The purpose of the Graduate Theological Preparation for Catechetics or Pastoral Ministry Program at Sacred Heart Major Seminary is to provide its graduates with a graduate Diploma which verifies the completion of a 30 or 31 credit hour course of study. This course of study constitutes a partial fulfillment of the requirements for archdiocesan certification and may be used as a component of the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (M.A.P.S.) Degree.


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 (30-31 credit hours)

A. Core (20 credit hours)

The Theological Core consists of 20 credit hours:

ST 500 Theological Methodology 2 cr
SS 521 Method and Pentateuch 3 cr
SS 525 Synoptics 3 cr
ST 5351 Human Person and Grace 2 cr
ST 6351 Nature and Mission of the Church 2 cr
ST 650 Trinitarian and Christological Foundations of the Christian Faith 3 cr
MT 675 Foundations of Christian Moral Life 3 cr
LS 575 The 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. Concentrations (10-11 Credit Hours)

Evangelization and Catechesis

ST 501 Theology of Mission and Ministry 2 cr
EV 500 Evangelization and Catechesis 2 cr
LS/EV 645 Sacraments of Initiation 2 cr
EV 786 Adult Catechesis 2 cr
  Evangelization and Catechesis Elective 2 cr

Pastoral Ministry

ST 501 Theology of Mission and Ministry  2 cr
PM 550 Church Law for Parish Ministers 2 cr
AT 746 Sacrament of Marriage and Law 3 cr
PM 620 Leadership in Public Prayer 2 cr
SP 690 Human and Spiritual Adult Development 2 cr

Program Requirements

  1. A minimum of 30-31 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 Bulletins for this and past academic years.


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