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M.A. Pastoral Theology
Loyola Marymount University
Graduate Class of 2008
| As early as high school, Jason Coito hung out in campus ministry, helping coordinate retreats and service programs.
"When I got older, I realized you can get paid to do this," he said. "Since college, I’ve wanted to teach and work in ministry."
Coito graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2008 with a master’s degree in pastoral theology – and the 29-year-old is putting his degree to good use. He works as a theology instructor at Bishop Alemany High School in Mission Hills, and is one of six campus ministers who serve the school’s 1,600 students.
Coito entered the pastoral program at LMU in 2006 after teaching at a Catholic school in Ojai – a job he was connected to after serving for a year in the Augustinian Volunteers service program.
Stationed in Lawrence, Mass., Coito said he gained an appreciation for the connection between faith and service through the volunteer program.
"I think it definitely broadened my view," said Coito, a native of San Diego who grew up in the Catholic church. "It was a great experience."
| His time at LMU also had a significant impact on how he views the relationship between academia and church life, admitting there is sometimes a disconnect between the two.
"I think LMU does a good job of being aware of that gap and bridging it," he said. "Academics and church leaders can’t just be a small group not connected to the day-to-day life of people in the church."
He touched on this and other pastoral issues in an article penned recently for the Catechetical Leader, a publication of the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. Coito about how to apply a relational model of ministry and leadership patterned after the example of Jesus and his followers.
Ministry leaders would do well, he said, he to remain connected to those in the church, and the grace and the resides within that community. At the same time, leaders must remain connected to God, "who is the source of that grace and the heart of the community’s mission," according to the article, which looked specifically at youth adult ministry.
Coito hopes to continue finding ways to put that philosophy to practical use – and have fun in the process of working with young people.