School of Theology

In our mission to prepare men and women as collaborators in ministry and education, the College of Liberal Arts at Sacred Heart Major Seminary and its Institute for Ministry welcome students of all ages and economic, cultural, experiential, and religious backgrounds. SHMS seeks to admit candidates who will thrive, both in their academics and their spiritual/ministerial formation, through our numerous programs. As such, the determination of admission is an individual and selective process. Each student is assessed individually in light of several factors, including but not limited to:

  • Academic performance and capability
  • Aptitude for collegiate study
  • Recommendation
  • Educational and formational goals
  • ACT, SAT, or GRE scores (for certain degree programs)

 

Men who are interested in becoming a Catholic priest should refer to the Seminarian Admissions page.

Unclassified Graduate Application Procedure

New students who wish to audit courses or take up to twelve (12) graduate credits without matriculating into a degree program must complete the following requirements:

 

Online application at www.shms.edu

Applicants who do not have computer access will be able to complete the application form during their interview.

 

Official transcripts

Applicants must contact each college or university from which they received academic credit and request official transcripts. Official transcripts must be mailed or sent electronically directly from the school to SHMS.

 

Interview with a member of the admissions staff

The purpose of the interview is for the Office of Admissions to learn more about the prospective student's background and goals and to assist with any questions or concerns. Call 313-883-8696 to schedule an appointment. Day and evening times are available.

 

Valid GRE scores

All applicants who have not completed the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within the last five years must arrange to take the test and have the scores forwarded to SHMS (school code: 2692). The committee considers the Verbal Reasoning and Analytic Writing scores in conjunction with a variety of other factors. The committee has no minimum scores, nor does it factor the Quantitative Reasoning score in any way. For test information, including scheduling to take the exam at a local testing center, go to www.ets.org/gre. The GRE may be waived at the discretion of the director of admissions based on prior graduate level coursework earned at an institution accredited by ATS and/or by an accreditor recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

 

Graduate Certificate/Diploma/Degree Application Procedure

 

In order to be considered for admission into a degree program within the Graduate School of Theology, all applicants must complete the following requirements:

 

Online application at www.shms.edu

Applicants who do not have computer access will be able to complete the application form during their interview.

 

Interview with a member of the admissions staff

The purpose of the interview is for the Office of Admissions to learn more about the prospective student's background and goals and to assist with any questions or concerns. Call (313) 883-8696 to schedule an appointment. Day and evening times are available.

 

Two recommendation forms

Applicants must have the recommendation forms or letters completed by persons (e.g. pastor, co-worker, teacher) capable of assessing whether or not they would be suitable candidates for their desired program. Recommendations from family members or friends will not be accepted by the Graduate Admissions Committee. Ideally, one recommendation form or letter should be from a former professor who can evaluate the applicant's aptitude for graduate study.

 

 

Official Transcripts

Applicants must contact each college or university from which they received academic credit and forward official transcripts. Official transcripts must be mailed or sent electronically directly from the school to SHMS.

 

Essay/Statement of Intent

In approximately 500 words (or one page), applicants should provide a brief biographical sketch of personal and spiritual growth, describe the circumstances which have led him/her to apply, explain the reasons for choosing the program applied for, and list some of his/her goals upon completion of the program. This essay can be printed and submitted in-person, via email, or via mail.

 

Valid GRE scores

All applicants who have not completed the GRE General Test within the last five years must arrange to take the test and have the scores to forwarded to SHMS (school code: 2692). The committee considers the Verbal Reasoning and Analytic Writing scores in conjunction with a variety of other factors. The committee has no minimum scores, nor does it factor the Quantitative Reasoning score in any way. For test information, including scheduling to take the exam at a local testing center, go to www.ets.org/gre. The GRE may be waived at the discretion of the director of admissions based on prior graduate level coursework earned at an ATS and/or regionally accredited institution.

 

Program-Specific Requirements:

 

Master of Arts in Theology (M.A.) / Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (M.A.P.S.) / Graduate Diploma:

A bachelor degree from an academic institution accredited by ATS or an accreditor recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 with an appropriate background in theology and philosophy. Those students who do not have a background in theology or philosophy can be granted admission as an undergraduate prerequisite student, and would be required to complete the following undergraduate courses or their equivalents:

 

  • THE 400 - Theological Foundations I
  • THE 405 – Theological Foundations II
  • THE 249 – Introduction to Sacred Scripture
  • PHL 400 – Philosophical Foundations I
  • PHL 405 – Philosophical Foundations II

 

The determination of any course equivalencies to these prerequisites will be at the discretion of the Office of Dean of Studies at the time of initial application.

 

M.A.P.S. Additional Requirements:

  • Permanent Diaconate: Acceptance into Diaconate Formation.

All other commuter students: Formation application with signed recommendation from current pastor.

  • A battery of inventories administered by appointment only. Call 313-883-8696 to schedule an appointment.

 

Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.)

  • A four-year degree from a college or university accredited by ATS or an accreditor recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation consisting of a minimum of two years in the study of philosophy, including logic, ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary philosophy, epistemology, nature, ethics, philosophical anthropology, metaphysics, and political philosophy.
  • A letter of support from the proper ecclesiastical authority (i.e., diocesan bishop or religious superior).

 

Post-Graduate Certificate in the New Evangelization

  • Completion of a Master of Arts in Theology, or Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies, or  Master of Divinity (M.Div.), or Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) or the equivalent from an accredited Catholic institution with a 2.5 cumulative grade point average.

 

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.)

  • Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) or Master of Divinity (M.Div.) or the equivalent from an accredited Catholic institution. Those who have obtained a M.A. in Catholic theology can satisfy the S.T.B. prerequisite by having their theological preparation evaluated by the dean of studies and fulfilling specific requirements. A maximum of 15 credits may be applied toward the degree from other institutions or from other credit earning options.
  • Reading ability in Latin and one modern language. (Greek /Hebrew is also recommended for those planning further studies in Scripture or biblical theology.)
  • Writing sample of 15-20 pages or more demonstrating the student's aptitude and capacity for research. This would normally be from previous academic work. This sample will be evaluated by the S.T.L. Admissions Committee.
  • Letter of support from the proper ecclesiastical authority (i.e., diocesan bishop or religious superior).