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. Through a general education course of studies:
    • Read, articulate, and inquire logically, abstractly and analytically.
    • Be familiar with our global cultural heritage, ancient and modern.
    • Have a capacity for exploring the life and problems of their own communities and other societies and nations.
    • Apply the rudimentary principles of empirical thought processes.

Course of Study (64 credit hours)*

Communication and Language Arts (9 credit hours)

CLA 153 Rhetoric 3 cr
CLA 154 Critical Research Skills 3 cr
CLA 161 Introduction to Oral Communication 3 cr

Social Sciences (6 credit hours)

SOC 101 Sociology of Religion (or) Psychology 3 cr
HIS 302 Western Civilization I 3 cr

Science and Mathematics (3 credit hours)

 A course in Mathematics OR Natural/Physical Science 3 cr

Humanities (6 credit hours)

LIT 251 World Literature 3 cr
  A course in Art Appreciation 3 cr

Music (3 credit hours)

MUS 350 Art of Liturgical Music 3 cr

Theological Studies (19 credit hours)

THE 123 Introduction to the Catholic Faith 2 cr
THE 210 Introduction to Liturgy & Sacraments 2 cr
THE 219 Introduction to the Catholic Church 2 cr
THE 249 Introduction to Sacred Scripture 3 cr
THE 243 Introduction to Spirituality 2 cr
THE 274 Introduction to Moral Theology 2 cr
THE 310 Apologetics I* 3 cr
THE 315 Apologetics II* 3 cr

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

Ministerial Studies (12 credit hours)

MNS 101 Theology of Ministry 2 cr
MNS 228 Introduction to Pastoral Counseling 2 cr
MNS 271 Pastoral Catechetics 2 cr
MNS 300 Canon Law for Parish Ministers 2 cr
MNS 315 Liturgical Prayer of the Church 2 cr
MNS 375 Catechetical Administration 2 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 Bulletins 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.