The S.T.L. degree offered by Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a post-graduate ecclesiastical degree in pastoral theology with a focus on the New Evangelization. The Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome confers the degree through the faculty of SHMS.

Admissions Requirements

For the admissions process and requirements for the S.T.L. degree, please refer to the admissions section of the bulletin.


  • Have an advanced understanding of biblical, theological, and magisterial principles of the New Evangelization. Demonstrate the ability to apply these principles in analyzing scholarship and in assessing both existing and proposed programs of evangelization.
  • Have an advanced understanding of the principles of spirituality that are essential for evangelization. Based on this understanding of both the sanctifying and charismatic dimensions of the Spirit’s work, be able to apply this understanding in assessing programs of evangelization.
  • Have an advanced knowledge of how the theological, spiritual, and methodological components of evangelization express themselves in various times, places, and cultural settings.
  • Have an advanced understanding of the cultural milieu in which evangelization takes place. Be able to evaluate positive and negative features of the cultural environment. Be able to articulate what inculturation and transformation of culture would mean in such situations.
  • Be familiar, both on a theoretical and pastoral level, with contemporary models, programs, and movements of evangelization and be able to analyze and assess them from theological, spiritual, and methodological perspectives.
  • Be familiar, both on a theoretical and practical level, with leadership skills necessary for evangelization, including actual experience in the field. 
  • Course of Study (48 credit hours)

    Common Courses - 8 credits:

    Required (4 credits):

    STL 910

    Christology in the First Millennium 

    2 cr

    STL 911

    Christology in the Second Millennium 

    2 cr

    An additional 4 credits in two common courses.

    Specialization Courses - 24 credits:

    STL 865

    Theology of the New Evangelization

    3 cr

    STL 868

    Evangelization and Spirituality

    3 cr

    STL 871

    Cultural Milieu of the New Evangelization

    3 cr

    STL 872

    Models of Evangelization: Historical and Contemporary

    3 cr

    STL 977

    The Letters of Paul and the New Evangelization

    3 cr

    An additional 9 credits in three specialization courses.

    Seminar Courses - 6 credits

    STL 876 Evangelization Practicum 2 cr

    An additional 4 credits in two seminar courses.

    Elective Courses - 8 credits:

    Four courses

    Thesis - 2 credits:

    STL 989 Integrating Thesis Seminar 2 cr

    Students are required to complete a thesis of 75-100 pages in length under the direction of a faculty member, as well as deliver a public lecture (the lectio coram)12 of at least 1.5 hours duration before a board of examiners, including questions and answers. The thesis as well as the public lecture must represent a substantial and sustained intellectual endeavor related to the New Evangelization.

    STL 9891 Continuing Thesis Guidance (1 credit; credit not applicable toward degree completion) is provided for the student who does not complete the thesis during the semester for which he/she registered for STL 989. The course is required for each semester that a student wishes to use the library for thesis research or to have contact with the thesis director until the thesis is completed.

    NOTE: The additional courses offered in each category (common, specialization, seminar, and electives) are determined by the dean of studies in consultation with the S.T.L. faculty.

    Courses in the New Evangelization completed at SHMS at the Master’s level will transfer towards the requirements for the S.T.L. degree. 

    Program Requirements

  • A minimum of 48 credit hours must be earned through completion of the course of study.
  • A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 is required.
  • A maximum of fifteen hours may be applied to the degree from other institutions or from other credit earning options.
  • The program must be completed in six years from time of matriculation.  Under extenuating circumstances, a student may request an extension in writing from the Dean of Studies.
  • Students must participate in program assessment, including completion of a Graduate Student Questionnaire during the final year of study. 
  • STL Degree Prerequisites

    Checklist of requirements needed to be accepted into the STL degree program - click here:

    Course Descriptions

    These can be found in the 2015-2016 Bulletin - click here.

    STL Program Requirements

    Requirements for the STL degree - click here:

    Thesis Directors

    For a list of the current faculty qualified to direct the thesis  - click here:

    Thesis Style

    Chicago Manual of Style governs style questions with the latest Turabian edition adequate for most purposes.

    The length of the thesis should be 75-100 pages.  Bound copies of thesis are in the library for examination.

    Thesis Proposal

    Information about how to proceed with the thesis - click here: 

    Thesis Grading Rubric

    Grading guidelines used by the director and reader - click here:

    Thesis and Lectio coram Sequence

    Information about how to proceed with the Thesis and Lectio coram - click here:

    Lectio coram Guidelines

    These guidelines are effective for students' enrolling beginning in the 2013-2014 Academic Year. - click here:  A sample of lectio coram proposals can be requested from the lection coram coordinator. 

    Lectio coram Grading Rubric

    Grading guidelines used by committee - click here:

    Evangelization Practicum

    Information about how to proceed with the Evangelization Practicum - click here: