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E-mail Father Erik Pohlmeier, by clicking on the button above, or call him at (501) 664-0340 for additional information.

Because of declining enrollment, Little Rock Theology Institute will close in June after 21 years of teaching Scripture, theology and philosophy to lay Catholics. Read about the history of this program in Arkansas Catholic.

This three-year academic program for adults in the Diocese of Little Rock has offered students personal enrichment, catechist certification and a means to earning a bachelor's degree in theology. The classes, which have been offered monthly, are taught by diocesan staff and professors from various Catholic colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. Participants meet on Fridays and Saturdays at St. John Catholic Center in Little Rock. This will continue with current students through June 2.

Father Erik Pohlmeier, diocesan director of faith formation, said the second-year program has seven students, of which four are studying to earn a theology degree. The third-year program has 13 students, with seven of them earning their degree.

Those seven third-year students were originally supposed to get their degree from St. Gregory University (which closed in December) but instead will earn their degree this summer from Newman University in Wichita, Kan. The four second-year students are unfortunately in the position of needing to find somewhere to transfer their credits and finish their degrees online or through another Catholic college.

The Diocese of Little Rock remains committed to helping adults learn their faith in a systematic way but must now consider the best way to meet this need going forward. Father Pohlmeier said his office will be looking into ways to offer regional training for catechists and other leaders and encouraging enrollment in online programs. To learn more, contact him at (501) 664-0340, ext. 359.

Little Rock Theology Institute's logo comes from a photo illustration (above) of the icon "Christ Pantocrator", which means “Ruler of All,” on the interior dome of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. This image of Christ the teacher is one of the most common representations of Jesus in Byzantine iconography. Shown holding the Scriptures Jesus blesses the beholder. His halo includes the letters “I AM,” symbolizing his divinity and referring to his words, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” The Greek letters “IC,” and “XC,” are abbreviations of the Greek words for “Jesus,” and “Christ.”