Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University

The Advocate: Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University announces new degree programs

February 22, 2018

Tina Holland, president of FranU, said the new programs are a result of the school meeting needs that have been brought to its attention. “If the community comes to us with something, and it’s in our mission of scope, we will figure out a way to do it,” she said. “We’ve always grown in response to the needs of the community.”

For example, the theology program is a result of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge coming to FranU, saying there is a need to educate and train deacons. Currently, deacons are having to go to Loyola University New Orleans or area seminaries for training. “Because all of our students have to be educated in the Catholic Church and the Franciscan mission, we have all of the faculty to start lay training for the diocese,” Holland said.

The physical therapy doctorate program came from a similar need. Right now, the only place to get training to become a physical therapist is at the LSU Health Science Centers in Shreveport and New Orleans, said Kirk Nelson, program director for the doctor of physical therapy program at FranU. “There are a lot of college students and other people in the state wanting to become physical therapists and there are not that many places for them to go,” he said. LSU gets a few hundred applicants a year for its physical therapy program, but only accepts 70 to 80 students a year between both of its medical schools.

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