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 271 Pastoral Catechetics 2 cr
    THE 337 Trinity and Christology 3 cr
    THE 340 Church History 3 cr
    THE 300 Catholic Social Teaching 3 cr
    THE 320 Theology of Salvation and Mission 3 cr
    THE 360 Sacraments of Initiation 3 cr
    MNS 300 Canon Law for Parish Ministers 2 cr
    MNS 315 Liturgical Prayer of the Church 2 cr
    MNS 228 Introduction to Pastoral Counseling 2 cr
    THE 350 Introduction to the Old Testament 3 cr
    THE 353 Introduction to the Gospels and Acts 3 cr
    THE 356 Introduction to Paul and the Catholic Epistles 3 cr
    MNS 360 Diaconal Homiletics Practicum 3 cr
    MNS 365 Diaconal Liturgical Practicum 3 cr
    MNS 350 Reflection Seminar 2 cr
    MNS 351 Continuing Reflection Seminar 2 cr

    Program Requirements

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

    See a complete list of our  Undergraduate Course Descriptions.

    See our Bulletins for this and past academic years.


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