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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Have an advanced knowledge of how the theological, spiritual, and methodological components of evangelization express themselves in various times, places, and cultural settings.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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:

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

  1. A minimum of 48 credit hours must be earned through completion of the course of study.
  2. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 is required.
  3. A maximum of fifteen hours may be applied to the degree from other institutions or from other credit earning options.
  4. 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.
  5. Students must participate in program assessment, including completion of a Graduate Student Questionnaire during the final year of study. 

See a complete list of our Graduate Course Descriptions.

See our Bulletins for this and past academic years.


Admissions information for this program can be found on the Graduate Admissions page.

STL Degree Prerequisites

Checklist of requirements needed to be accepted into the STL degree program - 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 Guidelines

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

Lectio coram Guidelines

Click here: A sample of lectio coram proposals can be requested from the lection coram coordinator.

Evangelization Practicum

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