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Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.)



The S.T.L. degree offered by Sacred Heart Major Seminary is an ecclesiastical degree in pastoral theology with a focus on the New Evangelization. The Pontifical University of St. Thomas (The Angelicum) in Rome confers the degree through the faculty of SHMS.



For the admissions process and requirements, please click here.



  1. An advanced understanding of biblical, theological and magisterial principles of the New Evangelization. Demonstrate the ability to apply these principles in analyzing scholarship and in assessing both existing and proposed programs of evangelization.
  2. An advanced understanding of the principles of spirituality that are essential for evangelization. Based on this understanding of both the sanctifying and charismatic dimensions of the Spirit's work students should be able to apply this understanding in assessing programs of evangelization.
  3. An advanced knowledge of how the theological, spiritual and methodological components of evangelization should be differently utilized in various times, places and cultural settings.
  4. An advanced understanding of the cultural milieu in which evangelization takes place; an ability to evaluate positive and negative features of the cultural environment and articulate what inculturation and transformation of culture would mean in such situations.
  5.  A familiarity, both on a theoretical and pastoral level, with contemporary models, programs and movements of evangelization and an ability to analyze and assess them from theological, spiritual and methodological perspectives.
  6. A familiarity both on a theoretical and practical level, with leadership skills necessary for evangelization, including actual experience in the field.


Course of Study (48 credit hours)

Common Courses - 8 credits:

Required (4 credits):


STL 910 Early, Medieval and Renaissance Christology 2 cr
STL 911 Christology in the Third Millennium 2 cr


Any two of the following (4 credits):

STL 915 Historical Aspects of Revelation 2 cr
STL 916 Systematic Issues in Revelation 2 cr
STL 917 Sacrament of Marriage 2 cr
STL 918 The Structure of Particular Churches 2 cr
STL 920 The Holy Spirit in the New Testament 2 cr
STL 922 Evangelization in the New Testament 2 cr
STL 924 Social Teachings of the Church 2 cr
STL 926 Theology of the Laity 2 cr
STL 928 The Mission of the Spirit 2 cr
STL 955 Medical Healthcare Technology 2 cr
STL 960 St. Paul's Pastoral Christology 2 cr
STL 975 The Gospel of John 2 cr
STL 976 The Letter to the Hebrews 2 cr
STL 977 The Letters of Paul 2 cr
STL 978 The Synoptic Gospels 2 cr


Specialization Courses - 24 credits:

Required (12 credits):

STL 865 Theology of the New Evangelization 3 cr
STL 868 Evangelization and Spirituality 3 cr
STL 871 Cultural Milieu of the New Evangelization 3 cr
STL 872 Models of Evangelization: Historial and Contemporary 3 cr

Any four of the following (12 credits):

STL 873 Cultural Evangelization 3 cr
STL 875 Vatican Council II: History, Theology, and Spirituality 3 cr
STL 902 Hermeneutics and Exegesis: Key Issues for the New Evangelization 3 cr
STL 908 The Family: School of Evangelization 3 cr
STL 909 The Role of Religious, Lay Associations and Ecclesial Movements in the New Evangelization 3 cr   
STL 940 Catechetics: History and Development 3 cr
STL 941 Catechesis and Evangelization 3 cr
STL 942 Theology of Conversion 3 cr
STL 944 The Apostolic Fathers and Evangelization 3 cr
STL 946 History of Christian Missions (Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox) 3 cr
STL 948 History of Evangelization in the US 3 cr
STL 949 The Teaching Office of the Church 3 cr
STL 950 Life Issues and the New Evangelization 3 cr
STL 952 Theology of the Body 3 cr


Seminar Courses - 6 credits

Required (2 credits):

STL 876 Evangelization Practicum 2 cr


Any two of the following (4 credits):

STL 930 Theological Anthropology / New Evangelization 2 cr
STL 931 Moral Aspects of Theological Anthropology 2 cr
STL 935 Apologetics, Mass Media and the New Evangelization 2 cr
STL 936 Preaching and the New Evangelization 2 cr
STL 983 Directed Readings I 2 cr


Optional Courses - 8 credits:

Any four of the following (8 credits):

STL 963 John Paul II and Mariology 2 cr
STL 966 Christianity and the World Religions 2 cr
STL 967 Ecumenism: Theological and Pastoral Issues 2 cr
STL 968 Understanding Scientific Culture and Its Impact 2 cr
STL 969 The Catholic University 2 cr
STL 970 The Paschal Mystery 2 cr
STL 971 Christology and Christian Identity in St. Augustine 2 cr
STL 972 Stages of Spiritual Growth 2 cr
STL 973 Women and Evangelization in the Christian Tradition 2 cr
STL 974 AOD: Social and Cultural Analysis 2 cr
STL 979 Leadership:  Principles and Practices 2 cr


Thesis - 2 credits:

STL 989 Integrating Thesis Seminary 2 cr


Students are required to complete a thesis of 75-100 pages in length under the direction of a faculty member, as well as a public lecture (the lectio coram) of at least 1.5 hours duration before a board of examiner, including questions and answers. The thesis as well as the public lecture must represent a substantial and sustained intellectual endeavor related to the New Evangelization.

STL 9891 Continuing STL Thesis 1 cr


This course is provided for the student who does not complete the thesis during the semester he / she registered for the STL 989.  The course is required for each semester that a student wishes to use the library for thesis research or to have contact with the thesis director until the thesis is completed.


NOTE:  Courses in the New Evangelization taken at the Master's level will transfer towards the requirements for the STL degree.  


Program Requirements

  1. A minimum of 48 credit hours must be earned through completion of the course of study.
  2. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.7 is required.
  3. A maximum of fifteen hours may be applied to the degree from other institutions or from other credit earning options.
  4. The program must be completed in six years from time of matriculation.  Under extenuating circumstances, a student may request an extension in writing from the Dean of Studies.
  5. Students must participate in program assessment, including completion of a Graduate Student Questionnaire during the final year of study. 


STL Degree Pre-Requisites

Checklist of requirements needed to be accepted into the STL degree program - click here:


Course Descriptions

These can be found in the 2012-2013 Bulletin - click here:  Located between pages 156-163.


STL Program Requirements

Requirements for the STL degree - click here:


Thesis Directors

For a list of the current faculty qualified to direct the thesis  - click here:


Thesis Style

Chicago Manual of Style governs style questions with the latest Turabian edition adequate for most purposes.

The length of the thesis should be 75-100 pages.  Bound copies of thesis are in the library for examination.


Thesis Proposal

Information about how to proceed with the thesis - click here: 


Thesis Grading Rubric

Grading guidelines used by the director and reader - click here:


Thesis and Lectio coram Sequence

Information about how to proceed with the Thesis and Lectio coram - click here:


Lectio coram Guidelines

These guidelines are effective for students' enrolling beginning in the 2013-2014 Academic Year. - click here:  A sample of lectio coram proposals can be requested from the lection coram coordinator. 


Lectio coram Grading Rubric

Grading guidelines used by committee - click here:


Evangelization Practicum

Information about how to proceed with the Evangelization Practicum - click here: