Student Testimonials

Maria Vickroy-Peralta - MA Theology (2008)

Maria Vickroy-PeraltaDSPT - Contaact Admissions

MA Theology (2008)
Director of Development at St. Dominic's Church in San Francisco, DSPT Board Member

DSPT Alumna - Maria Vickroy-Peralta"After completing my MBA at the University of California in Berkeley, one of my goals had been to study theology. In September 2004, I resigned from my position as managing director at a major international bank to pursue my MA in Theology at DSPT, and it has turned out to be one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

"Taking advantage of the School's Rome Residency Program, I spent the spring of 2005 studying at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas, known as the Angelicum. I could not have been in Rome at a more tremendous time. I feel blessed to have seen Pope John Paul II just before he passed away: a friend and I happened to walk into St. Peter's Square just in time for the Holy Father's final public blessing, only three days before his death. Three weeks later, I was in St. Peter's Square for the "holy smoke" and the election of Pope Benedict XVI -- one of the most exciting moments in my life.

"My master's project at DSPT involved the development of a functional theology course for Catholic seminarians and lay students in graduate theology programs who are preparing to serve in leadership positions in a parish environment. The project brought together my theological interests in Christian leadership, collaborative ministry, stewardship, and the laity, with my previous business education and professional experience. I hope at some time to teach the course or make the course materials available for other instructors, so that this project will assist in the endeavor to meet the growing need for formal training in practical parish leadership, management, and administration.

"In July 2007, I accepted the position of development director at my parish, St. Dominic's in San Francisco. Instead of just "talking the talk" -- researching and writing about parish leadership, collaboration, and stewardship -- I found myself "walking the walk." My theological studies, along with my business background, provided me with the resources necessary to put my research into action and to transition quickly and effectively into a leadership position as a member of the parish staff. In November 2008, I was elected to the DSPT Board of Trustees, and I am delighted to remain an active member of the DSPT community."