Permanent Diaconate Programs




The purpose of the Intermediate Diploma in Diaconal Studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary is to provide students with the foundational knowledge needed to communicate the Catholic faith and the Church’s teaching and tradition so that the student will be prepared to carry out his ministry as a permanent deacon. 




SHMS strives to instill in the recipients of the Intermediate Diploma in Diaconal Studies an ability to:


1.  Articulate a broad knowledge of Catholic theology in the areas of Sacred Scripture, Catholic tradition and history, Catholic social teaching, sacraments and law.

  • The student is able to identify doctrinal documents and Scriptural passages that are

    foundational to areas of Catholic teaching. 

  • The student is able to make an oral presentation that demonstrates sound theological teaching. 

  • The student is able to present in writing a synthesis of theological teachings and apply

    them to a particular theme. 

2.  Apply knowledge of Catholic theology in pastoral, catechetical, and liturgical settings.

  • Pastoral: The student is able to employ effective counseling skills in typical pastoral situations. The student is able to demonstrate cultural sensitivity in a pastoral setting. 

  • Liturgical: The student is able to deliver/write a homily that teaches doctrine from Scripture. The student is able to effectively apply the Scripture readings from the Mass to life and contemporary circumstances. 

Course of Study (40 credit hours)

MNS 271Pastoral Catechetics2 cr
THE 337Trinity and Christology3 cr
THE 340Church History3 cr
THE 300Catholic Social Teaching3 cr
THE 320Theology of Salvation and Mission3 cr
THE 360Sacraments of Initiation3 cr
MNS 300Canon Law for Parish Ministers2 cr
MNS 315Liturgical Prayer of the Church2 cr
MNS 228Introduction to Pastoral Counseling2 cr
THE 350Introduction to the Old Testament3 cr
THE 353Introduction to the Gospels and Acts3 cr
THE 356Introduction to Paul and the Catholic Epistles3 cr
MNS 360Diaconal Homiletics Practicum3 cr
MNS 365Diaconal Liturgical Practicum3 cr
MNS 352Reflection Seminar2 cr


Program Requirements

  1. A minimum of 40 credit hours must be earned through completion of the course of study.
  2. The student must maintain a C average (2.0).
  3. A minimum of 21 semester hours of credit must be earned at SHMS.
  4. The student must participate in an assessment process of the program.


See a complete list of our  Undergraduate Course Descriptions.


See ourAcademic Catalogs for this and past academic years.



Admissions information for theUndergraduate Intermediate Diploma in Diaconal Studies can be found on the Undergraduate Admissions page.