The purpose of the Basic Diploma in Catholic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary is to provide its students with a basic course of study in the area of Catholic theology. This course of study constitutes a partial fulfillment of the requirements for archdiocesan certification of volunteers and professionals in ministry, and it may be used as a component of the Associate of Arts in Ministry (A.A.M.) degree and the A.B. degrees (in Philosophy or Pastoral Theology).


SHMS strives to instill in its Basic Diploma recipients an ability to:

  • 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 precepts of the Catholic faith.
  • Apply Catholic theology and the principles of theological reflection to a ministerial case study.
  • Course of Study (27 credit hours)

    CLA 153 Rhetoric 3 cr
    CLA 161 Introduction to Oral Communication 3 cr
    SOC 104 Introduction to Sociology (or Intro to Psychology*) 3 cr
    THE 123 Introduction to Catholic Faith 2 cr
    THE 210 Introduction to Liturgy and 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
    MNS 101 Theology of Ministry 2 cr

    * This course is not offered on site at SHMS but can be taken through the Detroit Area Catholic Higher Education Consortium or through applied transfer credits, subject to transfer credit guidelines.

    Program Requirements

  • A minimum of 27 credits must be earned through completion of the course of study.
  • A minimum of 14 semester hours of credit must be earned at SHMS.
  • The student must maintain a C average (2.0).
  • The student must participate in 3 (three) Formation Sessions during the course of study.
  • Discernment
  • Theological reflection
  • Spiritual Direction
  • The student must participate in an assessment process at the time of graduation.