Welcome, Commuter Students!

Welcome to Sacred Heart Major Seminary! We are committed to helping form and equip you for the ministry and mission to which our Lord Jesus calls you, unleashing the Gospel wherever you are.

The seminary building and grounds are open to commuters from 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. daily, seven days a week. Sacred Heart Major Seminary welcomes commuter students to the campus during these regular seminary hours. Please note: hours of specific seminary facilities may vary and are indicated below.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding commuter student facilities or services, please contact the Institute for Lay Ministry (313-883-8541).

Athletic Facilities

The outdoor track is available for commuter student use during daylight hours. (All other athletic and exercise facilities are reserved for use by seminarians only).

Chapel & Daily Mass

The seminary community welcomes all students and the public who wish to participate in the weekday Eucharistic celebration in the main chapel at 12:05 pm, Monday-Friday. Those joining the celebration are invited to pray in the spirit and customs of the community. Commuter students are encouraged to use the chapel for private prayer outside of seminarian liturgical celebrations. We ask everyone to foster appropriate quiet and reverence at all times and avoid using the chapel as a shortcut—but we do encourage you to make frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament. The chapel is open to commuter students during the following times: 

Mon., Tues., Wed., & Fri. 8:30 a.m.–10:00 p.m.
Thurs. 8:30 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
Sat. 9:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. (except 5 o’clock hour)
Sun. 12:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

Chapel reservation requests for special group events must be made in writing to the Rector.


All classrooms are open during the seminary’s regular hours (8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m. daily). We ask that you use classrooms only for classes in which you are enrolled (see course schedule) and do not use the classroom computers and technology without instructor supervision (e.g. for a student presentation). We ask all students to help keep the classrooms orderly and clean.

Anyone wishing to use a classroom outside of a class meeting must obtain written permission from, and schedule your event through, the registrar’s office.

Libraries & Quiet Study Space

Two libraries, the Edmund Cardinal Szoka Library (under the main chapel) and the Ward Library (first floor east side), serve commuter students’ research and study space needs. The libraries are open daily 8:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m., with librarian assistance offered until 4:30 p.m. The Szoka library provides access to books, reference resources, academic journals, and audio-visual materials, as well as a computer lab and photocopy machine and printer. You may access the Szoka library catalog remotely by logging in to the online library portal (lib.shms.edu). From here you can reserve or renew items, make library purchase requests, and browse research databases. Resources may be checked out using the SHMS student ID badge.

Everyone is expected to follow the library Quiet Policy posted near the Szoka circulation desk. Please note: Food and drink are prohibited in the libraries.

Students seeking a quiet place to study will find Ward Library especially well suited and beautifully adorned.

Lobbies (ground floor and first floor)

The two lobbies near the main seminary entrance are ideal places to meet up with other commuter students briefly before going to the refectory, library, or class. Since special events are frequently hosted in the parlors adjacent to the first floor lobby, we ask you to be mindful of your volume as you pass through or meet in the lobby.

Student Lounge & Computer Room

The student lounge is available to all SHMS students, commuter students, and seminarians. The lounge is an ideal place to stop and relax between classes or after a long day at work before heading off to class. The lounge includes a small kitchen making it possible for commuters to store and prepare food from home. In addition, students are welcome to help themselves to a cup of coffee or tea with the Keurig coffee maker and snacks. (Donations are encouraged.) Seminarians are also invited to use this space. Located conveniently toward the front of the building, seminarians may use this comfortable space for such things as meeting outside friends or their classmates from off campus.

While the Cardinal Szoka and Ward libraries are ideal for quiet study and work, the student loung is intended to be a common room that fosters relaxed conversation and fellowship. There are also four computers, a printer, and a whiteboard, as well as Wi-Fi and computer access to the internet. A student bulletin board shares commuter student council agendas and minutes, lay formation opportunities, and other information.

The student lounge is located halfway between the front lobby and the gymnasium. It is open to use by commuters during the seminary's regular hours (8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. daily).

Mother’s Room (for nursing mothers)

A comfortable, private room is available to nursing mothers (near seminary’s entrance, on the second floor, room 232B). It has a refrigerator, electricity, a sink, and a bed. A key for this room may be signed out at the front security guard desk.


A secure and well-lit parking lot is available to all students and visitors. Parking space is usually plentiful unless there is a special conference center event. You are asked not to park in reserved faculty, staff, or resident seminarian parking spaces, nor in the service lot reserved for deliveries and service vehicles.

Refectory & Meals

Meals are served daily in the seminary refectory on the ground floor. Commuters are welcome to enjoy breakfast Monday-Saturday, 8:00-9:00 a.m., lunch Monday-Saturday, 12:15-1:00 p.m., and dinner Monday-Thursday, 5:00-6:30 p.m. A variety of food options are available.

Permission to Use Seminary Facilities

Any room use by commuter students other than those indicated above needs express permission from the appropriate department. Contact the Institute for Lay Ministry for more information (313-883-8541). All other rooms and areas of the seminary are otherwise reserved strictly for seminary personnel, residents, or Archdiocese of Detroit conference center functions. 

Sacred Heart Major Seminary Building Map Layout

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