the campus


& instructors


& updates


our team


2-year school

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Learn to Live a Supernatural Lifestyle

2-Year Program: 

Drawing from the richness of our Catholic heritage, we seek to teach, equip and activate disciples to demonstrate the love of God through the power of the Holy Spirit in their sphere of influence.


TestimoniesStudent Dashboards

Why a 2-Year Ministry School?

This short video gives an overview of the Encounter School of Ministry (ESM) explained by co-founders, Fr. Mathias Thelen and Patrick Reis, along with members of Encounter Ministries. Our Satellite Campus follows the curriculum, core values and classroom environment explained in this video, but is led by a local team who receive ongoing training and formation from the Encounter Ministries and Encounter School of Ministry leadership team.




Holy Family Church

700 Old Stratfield Rd, Fairfield, CT 06825


The Fairfield County Campus is a satellite school of the Encounter School of Ministry (ESM) founded by Fr. Mathias Thelen and Patrick Reis. Our leadership and instructors have been trained and equipped by ESM and receive ongoing formation through Encounter Ministries.

2023-2024 Class Schedule


General Info
All Classes Date/Time: TUESDAYS from 6-9PM

Typical Class Night Schedule:
6:00   Praise & Worship
7:00   Session 1
7:45   Break
8:00   Session 2
9:00   Dismissal



2-Year Curriculum

Classroom Environment

Each class includes a time of worship, testimony, teaching sessions, activations and small group time.

When do we meet?

Faithful Teaching

Before approval, our curriculum undergoes a rigorous academic curriculum review with a team of respected Catholic theologians, including  Dr. Mary Healy, Dr. Alan Schreck, Dr. Daniel Keating, Rev. Peter F. Ryan, S.J., and Dr. Robert Fastiggi.

Not only did they work to guarantee that the curriculum is free from moral and doctrinal error and rooted deeply in Scripture, official Church teaching and the testimony of the early Church fathers, but they helped to provide greater precision and accuracy in the curriculum to diminish possible confusion and ensure full continuity with Church teaching.

This campus has been reviewed and approved by the bishop of this diocese.



All satellite campus leaders and instructors are graduates of the Encounter School of Ministry and strive to live out the ESM Core Values.

Fr. Sean Kulacz

Fr. Sean was ordained a priest in 2009, went to Franciscan University for 2 years before transferring to the Diocese of Bridgeport College Seminary and finished his degree at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield CT. From there he went to Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg MD for Major Seminary. He loves to teach, preach, and run retreats.

Matthew Taylor



Matt lives in Newtown, CT with his beautiful wife and children. Both Matt and his wife are graduates of Franciscan University and have over a decade of experience leading retreats, worship nights and prayer teams. Matt is excited to see God work wonders and bring power to His church in CT and beyond!

Karina Verdajo



Karina, is a wife and mother of two with a fervent desire to share the Love, Hope and Peace that God has poured into her family. With a heart of intercession, an ongoing understanding of self and the tools Encounter ministries has given her in how to accompany others in prayer ministry she is eager to witness all The Holy Spirit will do in Connecticut and beyond. Come Holy Spirit!

Sarah Sorgie

Sarah Sorgie is the Founder of Temple Health Coaching. THC is a Health and Wellness Coaching practice rooted in faith and the belief that your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
As a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Sarah helps men and women of all ages embrace the truth that they are one of a kind created in the image and likeness of God, to steward the body they have been gifted with, to overcome health challenges if necessary, and to create a wellness plan that helps them achieve the most vibrant version of themselves.
Sarah is also the Associate Director of the Encounter School of Ministry in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and a passionate student and teacher of the Catholic faith. She particularly loves scripture, and is continually in awe of the power of the Holy Spirit.
Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Hofstra University and a Master of Science in Church Management from Villanova University. Sarah is a disciple, daughter, sister, cousin, friend, aunt, wife, and mother of three. She loves to read and she really loves to dance!

Adesha Celestine

Adesha Celestine grew up in Queens, NY where she served as a catechist, youth minister and a reader in the Liturgy. Having experienced the love of God in very tangible ways, it has given her a new zeal for life. She desires to be an instrument in the hand of God wherever He has placed her. She is grateful to serve the Encounter School of Ministry in Fairfield County and is excited to see the amazing things that God will do in and through our student community.


Cost of Tuition

Satellite Campus


 The tuition for the upcoming school year is $250 per quarter (with a discount if you pay by the year). Required books cost extra.

Enrollment Period
Students enroll and pay tuition for one year at a time. Classes usually start mid-September and run through May. Official dates and class times vary per campus. Upon completion of the 2nd Year School of Ministry, students receive a graduation certificate.

Tuition includes Free Admission to the annual Encounter Conference (in-person or online ticket).


Application Process
Tuition & Financial Aid
Enrollment Requirements
Graduation & Curriculum

Course Materials


Additional Reading

In total, textbooks for Year 1 will cost approximately $75 – $100 (not including shipping): Quarter 1: The Spiritual Gifts Handbook by Dr. Mary Healy & Dr. Randy Clark |  Quarter 3: Healing: Bringing the Gift of God’s Mercy to the World by Dr. Mary Healy  |  Quarter 2: Lord, Renew Your Wonders by Damian Stayne  |  Quarter 4: Be Healed by Dr. Bob Schuchts |  Deliverance Ministry by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services Doctrinal Commission, Dr. Mary Healy

Application Process
The application is free. Applications are accepted until halfway through Q1. You will receive submission confirmation as we begin our discernment process. You should be notified within two weeks.

Basic Requirements
– A min. of 18 years of age or High School graduate
– You do not need to be Catholic to apply



Thank You to
Our Bishop

We are grateful to the bishops who have reviewed the work of Encounter Ministries and the Encounter School of Ministry, welcomed us to their diocese and have offered support and encouragement for this mission.

All Bishop Approvals >


Encounter School


REVIVE | Fremont High School, NE

Encounter School of Ministry students join Patrick Reis and Fr. Walter Nolte at a Nebraska High School.

Encounter Conference | 2022

Flagship Event | We seek to gather leaders of revival in the Church to encounter God’s refreshment, encouragement and impartation of greater anointing for ministry. Tickets >


FEARLESS Documentary

Veteran filmmaker Maura Smith takes us on a compelling journey of discovery into the world of supernatural divine power. Following the journey of Encounter Ministries, we see miracles of God through the hands of ordinary people.

Why a 2-Year School of Ministry?

Designed and established from the heart of Encounter Ministries, this school draws from the richness of our Catholic heritage as we seek to teach, equip, and activate disciples to demonstrate the love of God through the power of the Holy Spirit in their spheres of influence.

Theology FAQ

Is it licit for lay people to lay hands on the sick?

What if I "lost" my healing?

Are "charisms" part of an optional spirituality?

Do you need the "gift" of healing or prophecy to minister in these gifts?

Did Jesus really reject signs and wonders?


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