit

If you wish to include information about additional academic opportunities for volunteer alumni, please contact Mike McCormick.