Pastor of St. Francis of Assisi awarded a licentiate in sacred theology
Father Jarrod Lies has a lot more time, now that his four-year odyssey for a licentiate in sacred theology has ended.
What does he do with that extra time?
“Be the best pastor that I can be!” he said last week from his office at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Wichita.
Father Lies’ licentiate, a degree just below a doctorate, was awarded through Rome’s Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, known as the Angelicum, by Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit. The licentiate is in pastoral ministry with an emphasis on the new evangelization.
His thesis is closely aligned to the diocese.
“The purpose of this particular thesis was to be a single-source summary of the documentation that we have in Wichita concerning stewardship as we practice it here in the Diocese of Wichita,” he said.
“In Wichita we have a lot of oral traditions about stewardship. We also have a lot of written pamphlets and booklets and different resources. But they’re small and they’re also scattered kind of far and wide. So, I collected as much as I could and then I turned it into this particular summary.”
The summary includes information from an interview of Bishop Emeritus Eugene J. Gerber along with information from some of the bishop’s national presentations.
Father Lies began studying for his licentiate while director of the diocesan Office of Faith Formation so as to be more of service to the priests of the diocese. A year after he began his studies, though, he was assigned as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish.
“So, the emphasis of the degree shifted from being a resource as a Chancery official to being the best pastor that I could be,” he said.
He also studied the “new evangelization,” practical ways to invite people back into the Catholic Church and to be able to maintain them and their lives within the church.
Several of his professors were names well-known around the world: Dr. Ralph Martin, Dr. Janet Smith, Dr. Mary Healy, Dr. Carl Keating, and Fr. John McDermott.
It was four years of constant work, Fr. Lies said, of his distance education. “I’d go away for five weeks for four summers (at Sacred Heart) and then during the school year I’d take one class each semester.”
He self-published his thesis, A Grateful Response to God’s Abundant Gifts, which is available at It can be found under his name Rev. C. Jarrod Lies. There is a Kindle as well as a hardback edition.
Father Lies said at the end of his studies he was required to prepare a class, called a Lectio Corum, Latin for the “heart of reading,” for three of his professors who hold doctors in theology. He had to prepare 10 45-minute classes and gather an annotative bibliography for each.
Once they were accepted, his professors suggested three topics, from which he chose one. “I presented it to them for 45 minutes and then they asked me 45 minutes of questions about that topic,” he said. “So, it was actually a delightful and beautiful end.”