Graduate Diploma in Pastoral Ministry


The purpose of the Graduate Diploma in Pastoral Ministry program at Sacred Heart Major Seminary is to provide its graduates with a graduate diploma that verifies the completion of a 30 or 31 credit hour course of study.


For admissions process and requirements for the Graduate Diploma, please see the admissions section below.


Sacred Heart Major Seminary Graduate School of Theology seeks to award the Graduate Diploma to students who have achieved the following:

  1. The ability to understand, synthesize and articulate the Catholic tradition.
  2. Proficiency in articulating the religious questions of our time and discerning the meaning that the Catholic tradition brings to these issues.
  3. Commitment to life-long theological and pastoral education.
  4. The recognition of the need for ongoing intellectual, spiritual, and psychological integration.

Course of Study (30 credit hours)

A. Core (20 credit hours)

The Theological Core consists of 20 credit hours:

ST 500Theological Methodology2 cr
SS 521Method and Pentateuch3 cr
SS 525Synoptics3 cr
ST 5351Human Person and Grace2 cr
ST 6351Nature and Mission of the Church2 cr
ST 650Trinitarian and Christological Foundations of the Christian Faith3 cr
MT 675Foundations of Christian Moral Life3 cr
LS 575The Sacramental Life of the Church (or)2 cr

*ST 500 must be taken in conjunction with IS 505 Theological Research and Writing, 1 cr

B. Electives (10 credit hours)

Chosen by the student in consultation with the student's Adademic Advisor. Students may select any eligible elective course or may choose to concentrate electives in a particular pastoral area, such as spirituality or new evangelization. Students are strongly encouraged to select practice-oriented electives that cultivate pastoral ministry knowledge, attitudes, and skills.

Program Requirements

  1. A minimum of 30 credit hours must be earned through completion of the course of study.
  2. A minimum of 20 semester hours of credit must be earned at SHMS.
  3. The student must maintain a 2.5 GPA.
  4. Students must complete a one credit course in graduate theological research, IS 505 Theological Research and Writing. This course must be done in conjunction with ST 500 Theological Methodology, and should be done within the student’s first year of study. The course is graded pass/fail; credits earned do not count toward the total credits required for the graduate diploma.

See a complete list of our Graduate Course Descriptions.

See our Academic Catalogs for this and past academic years.


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

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