Associate of Arts in Ministry (A.A.M.)


The Associate of Arts in Ministry (A.A.M.) degree is designed to provide its recipients with an undergraduate liberal arts/vocational degree in a two-year format in the area of Christian ministry.


Sacred Heart Major Seminary strives to instill in its Associate of Arts in Ministry degree graduates the ability to: 

  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of Sacred Scripture, Catholic tradition,and ministry, such as:
    • Demonstrate the use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sacred Scripture, and some conciliar documents for the study of Catholic Theology
    • Identify the basic tenets of the Catholic faith.
    • Apply Catholic theology and principles of theological reflection to a ministerial case study.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of ministry skills and foundational resources for ministry, such as:
    • Identify and apply passages in Sacred Scripture and Catholic teaching useful for pastoral counseling.
    • Identify tools for evaluating catechetical experiences.
    • In a case study related to pastoral care, such as marriage nullity, identify and cite applicable canon law.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of various leadership styles and ability to identify own leadership style.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to make critical evaluations within the context of various disciplines, such as:
    • Draw valid conclusions.
    • Make a critical evaluation of a topic.

Course of Study (64 credit hours)*

Communication and Language Arts (9 credit hours)

CLA 153Rhetoric3 cr
CLA 154Critical Research Skills3 cr
CLA 161Introduction to Oral Communication3 cr

Social Sciences (6 credit hours)

SOC 101Sociology of Religion (or) Psychology3 cr
HIS 302Western Civilization I3 cr

Science and Mathematics (3 credit hours)

 A course in Mathematics OR Natural/Physical Science3 cr

Humanities (6 credit hours)

LIT 251World Literature3 cr
 A course in Art Appreciation3 cr

Music (3 credit hours)

MUS 350 Art of Liturgical Music3 cr

Theological Studies (19 credit hours)

THE 123Introduction to the Catholic Faith2 cr
THE 210Introduction to Liturgy & Sacraments2 cr
THE 219Introduction to the Catholic Church2 cr
THE 249Introduction to Sacred Scripture3 cr
THE 243Introduction to Spirituality2 cr
THE 274Introduction to Moral Theology2 cr
THE 310Apologetics I*3 cr
THE 315Apologetics II*3 cr

*To be taken in the student’s final year in the A.A.M. program. 

Ministerial Studies (12 credit hours)

MNS 101Theology of Ministry2 cr
MNS 228Introduction to Pastoral Counseling2 cr
MNS 271Pastoral Catechetics2 cr
MNS 300Canon Law for Parish Ministers2 cr
MNS 315Liturgical Prayer of the Church2 cr
MNS 375Catechetical Administration2 cr

Electives (6 credit hours) 

Courses in other disciplines within the liberal arts may be taken in consultation with the academic advisor and with the approval of the dean of studies.  These courses can be chosen from the curriculum of SHMS or the Detroit Area Catholic Higher Education Consortium.  Elective credits may also be transferred from another college with the approval of the dean of studies, subject to transfer credit guidelines.

Program Requirements


  • A minimum of 64 semester hours of credit must be earned through completion of the course of study.
  • A minimum of 24 semester hours of credit must be earned at SHMS.
  • The student must maintain a C average (2.0).
  • The student must participate in three Formation Sessions during the course of study.
       a. Discernment
       b. Theological reflection
       c. Spiritual Direction
  • The student must participate in assessment of the academic program.


See a complete list of our Undergraduate Course Descriptions.

See our Academic Catalogs for this and past academic years.

Admissions Information

Admissions information for the Associate of Arts in Ministry can be found on the Undergraduate Admissions section of this website.

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