The pandemic has challenged us all in a myriad of ways, both personally and societally. This fall, Sacred Heart Major Seminary hopes to offer a space in which those who may be wondering where God is calling them next in this difficult season may grow both in personal discernment and formation in sharing the Gospel.
“With all that is happening around us and in our lives, we can feel unstable, disillusioned, and confused,” said Dr. Matthew Gerlach, Dean of the Institute for Lay Ministry and Associate Professor of Theology at Sacred Heart. “Taking seminary classes and studying theology with others can shed light on our experience and help us strengthen our faith, hope, and love.”
Sacred Heart currently forms over 120 seminarians and more than 400 active lay students seeking to make an impact in their vocation living in the world. There are a number of programs at Sacred Heart for potential students to explore how God might be calling them to serve their community in this unique time — whether with a certificate in Catholic Theology, or through one of the several undergraduate or graduate programs in ministry and evangelization.
Pursuing an education at Sacred Heart Major Seminary not only helps individuals discern a call to ministry, it also provides opportunities to deeply, personally grow in faith.
“Through the MAPS (Master of Art in Pastoral Studies) program and the community of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, God’s grace has nurtured within me a deep and powerful hunger for spiritual and adult faith formation, a willingness to learn and grow, and a sincere desire to serve the Lord with excellence and generosity,” said Denise Gorski, alumna of Sacred Heart.
Students at Sacred Heart are taught by leading experts in Catholic theology and evangelization, who also serve on pontifical councils and commissions which directly impact the life of the Church. Classrooms are faith-filled environments where students can grow deeply in their personal faith and find encouragement and formation in their call to ministry.
Some of the classes offered this term at Sacred Heart include Introduction to Scripture, History of Christian Spirituality, and a new class, Soteriology, the study of salvation in Catholic history tradition and Scripture.
Sacred Heart is also making every effort to follow the necessary precautions to ensure that all faculty, staff, and students are as safe as possible during this time. Classes are offered with options for in-person, online, or combination settings.
“We are taking the necessary steps to ensure a safe environment at the seminary for our seminarian and lay commuter students,” Dr. Gerlach said. “If classes need to shift online again due to a stay-at-home order, instructors are diligently preparing to make that transition as seamless as possible and offer high-quality online learning to complete their courses.”
In addition to ensuring a safe environment, Sacred Heart is also increasing their accommodation for those who have financial concerns and burdens, offering more scholarship opportunities to aid qualifying students.
For a complete list of programs, visit https://www.shms.edu/content/academics.