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About Sacred Heart Major Seminary

Forming the Body of Christ for Ministry


Sacred Heart has been forming priests for the Archdiocese of Detroit since 1919, and today for dioceses throughout Michigan and the United States—and even the world, in nations such as Poland, Cameroon, Brazil and China. It became a major seminary in 1988, when a Graduate School of Theology was added to its College of Liberal Arts. That same year, the Institute for Ministry began educating individuals for the permanent diaconate and professional lay ecclesial ministry.


Our student body is richly varied: There are women and men; clergy and lay; resident seminarians and commuters; young, middle-aged and senior students. Eleven diploma, undergraduate and graduate degree programs provide our students a rigorous, thoroughly Catholic education “according to the mind of the Church,” preparing them to become modern-day evangelists for the new millennium.


For the 2012-13 school year, 122 seminarians representing eleven dioceses and two religious orders are receiving priestly education and formation at Sacred Heart. This is the highest seminarian enrollment in the past four decades. They are joined by a lay student enrollment of 318.


Students study under the tutelage of a highly credentialed and spiritually committed faculty who teach from a perspective of faith, not doubt. Twenty-six graduates of the seminary have been elevated to the episcopacy, making Sacred Heart something of a “school for bishops.”


Recent innovations that advance educational quality include six endowed chairs, cutting-edge “smart classroom” technology, WiFi access, a state-of-the-art liturgy laboratory, a distance learning suite and a newly renovated dorm wing to accommodate the increase in seminarian population. A pontifically-approved Licentiate in Sacred Theology with a specialization in the New Evangelization is the first of its kind in the United States. The MA Theology and MA Pastoral Studies (MAPS) programs also have concentrations in the New Evangelization, while all pastoral ministry programs include spiritual formation, so the soul is inspired as well as the mind.



Sacred Heart's campus is located on twenty-two acres near the stately Boston-Edison Historic District in north-central Detroit. It’s architecturally significant Gothic Revival building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.


Financial aid is available to seminarians and lay ministry students alike, particularly through the Fishermen’s Fund, a pool of funding supported solely by the archdiocesan laity. Satellite locations, evening classes and online courses are designed to fit our lay students’ busy schedules.



Most simply put, the mission of Sacred Heart Major Seminary is this: to form future priests, deacons and   lay ministers who are filled with faith and embrace with zeal the call for a new evangelization of the Church and the world.


Come to know our institution better through the following pages.Then prayerfully consider if you are being called to be a part of the Sacred Heart family, as a student or supporter. We welcome you!