Change in Immigration Policy That Impacts Seminarians

On Monday, April 12, 2021, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that F-1 students may apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT) online. Form I-765, the Application for Employment Authorization, is completed to request both pre-completion and post-completion OPT. OPT allows international students up to one year of practical employment in the US. This can be completed during their studies, pre-completion, or more commonly, after graduation, post-completion.

The I-756 is one of eleven forms that are now available online. USCIS is working toward a paperless system.  This change simplifies the OPT application process and reduces the possibility of denial due to postal delays. For more information, please contact or you may contact UCSIS directly at

In order to support our sponsors with these types of issues, Sacred Heart is creating an Immigration Hub on our website, which will house procedural guidelines and helpful tips. Please see the Immigration Connection for Sponsors page for more information. Additional information will be added as it is received.

Why Trust Sacred Heart?

Despite the challenges of Covid-19, fall 2020 student course evaluations were overwhelmingly positive.  We are very pleased that three of the highest marks were for “The instructor exhibited a passion for the subject matter”, “The instructor was well prepared” and “The instructor exhibited care about the students”.  This reflects not only our commitment to providing excellent academic programs, but also our commitment to the whole person being formed for priesthood.  In doing so, we continue to pursue our mission: To Conform Our World To the Heart of Christ!

We invite you to visit us virtually via our videos “Why Trust Sacred Heart” and “Video Tour” which can be found by scrolling down on this page.

Over 24 dioceses and religious orders entrust their seminarians to Sacred Heart, sending students from all over the world. Our students are all ages, backgrounds and experiences, yet they come together as one as we live our vision: to Conform Our World to the Heart of Christ.


We value the trust sponsors place in us, and we work very hard to tailor programs to the needs of your seminarians. Sacred Heart offers Master of Divinity and Master of Arts degrees, a Priestly Certificate, programs in English & Cultural Studies, Hispanic Preparation for Ministry, and bridging programs for international students as they transition from English into philosophy and theology. We provide experiential learning experiences and are the only Catholic seminary to co-sponsor an archeological dig in the Holy Land; the expedition is a favorite and transformative summer program of students. We are also the only Catholic seminary to house a center for Jewish and Catholic studies on-site: The Lux Center.


We do a lot, but importantly, we know our students. Whether they will be in urban or rural ministries, diocesean or religious order, we work to deliver formation that prepares them for the road ahead. When alumni come back for a visit and say “I feel at home”, that tells us they felt listened too, cared for, and guided. When we receive a letter of thanks from a sponsor or a parishioner, we know the students left well-prepared for a changing and challenging world.


If you are just exploring Sacred Heart, give us a call. We are happy to talk about programs and can provide academic audits for prospective students. We also offer more than on-site formation; our professors are willing to bring programs to you. Below is information for you to explore further. We hope to hear from you soon.


Very Rev. Raúl Gómez-Ruiz SDS, Ph.D.

Please watch our new video that describes formation at Sacred Heart Seminary.

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