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Sacred Heart Major Seminary has sought and obtained regional accreditation to make certain, through outside objective evaluation, that it is conducting undergraduate and graduate programs that meet the standards of similar institutions of higher learning in the United States. With an eminently qualified faculty and staff, with policies and programs recognized as fulfilling its objectives as an educational institution, and with continuous changes to reflect the current needs of students, SHMS continues to be recognized as a leading educational facility.
Sacred Heart Major Seminary's course of study was approved by the State of Michigan, Department of Public Instruction, on March 9, 1931, and by the Michigan Commission of College Accreditation in 1955. The seminary course of study conforms to the regulations for the training of veterans and children of veterans under Chapter 35 or Chapter 36, Title 38, United States Code.
Sacred Heart Major Seminary has enjoyed continuous accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1960 (renewed in 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994, 2004). In June 2014, the Higher Learning Commission of NCA voted to continue the seminary's accredited status.
The seminary's affiliation status was changed in 1988 and accreditation was extended to include the School of Theology, which was established in that year. The School of Theology degree programs were accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in June 1991 and renewed in 1996 and 2004. In June 2014, ATS reaffirmed accreditation.
Statement of Educational Effectiveness
Sacred Heart Major Seminary prepares priests, deacons and lay ecclesial ministers for the work in the New Evangelization. Based on a June 2012 survey, 66% of Sacred Heart graduates are actively engaged in ministry or some apostolate doing the work of the New Evangelization.  This high percentage of graduates engaged in the work for which they were academically prepared at Sacred Heart demonstrates our educational effectiveness.
Sacred Heart Major Seminary also measures its educational effectiveness through assessment of learning outcomes for our academic programs. Each of our degrees has distinct learning objectives which are measured through our assessment program and evaluated by curriculum committees. Though not all data is yet at or above our strategic goals, the assessment data indicates that our programs meet their intended outcomes, demonstrating educational effectiveness.
Assessment Tool: STB Comprehensive Exam Measure: Percentage of students who met threshold score of 6 out of 9 points
Data: 2009 – 82%; 2010 – 54%; 2011 – 73%; 2012 - 56%; 2013 - 50%
Assessment Tool: Integrating M.Div. Seminar Presentation
Measure: Percentage of students who met threshold score of 6 out of 9 points
Data: 2010 – 79%; 2011 – 77%; 2012 - 81%; 2013 - 100%
Assessment Tool: Homiletics Rubric
Measure: Percentage of students who meet the threshold score of 12.
Data: 2010- 91%; 2011 - 91%; 2012 - 95%; 2013 - 100%
Assessment Tool: MA Thesis Rubric
Measure: Percentage of students who meet threshold score of 25
Data: 2009 - 100%; 2010 - 61%; 2011 - 53%; 2012 - 73%; 2013 - 81%
Assessment Tool: MAPS Pastoral Care Assessment Tool
Measure: Percentage of students who met identified criteria
Data: 2010 - 84%; 2011 - 88%; 2012 - 100%
Another way Sacred Heart Major Seminary measures its educational effectiveness is by tracking the rate at which students who complete one of our undergraduate programs continue their education in graduate studies. From 2002 to 2013, over 76% of students who earned a bachelor's degree at Sacred Heart Major Seminary have entered a graduate program.
The seminary course of undergraduate study was endorsed by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1975 and favorably reviewed by the Visitation Team of the Holy See's Congregation for Seminaries and Institutes of Study in February 1987. The graduate program was favorably reviewed by the Congregation for Seminaries and Institutes of Study in 1988 and endorsed by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in 1996.
Anyone wishing to review accreditation documents may do so by using the Contact Us Form.
Offices of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools:
230 S. LaSalle St., Ste. 7-500, Chicago, IL 60604, (800) 621-7440
The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools:
10 Summit Park Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15275, (410) 788-6505
Source: 2012 Alumni Institutional Survey, based on a total of 68 respondents (9% response rate).