An Evaluation of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults at the University Catholic Center, Austin, Texas 1986-1993
Master of Arts in Pastoral Theology
At the University Catholic Center (UCC) in Austin, Texas, the effectiveness of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) process in meeting the pastoral needs of its participants and the stated goals indicated by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) had never been assessed. Additionally, there was neither a systemic means of evaluating the process nor a pastoral group which sought to align the RCIA with both the participants’ pastoral needs and the Catholic bishops' goals. As a result, it was unknown whether, and what, specific changes were needed to the RCIA process to improve it. Addressing this pastoral concern provided a significant demonstration of the application of theology to ministry. For instance, the solutions have provided the UCC community with a model of pastoral theology relevant to the improvement of the RCIA ministry. Furthermore, it may be used a reference for systematic evaluation of other ministries. In this way, this project has demonstrated a useful way of approaching ministry with the tools of pastoral theology.