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Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

Profile of a Candidate for Holy Orders

 

A man who successfully completes the M.Div. program at Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a man who has conformed, and continues to conform, his life to Jesus Christ. Therefore, docile to the Holy Spirit, and zealous for the spread of the Gospel, he is a man …

 

  1. of sufficient physical health, mental balance and human maturity,
  2. who possesses the requisite natural virtues,
  3. who knows and adheres to Catholic doctrine and preaches it,
  4. with a love for learning,
  5. who is obedient,
  6. who lives a life of chaste celibacy,
  7. who possesses the requisite supernatural virtues,
  8. who prays,
  9. who exercises balanced judgment and effective pastoral leadership,
  10. of communio,
  11. of simplicity of life,
  12. of solidarity with the poor.

 

Student Learning Outcomes

 

  1. Teaches the faith accurately and effectively.  (PDV 51, PPF 163, ATS 3.1.1, 3.1.2)
  2. Demonstrates a willingness and capacity to serve people in a pastoral/clinical setting.  (PDV 57, PPF 236, ATS 3.1.4)
  3. Demonstrates an understanding of and capacity for priestly pastoral leadership in the image of Christ the Good Shepherd.  (PDV 57, PPF 236, ATS 3.1.4)
  4. Engages in the process of integration leading to pastoral charity and life-long learning.  (PDV 51, PPF 163, ATS 3.1.3)

 

Course of Study (123 credit hours)

Church History (7 credits hours)

HS 510 Church History I:  The First Millennium 2 cr
HS 512 Church History:  Christianity Divided 3 cr
HS 615 History of the Catholic Church in the U.S.A. 2 cr

Patristics (5 credit hours)

ST 600 Fathers of the Church to Nicea 2 cr
ST 605 Fathers of the Church post Nicea 3 cr

Scripture (18 credit hours)

SS 521 Method and Pentateuch 3 cr
SS 525 Synoptics 3 cr
SS 621 Johannine Literature 3 cr
SS 625 Pauline Literature 3 cr
SS 727 Prophets 3 cr
SS 737 Psalms/Wisdom 3 cr

Systematics (23 credit hours)

ST 530 Fundamental Theology 3 cr
ST 535 Christian Anthropology 3 cr
ST 630 Theology of Trinity 3 cr
ST 635 Ecclesiology 3 cr
ST 730 Christology 3 cr
SP 735 History of Spirituality 3 cr
SP 660 Nature and Practice of Spiritual Direction 3 cr
HS 700 Fdn. of Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue 3 cr

Moral Theology (9 credit hours)

MT 555 Fundamental Moral Theology 3 cr
MT 750 Bioethics 3 cr
MT 700 Catholic Social and Sexual Teaching 3 cr

Liturgy and Sacraments (15 credit hours)

LS 605 Sacramental Theology and Eucharist 4 cr
LS 645 Sacraments of Initiation 2 cr
LS 744 Holy Orders 2 cr
LS 746 Sacrament of Marriage and Law 3 cr
LS 748 Sacraments of Healing 4 cr

Applied Theology (12 credit hours)

EV 500 Evangelization and Catechesis 2 cr
AT 570 Homiletics I 2 cr
AT 660 Pastoral Counseling 2 cr
AT 775 Homiletics II 3 cr
AT 890 Parish Leadership and Administration 3 cr

Canon Law (5 credit hours)

AT 780 Introduction to Canon Law 2 cr
AT 881 Sacramental Law 3 cr

Field Education (8 credit hours)

FE 690 Introduction to Field Education I 1 cr
FE 695 Field Education Placement I:  Catechetical 1 cr
FE 692 Introduction to Field Education II 1 cr
FE 698 Field Education Placement II:  Clinical 1 cr
FE 720 Parish Internship I 2 cr
FE 725 Parish Internship II 2 cr

Integrating Studies (8 credit hours)

IS 890 M.Div. Integrating Seminar 2 cr
IS 898 Integrating Seminar II S.T.B. 1 cr
IS 893 Integrating Practicum I 2 cr
IS 894 Integrating Practicum II 2 cr
IS 505 Theological Research and Writing 1 cr

Music (1 credit hour)

MUS 549 Vocal Skills/Presider's Chants (OR) 1 cr
MUS 551 The Presider's Musical Role in the Liturgy 1 cr

New Evangelization (6 credit hours)

NE 865 Theology of the New Evangelization 3 cr
NE 868 Evangelization and Spirituality 3 cr

Electives (6 credit hours)

Program Requirements

  1. A minimum of 123 credit hours must be earned through completion of the course of study.
  2. A maximum of 41 credit hours may be applied to the degree from other institutions or from other credit earning options.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 is required.
  4. This program must be completed in six years from matriculation.  Under extenuating circumstances, a student may request an extension in writing to the Dean of Stuides.
  5. Students must participate in assessment of the academic program, including completion of a Graduating Student Questionnaire in the final year of study.

Ethical and Priestly Formation

 

Seminary formation has “as its object to make (seminarians) true shepherds of souls after the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, teacher, priest, and shepherd” (Optatam Totius, no. 4).

 

A strong appreciation for the multi faceted and challenging role of the diocesan priest lies at the root of the Formation Program at Sacred Heart Major Seminary’s Theologate. The seminary's mission is to develop true pastors, mature and holy men, who live, work and pray among the people in parish ministry.

 

This formation at Sacred Heart has several components. These different components form a whole that allows for the formation of future priests on all levels of development: Spiritual Formation, Human Formation, Intellectual Formation, and Pastoral Formation. Each of these is treated separately and has a particular purpose and method. They must, however, be viewed as parts of a comprehensive interrelated whole.

 

Spiritual Formation

 

“I will give you shepherds after my own heart.” The words from the prophecy of Jeremiah are etched on the cornerstone of the seminary building, and they capture the purpose of the Spiritual Formation Program of Sacred Heart Major Seminary: helping seminarians shape their hearts after the heart of Christ.

 

The Master of Divinity program integrates aspects of the Spiritual Formation Program at Sacred Heart.  Some of those aspects are taken from the list given in the fifth edition of the American Bishops’ Program of Priestly Formation, n. 110.  A fuller description of these aspects can be found in both the SHMS Spiritual Directors Guidelines and the SHMS Guidelines for Spiritual Formation, School of Theology.

 

  1. Daily Eucharist
  2. The Sacrament of Reconciliation
  3. Liturgy of the Hours and Ongoing Formation
  4. Spiritual Direction
  5. Word of God
  6. Retreats and Days of Recollection
  7. Personal Meditation and Solitude
  8. Devotions
  9. Apostolic Dimensions
  10. Celibacy
  11. Asceticism and Simplicity
  12. Obedience, Reconciliation and Solidarity

 

The SHMS Spiritual Formation Program assists men seeking to do God’s will as people of faith who recognize their limitations and the limitless quality of God’s grace. For such persons, the process of conversion is ongoing and rooted in hope and confidence that what cannot possibly be accomplished on one’s own is entirely possible with God. “The whole training of the students should have as its object to make them true shepherds of souls after the example of our Lord Jesus Christ, teacher, priest and shepherd” (Decree on Priestly Formation, no. 4). The spiritual program assists them in growing in their relationship with Christ who infuses their hearts with his love.

 

Priestly Leadership

 

An essential element in the formation of a candidate for the priesthood is leadership.  With the context of the Master of Divinity program the students are formed in the image in the Christ the Good Shepherd who leads the sheep in the light of truth.  This formation occurs through course work, formation sessions, field education, and parish internships.  Growth in affective maturity, a deeply integrated sense of self, knowledge of appropriate boundaries, and well developed life of virtue are among the essential foundations for effective pastoral leadership.  These foundational elements are developed and formed through the Human Formation program, the details of which can be found in the Human Formation Handbook.

 

Field Education

 

Sacred Heart Major Seminary, located as it is in the heart of a large urban archdiocese, is an ideal place for the education and formation of men for the priesthood. It is in immediate proximity to the poor and the hub of a metropolitan area rich in a diversity of cultures. The seminary is an active participant in the social, political, economic and religious processes that affect the entire State of Michigan and much of Midwestern America. The entire metropolis inner city, including urban, suburban and rural, becomes the living laboratory in which the student learns.

 

Field education is an integral part of the seminary program. The program leads through gradual pastoral experiences to a full exercise of priestly ministry. In supervised and directed situations, the seminarian participates in ministry, works with competent professionals engaged in ministry, reflects on the personal impact of ministry, listens to parishioners and dialogs with peers. In all, he is immersed in pastoral education.

 

The components of field education follow the rubric of forming the candidate as one preparing to teach, sanctify and govern.  As such the Field Education Experiences reflect:

 

First Year:

Introduction to Field Education

Direct Catechetical/Teaching Experience

Reflections

 

Second Year:

Direct, sustained clinical experience

Supervision

Reflection

Parish Pastoral Experience during the summer

 

Third Year:

Parish Pastoral Experience during the summer

 

Fourth Year:

Preparation for Diaconal Assignment

Weekend Diaconal Assignment

 

Parish Internships

 

Internship is the practical application of pastoral ministerial skills in a defined learning situation. The emphasis is to be on relating what has been learned in the academic setting of the classroom with what is lived and experienced in the pastoral setting of the parish. During the internships it is expected that the student will encounter the diversity of life in a parish community by participating in the various gatherings where people worship and carry out the service, education, evangelization and stewardship dimensions of church life.

 

The parish internship has been conceived:

 

  1. To enhance the readiness of the student for the integration of theological study and its application to priestly ministry in a contemporary setting within a local parish community.
  2. To enable the student minister and the Church to identify more accurately those attitudes and aptitudes for priestly ministry which the student possesses at this time in order to set further academic and formational goals within the whole program of study.
  3. To enable the student minister to identify and to employ a spirituality appropriate to the diocesan priesthood.

 

Further information on the parish internship may be found in the appropriate handbooks and materials of the director of field education.