SHSST is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. It is also a member of the North Central Association.
Association of Theological Schools
Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology (SHSST) is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools. The following degree programs are approved by the Commission on Accrediting: Master of Divinity degree and Master of Arts degree. SHSST has been approved for comprehensive distance education. See the institutional profile on the ATS web page for details here.
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275
National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA)
Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology has been approved to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. SARA is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education.
Student complaints related to distance education are processed through the Wisconsin Distance Learning Authorization Board. Students may access the student complaint portal by clicking on this link.
Statement of Educational Effectiveness
Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology (SHSST) is a Roman Catholic seminary that offers two masters degrees – a Master of Divinity (MDiv) and Master of Arts in theology (MA).
The educational effectiveness of these two degrees is verified by the data about our graduates:
Master of Divinity (MDiv)
After graduates of the MDiv program have been in a parish for a year, a survey is sent out that is filled out by 10 parishioners who are active in the life of the parish. The survey has 57 questions that cover the four dimensions of priestly formation—human, intellectual, spiritual, and pastoral ranked on a 1 to 5 Likert scale from “Very Weak” to “Very Strong.” This is a direct measure.
As broken down by the four dimensions of formation, the averages for the past three years for 19 students were:
All four dimensions score between “Strong” and “Very strong”. The overall average is 4.07.
It should be noted that the most recent reported year (2020) has recorded a significant increase.
Each question reflects one of 40 Desired Outcome in the school’s MDiv Profile of graduates. For a list of the Desired Outcomes, see the SHSST School Catalog, pp. 14-15.
Master of Arts (MA)
SHSST offers a Master of Arts in Theology. At the end of a student’s MA program, the student is assessed by faculty members. If they write a thesis, the assessment form is completed by the thesis advisor and second reader. If they take comprehensive examinations, the assessment form is filled out by the three examiners. If the student does a capstone paper and presentation, they are assessed by the three professors who oversee the project. We have developed an instrument, standards, and goals for the assessment of the M.A. program.
The assessors answer ten questions about the student on a 1 to 5 from a Likert scale covering five topics: foundational understanding, skill in analysis, capacity for insightful research, articulateness, and resourceful application of theological knowledge.
For the 2021-22 academic year the average score on all questions for 17 students was 4.07.
SHSST has the goal that the students will score 4.0 or above on 75% on each of the five topics. In the 2021-22 school year SHSST met its goal on four of the five topics. On the fifth, the score was within 4% of the goal:
|Topic||% 4.0 or above||Achieved goal?|
|Skill in Analysis||76%||Yes|
|Capacity for Insightful Research||71%||Within 10%|
|Resourceful Application of Theological Knowledge||76%||Yes|
100 percent of MDiv graduates in the two most recent cohorts have been ordained and employed as priests.
100 percent of students who graduated with a MA degree in the past two years have been employed in a field related to their degree, use the formation gained in their current line of work,* or entered the next stage of their educational or professional development (e.g., doctoral studies, ministerial formation).
Below are the retention rates for SHSST degree programs: