Reclaiming men's spirituality through a renewal of the Knights of Columbus.

Date of Award


Document Type



Drew Theological School

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


The Catholic Church has a male hierarchy yet the majority of its worshippers are female. Females dominate in unordained pastoral ministry as well as in catechetical programs. Why are so few laymen playing active roles in the faith community? Do they feel ill-equipped? Is the practice of religion seen as something feminine? Does the average man think that an all-male clergy is sufficient in representing the men of the community? As gender roles change and develop, men need to recognize their call to the spiritual life and not abrogate their unique responsibility to teach and model the faith. The Knights of Columbus is the premier Catholic men's organization, however its members can all too often be lax in the practice and weak in their knowledge of their Christian faith. In many ways, the Knights of Columbus is a microcosm of the broader Church, and as such, a study of the former is a controlled study of the latter. The purpose of this Doctor of Ministry Project was a renewal of the Council #5846 of the Knights of Columbus in Oakland, New Jersey. By discovering the members' religious interests, I, together with my Lay Advisory Committee, devised a program to both further their education and deepen their spirituality/religious commitment. The formulation of that project, its execution and outcome are the subject of this thesis. The process and experience can now be applied to larger and more diverse contexts with the expected results being equally profound.