Study With Us - Student Feedback

A selection from feedback given by students at residential sessions

Student Feedback

These quotes are from students attending recent study days or residential sessions as part of their courses, as well as from recent graduates...

"The experience I had during my Maryvale years, of learning so many things and especially how to research, has been an indispensable foundation in order to become part of a community of professors and help teach and form our seminarians … I am very grateful for everything I learned, and the friendships formed at Maryvale."

PhD in Catholic Studies Graduate - February 2018

" Completing the research programme has allowed me to become a full-time faculty member for the Franciscan University of Steubenville… I believe that the research programme at Maryvale and, in particular, the expertise and leadership of Sr. Mary Mills, has allowed me to provide well thought-out criticism and guidance to the students I serve. Mary’s critique of my work was so good that it has left, similar to the Sacrament of Holy Orders, a sort of inedible mark on me! Obtaining the doctoral degree has also helped me to gain vital credibility in growing the Institute of Catholic Theology, of which I am the director. In addition to a variety of continuing education offerings, the Institute offers local, in-person support for online graduate students in theology and catechetics in the Franciscan University online programs. I am truly appreciative for all that the Maryvale Institute has given me."

PhD in Catholic Studies Graduate - February 2018

"From the beginning, I felt encouraged to step out and go beyond my own comfort zone in pursuit of a research topic I wanted to explore. I always felt that those advising me were trying to help me express what I wanted to do, not what they thought I should do. At the same time, if my ideas were untenable they said so and why. I also found that the accommodation at Maryvale was marvellous for me with my disabilities."

PhD in Catholic Studies Graduate - February 2018

What were the best aspects of your programme?
"I really appreciated the residential weekends, especially meeting the other MA students, getting to know them and praying with them each morning and evening. I enjoyed doing the MA dissertation and the possibility of doing directed academic research on a theological topic of my choice."

Why did you choose Maryvale?
"I wanted to study theology in more depth in a tertiary programme in the UK, which I knew would be faithful to the Catholic Church's teaching."

How has your degree benefitted you personally/spiritually/professionally?
"I feel my faith has been enriched by being able to study for an MA in Maryvale. The degree has enabled me to link a number of practical initiatives aimed at evangelisation that I have been involved in to deeper theological roots and to gain a greater understanding of the history of inculturation."

MA in Catholic Applied Theology Graduate - February 2018

"I want to say that the learning and formation I have received has been not only inspiring and of the highest quality, but has also proved invaluable already in the pastoral work [my wife] and I are undertaking, and in contributing to the Synod process and the planning for our Diocese. I am certain we will be 100% more effective in our work as a result and am therefore grateful for the opportunity I have had. I always do and will continue to speak very highly of Maryvale and recommend you to everyone who is a potential student."

MA in Catholic Applied Theology Graduate - February 2018

" The weekend has been extremely useful. It helped me recognise the need to put stronger boundaries to my work/topic… The personal tutorials helped me see various avenues and options to explore further. The informal conversation and fellowship were invaluable in terms of support and motivation."

MA in Catholic Applied Theology Student - February 2018

"Many thanks for offering this superb course."

Ecclesiastical Licence in Catechetics Student - 2018

"I derived a sense of achievement after completing the course."

Ecclesiastical Licence in Catechetics Student - 2018

"The delivery of the course was engaging and interesting/useful information. Healing!"

FE Student - February 2018 (CCRS Maryvale)

"The positive and enthusiastic energy about finishing the course, and that it is doable. The help available outside learning days and study days."

FE Student - February 2018 (CCRS Maryvale)

"[I enjoyed] the introduction to Church History, learning how the church(es) has evolved from the days of Paul. Discussing how to approach assignments and understanding the expectation."

FE Student - February 2018 (CCRS Maryvale)

"I gained lots of insight into knowledge on my subject. [I enjoyed] meeting other students. Beautiful dinner from the sisters. Enjoyed Mass in the Chapel."

FE Student - February 2018 (MCC Maryvale)

"[I gained most from] the co-ordination of knowledge and ideas making sense of theology and history. A thorough treatment."

FE Student - February 2018 (MCC Maryvale)

"The whole day has been really positive and really encouraging. I have really enjoyed today. You are very inspirational and great at motivating us."

FE Student - February 2018 (CPMM, Galloway)

"Very interesting and exciting course. Enjoyed everything – content, delivery, freedom to debate, thought-provoking. Wow!"

MA in Catholic Applied Theology Student - February 2018

"My overall experience was very positive! It was nice to meet all you folks from the college. Welcome was warm and personal. In fact, the whole process of becoming a student (beginning from initial enquiries) went very well! Personal tone in contacts, fast feedback to enquiries and sufficient amount of information in all stages of the process, made it smooth for the applicant and build a good picture about the Institute."

MA in Catholic Applied Theology Student - January 2018

"[The] Whole weekend’s been positive. Warmth, hopefulness. Excellence delivered. Course subjects have been inspirational, implanting desire. Background to course – study objectives have been delivered, inspiring confidence. All rooted in prayer and praise together. Great food"

MA in Catholic Applied Theology Student - January 2018

"The very sincere and warm welcome of all staff both academic and house. It really has made a difference. The depth of faith and genuine loving service is impressive and inspiring."

MA in Catholic Applied Theology Student - January 2018

"Solid teaching given with passion. Heartwarming and inspirational. Confidence-giving."

MA in Catholic Applied Theology Student - January 2018

"[Dr] Stephen [Yates] laid out the whole [MA] “project” before us and the life-long journey we’re on. Gave confidence, benefit of humour, kindliness."

MA in Catholic Applied Theology Student - January 2018

"Extremely accessible style of presentation, inspiring in the way the academic is infused by faith and love."

MA in Catholic Applied Theology Student - January 2018

"The obvious care for our well-being and desire to help us succeed was very encouraging."

MA in Catholic Applied Theology Student - January 2018

"The energy and passion! Very engaging presentation, lively and thought-provoking."

MA in Catholic Applied Theology Student - January 2018

"[I liked] the manner in which essay questions were broken down to aid our response. Explanation of levels of learning."

MA in Catholic Applied Theology Student - January 2018

"Very stimulating and enjoyable seminar, very well led by Ausra [Cane, STL]."

Ecclesiastical Licence in Catechetics Student - January 2018

What have you found especially positive about the last study weekend?

  • "The structure of the material covered was very stimulating, particularly as an introduction to this subject."
  • "The discussions and networking with fellow students were delightful and also friendly relationships with staff."
  • "The simple lecture format (without the need to page through coursebooks)."
  • "The variety of presenters and presentations."
  • "Breaking new ground into the study of philosophers who I knew nothing about.."
  • "Lectures by experts in the field."
  • "The introduction to the web resources and the Library."
  • "The peaceful environment."
  • "The friendly staff."
  • "The lecturers put previous reading into context."
  • "Very clearly presented and ideas explained in a way that reassured and engaged."
  • "Practice tips for dealing with coursework."
  • "Opportunity to use the Library."
  • "Quiet study environment."
  • "The peaceful and calm atmostphere and retreat, like I stepped out of normal life."
  • "The lectures were useful and focused on what was needed."

What insights have you gained over the study weekend for your own philosophical development?

  • "The idea of philosophy as an ongoing journey, as opposed to the complete definite answers."
  • "The introduction [served] as a sort of road map, with different elements to be explained."
  • "The necessity to know what it is and means to be human."
  • "That there is no definitive and complete philosophy canonised by the Church."
  • "That there is some valuable knowledge in every philosophy."
  • "The importance of Fides et Ratio as a whole grounding for the course."
  • "Philosophy is an ongoing enterprise - always new ideas - but much of it is conversation with classical ideas, e.g. metaphysics."
  • "Philosophy is itself multi-disciplinary and in dialogue with other disciplines, e.g. psychology and linguistics."

BA Philosophy Students - January 2018

"The reassurance that we are all in the ‘same boat’ gives me the confidence to relax and try and get more out of the course (i.e it’s not all about the assignment). Very happy with the course so far."

FE Student - January 2018 (MCC Ardagh)

"The presentation and notes supplied were both excellent. [Dr] Marie [Cooke] was fantastic and her presentation of content was very helpful, and made it seem achievable. The course books and study days, combined with extra study days in Longford all together, make it seem achievable."

FE Student - January 2018 (MCC Ardagh)

"Great presentation of the booklets by [Dr] Marie [Cooke]. I have come away with the feeling that I am going to be able to complete my assignments. The day was useful in that it allows us to share our ideas….Course books are very well set out. In doing and completing assignments, I know that support is there should I need it."

FE Student - January 2018 (MCC Ardagh)

"The explanation about Christology was done in an understandable manner. Loved the images of Christ – very inspiring - and the hymn … great support!"

FE Student - January 2018 (MCC Ardagh)

"This was a really lovely study day and beautifully presented by Fr. Eddie. I found the material very interesting and very clearly and concisely presented. The best history lecture I have been to in a long time and with an authoritative gentleness and knowledge: I love it!"

FE Student - January 2018 (MCC Cork)

"Fr Eddie was very interesting and easy to listen to…. Plenty of time for interaction during the talk. A smaller group made it easier to interact with others – get to communicate with others. It was a very good day…would love Fr. Eddie to come back again."

FE Student - January 2018 (MCC Cork)

"Fr. Eddie’s love of the Bible…was really felt by many of us. He has passed on something special to me. An enjoyable and prayerful day; refreshing. Room was comfortable and a friendly atmosphere…"

FE Student - January 2018 (MCC Cork)

"Lovely, relaxed positive atmosphere and good opportunities for group sharing & Q&As. Room was lovely and warm. Mass was lovely and meaningful. Thank you Fr Eddie & Fr Charlie."

FE Student - January 2018 (MCC Cork)

"[I gained] Greater biblical insight, thorough Fr. Eddie’s engaging delivery."

FE Student - January 2018 (MCC Cork)

"All very positive; Fr Eddie gave very interesting and interactive talks. Very open to questions and answers."

FE Student - January 2018 (MCC Cork)

"I found Fr Eddie very knowledgeable and approachable. I found the [study] day very helpful and beneficial to my study."

FE Student - January 2018 (MCC Cork)

"It was a fantastic enlightening [study] day and the way Fr. Eddy brought us into the Bible."

FE Student - January 2018 (MCC Cork)

"Excellent delivery of content of course book. Interesting clips and video. Glad to hear that we do not need to rush to finish all the essays in the 2 years."

FE Student - January 2018 (MCC Galway)

" Even after these few short weeks of study, I feel much more informed and have completely changed my understanding of evangelisation. Probably like so many others, I felt I was practising my faith well but have been perhaps somewhat insular about it. I certainly find myself re-examining how I go about this and have even had the confidence to put some ideas forward to my parish priest. I would never have thought that I knew enough to do this before - so many thanks to you and everyone at Maryvale for that."

FE Student - December 2017 (CPMM, Galloway)

"The course led me to a more organic understanding of the theological and biblical concepts underpinning Catholic moral teaching on marriage and family life. Certainly, the Mystery of the Trinity is not quite such a mystery anymore! A bonus is that the tutors are attentive and helpful."

FE Student - November 2017 (A Catechesis on Marriage & Family)

"I entered the course as an academic exercise, with an objective to learn about the church’s teaching on Marriage and Family. What I left with was much, much more! The teaching given in the course opened my eyes and soul to truths that I had not previously understood; truths about my faith, my identity, my role as Husband and Father that has given me such encouragement and (thank God!) a new direction in my life with the Lord. This indeed has been an unexpected, powerful and revelational journey. Thank you Maryvale!"

FE Student - November 2017 (A Catechesis on Marriage & Family)

"I loved this course and would strongly recommend it to anyone involved in catechesis, education, and marriage preparation - or simply attempting to bring up children in our secular society! The tutors' encouragement and support is outstanding, and the format of both course and assessment is very flexible and adaptable to different needs and abilities. The short length and correspondence format made it doable even with a busy lifestyle."

FE Student - November 2017 (A Catechesis on Marriage & Family)

"For years, I felt that I ought to read up on these important moral topics, but somehow I never had the confidence or perseverance to tackle scripture, catechism and church documents. The coursebook offers context and gives guidance on which parts are most relevant, therefore making it a very achievable and satisfying task. Once you have been shown a way into these texts, it is much easier to continue reading and learning. The days at Maryvale were interesting and inspiring - not least on account of the people I met!"

FE Student - November 2017 (A Catechesis on Marriage & Family)

"We loved doing the course and got an awful lot out of it. It has given us so much confidence in responding to questions about the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family. Overall, a most inspiring course and we loved doing it especially all the reading and thinking! "

FE Students - November 2017 (A Catechesis on Marriage & Family)

"The modules were exceptionally well written, clear and brilliantly edited: a model of what a course book should be."

FE Student - November 2017 (A Catechesis on Marriage & Family)

"I very much enjoyed the Course. It is so relevant to the issues I am dealing with as a Deacon in terms of Marriage and Family Life. I found it particularly helpful in the Marriage Preparation work I have been involved in within my Parish and Diocese.

The Course was well structured. I particularly liked the Module Books which were well set out, logical in their approach, and well-planned for guiding the student through the Module. A wide range of relevant and up to date sources and text sources was offered, with just the right blend to encourage one to think and read more. I felt that the Module books led the student towards the essays set, giving one confidence to meet the challenge of essay writing. The essays themselves were practical and could form the basis for Formation within the parish; in other words they had extended value, rather than being an end in themselves.

The Tutors were excellent. I felt inspired by their enthusiasm, confident in their learning and what they shared with students, and the way their own tutorial style matched the strengths of the Module guides. They used a variety of Teaching styles which maintained student focus, and were able to engage the students actively in the process.

The two days of study were well organised in such a way that a great deal was achieved in a very short time, without ever making it feel pressurised. There was a lovely atmosphere in which students enjoyed being challenged rather than being overcome by the depth of the topics. It gave us more confidence in understanding the key Gifts of, as well as the issues facing, Marriage and Family Life.
The Course was ambitious and challenged students to reflect and develop their thinking. It made the hard work feel very worthwhile. The marking and feedback were very helpful, all very professional, all very valuable. Overall comment: excellent in every respect. What's the next Course?"

FE Student - November 2017 (A Catechesis on Marriage & Family)

"Completing the course and the essays has been a great source of personal reflection for me. It has helped me to look with fresh eyes at past experiences in my own personal life and see more clearly the hand of God at work, His presence and healing, albeit a slow, but a sure process; a re-affirmation of words which I often quote to myself: 'We are where we put our feet'. ... CPMM has led me to realise more and more, that it is in the simple, everyday mundane tasks that we witness; by our presence to others in their good times and bad...I also feel re-energised in my music ministry, realising how involvement in that ministry has sustained me in my own faith and that music has been a means of prayer when there were no words. I now feel further encouraged, that when I meet with couples to choose their wedding music or the bereaved to select hymns for a loved one's funeral, that is my channel for evangelising and accompaniment."

FE Student - September 2017 (CPMM, Edinburgh)

"This was a great opportunity where we could meet Dr. Marie Cooke and understand better the requirements. The discussion and topic was very well covered and extremely interesting."

FE Student - March 2017 (CPMM, United Arab Emirates)

"The content is rich and very well presented. ... Thank you for your dedication and for helping make a difference in our way of thinking and in our spiritual life."

FE Student - March 2017 (CPMM, United Arab Emirates)

"It was extremely informative and provided me with deep insight on the Servant Leadership Model. It was a very interactive session."

FE Student - March 2017 (CPMM, United Arab Emirates)

"These [sessions] have been invaluable because the ‘one to one’ tutorials we have had, the specialists in our field and advice/feedback with sharing opportunities with other students to evaluate one another’s presentations has been especially helpful (along with the format and informal conversations we have also had the benefit of)."

Year 3 MA Student talking about tutorials - February 2017

"It was a good and essential residential weekend for me. It enabled me to discuss with my supervisor, evaluate what I have done so far and develop suggestions arising from my group presentation. My tutorials with my supervisor were especially helpful”.

Year 3 MA Student talking about their study weekend - February 2017

"Fr. Eddie’s lectures were fantastic + inspiring Mass – have learnt so much from him. Marie Cook’s session on sacraments – so informative + enjoyable – really benefit from real life examples- Thank you! Thank you for the opportunity to enrich my faith- and hopefully help others. MCC – highly recommend it to others."

FE Student - February 2017 (MCC)

"A good level of guidance about completing the assignments. A good level of background information to help form ideas about what has to be done. Helpful reference to publications and reading materials."

FE Student - February 2017 (MCC)

"Good lectures and visual aids. Course books excellent. Support excellent. Every aspect of the day has been encouraging, enlightening, a much better understanding of what is expected from me, more confidence and I feel ready to move on doing the course with vigour."

FE Student - February 2017 (MCC)

"Very good tutors who know about their areas of teaching. Good food. Good environment for learning."

FE Student - February 2017 (MCC)

"Sense of community, Peaceful atmosphere, Enthusiasm of speakers. Course books are comprehensive and very clear."

FE Student - February 2017 (MCC)

"The lectures are very inspiring. The sisters always make us welcome."

FE Student - February 2017 (MCC)

"[Tutors are] so encouraging and helpful – great to know how much support is available. Thank you."

FE Student - February 2017 (MCC)

"I have enjoyed the positivity and the enthusiasm of the speakers at today’s session. Very necessary at this stage..."

FE Student - February 2017 (CPMM, Edinburgh)

"Listening to [Dr] Marie [Cooke], she is inspirational and makes me want to do things better. It is also brilliant to have the chance to discuss parish with others – to know we are not alone."

FE Student - February 2017 (CPMM, Edinburgh)

"I think the day gave us encouragement to persevere and to keep Christ at the centre of everything and not give up when it’s tough! All great! So interesting!"

FE Student - February 2017 (CPMM, Edinburgh)

"All very positive. Interesting PowerPoints, talks which raised awareness of issues in parish/church and good discussions."

FE Student - February 2017 (CPMM, Edinburgh)

"Open discussions, excellent presentations bringing together themes of parish and mission."

FE Student - February 2017 (CPMM, Edinburgh)

"Fr knows his subject and he is able to convey his enthusiasm to his audience, to carry his class with him."

FE Student - February 2017 (CABI)

"The class which Fr. Joseph has taken, very informative, interesting and deepen the knowledge the link between Old and New Testament. Fr. Eddie also delivered the lecture well. Brilliant teaching on Scripture by Fr. Ziggy who not only knows his work, he loves it and it is obvious in his presentation."

FE Student - February 2017 (CNTS)

"Many thanks for your comments concerning my essays - I have now completed all six and I wanted to express my gratitude for your kind words and advice."

FE Student - February 2017 (CNTS)

"Please convey my gratitude to Maureen Chatfield [tutor] for the very helpful comments and feedback on my essay and lesson plan. All much appreciated and it will help me with the next assignment."

FE Student - February 2017 (CCRS)

"It was a worthwhile experience and an opportunity to engage with other students and lecturers. The tutorials were very helpful and encouraging.”

Licence in Catechetics Student talking about their study weekend- January 2017

"Discussions… were thought-provoking and the session, especially the opportunity to learn from different cultures”.

Licence in Catechetics Student talking about the content of lectures - January 2017

"I found the structure of the day very well organised – it worked very well. We were assured of continuing support."

FE Student - January 2017 (MCC Study Day)

"Marie Cooke’s engaging delivery. The joy of being with like-minded people. The inclusion of the Mass and prayer."

FE Student - January 2017 (MCC Cork)

"That I really have made a good choice in context of this course, both for me as an individual and my role in my community. Looking forward to my journey of faith. This was well presented today in a very proficient and professional manner. Well done!"

FE Student - January 2017 (MCC Cork)

"The enthusiasm and passion of our speakers. I found it very energising to be able to re-visit the tenets of our faith, to be able to discuss with fellow catechists and to renew bonds with fellow catechists and the community."

FE Student - January 2017 (MCC Study Day)

"I am very grateful for all of the sweet staff and the time they so generously took to answer my questions and concerns. Also, it was so lovely to have the Chapel open at all hours so that we could pray.”

Year 1 MA Student talking about their study weekend - January 2017

"The enthusiasm and passion of our speakers. I found it very energising to be able to re-visit the tenets of our faith, to be able to discuss with fellow catechists and to renew bonds with fellow catechists and the community."

FE Student - November 2016 (MCC Singapore)

"Inspirational teaching by Fr. Paul and Fr. Eddie, many thanks! The Mass – African music so joyful. Meeting other people on various courses."

FE Student - October 2016 (MCC Study Day)

"I found the session on both study skills and course content very helpful. I am reassured on how to proceed."

FE Student - October 2016 (MCC Study Day)

"This morning it was very helpful the explanation of how to manage our time and process of our study skills. Marie Cooke is simply wonderful how she encourages each and everyone of us. I’m excited to study and deepen my Catholic faith. Thank you so much for being so helpful!"

FE Student - October 2016 (MCC Study Day)

"A worthwhile programme, very organised day. A good level of information from seminar sessions. A lot of encouragement."

FE Student - October 2016 (MCC Study Day)

"[I appreciated] being made to feel relaxed and any anxieties put to rest. Meeting with fellow parishioners and new people."

FE Student - October 2016 (MCC Study Day)

"Enjoyed talking to other students, sharing views and experiences."

FE Student - October 2016 (MCC Study Day)

"The positive atmosphere of the tutors. Great encouragement and clear instructions about the course and the requirements about the essays."

FE Student - October 2016 (CSC Study Day)

"Today gave me an idea of how to structure my assignment including relevant quotes and resources."

FE Student - October 2016 (CSC Study Day)

"Everything has been positive (including the lunch!!), but especially helpful are the printed notes on the history of the Old Testament."

FE Student - October 2016 (CNTS Study Day)

"The atmosphere of Maryvale is wonderful, both as a serious place of learning and as a place alive to the mission of Jesus in the world. I have enjoyed studying the modules and am seeing a real impact both in my own faith and in my work, thanks in no small part to the enthusiasm and passion shown by the lecturers."

MA Student - December 2016

"I have LOVED the progression of the material presented in the modules. It has been beautiful to see the way Maryvale has organised the modules in such a way that they build on an overall theme."

Year 2 MA Student talking about their study weekend - September 2016

"[I] would recommend the Licence to MA students. As [I attend] a final weekend of residential lectures, I reflect upon the spiritual, theological, practical training here at Maryvale and know that it has enriched my life."

Licence in Catechetics Student talking about the study residential experience - September 2016

"It is always a blessing to come together to share, discuss, challenge and support each other. Thank you for designing our programme of study so thoughtfully and thoroughly."

Licence in Catechetics Student talking about the study residential experience - September 2016

"I found the sessions helpful especially because they gave me the opportunity to present a catechetical debate and enter into discussion and dialogue with others. There is no substitute for this kind of experience, with the insight, encouragement and helpful criticism of colleagues and professors."

Licence in Catechetics Student talking about the study residential experience - September 2016

"Excellent! Very helpful and sharing of great ideas!"

Year 2 MA Student talking about their study weekend - September 2016

"I am currently writing my MA dissertation on the Marriage and Family Life pathway and would highly recommend any of the Courses at Maryvale. For me, this MA has certainly been part of my conversion experience for both my marriage and family life. All are welcome to consider taking up a Course and no one should feel too old to study. As a stay-at-home mama of 3, my past 2 and a bit years in Maryvale has been a life-giving experience. When I count my blessings, I count this twice! My study in Maryvale has afforded me plenty of opportunities to grow in faith and appreciate the gift of being a wife, mother, sister and friend. People from all over the world travel to Maryvale as it’s affordable and has an excellent caring and devoted staff. Whilst we are nourished by beautiful Liturgies during Residential weekends, another unique selling point is the fabulous cooking of the Bridgettine sisters! I dare anyone to find a better deal!!!"

Year 3 MA Student - August 2016

"My time at Maryvale has been a blessing, since the lecturers themselves are not just devout believers but also real. They have such an appetite and desire to help me 'get it'. They are all a treat and a blessing to work with and anyone who comes to Maryvale, open and surrendered to learn, will leave with much more than they dreamed of... This has been my personal experience and I wish it for prospective students. I came thinking, as a cradle Catholic, I knew so much, but each trip to Maryvale confirmed how little I knew. I am still learning and grateful for the humbling experience which has blessed my marriage and family life. I would highly recommend the Marriage and Family Life pathway for any married person. Be ready to be challenged and rewarded!"

Year 3 MA Student - August 2016
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