Mission/Vision/History

Mission

As a Roman Catholic seminary and school of theology, we form missionary disciples who evangelize, both globally and locally, minds and hearts with the life and light of Jesus Christ.

 

Vision Statement

Conform our world to the heart of Christ.

 

Core Values

Faithfulness in Love of the Church: We conform ourselves to Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh and revelation of our Triune God, who is Love. Christ’s love animates our fidelity to His Church and its Magisterium. We ground ourselves in Scripture and Tradition, especially the spiritual tradition of the Priests of the Sacred Heart and their founder, Fr. Leo John Dehon.

Authenticity in Hospitality: We welcome all as Christ with the Way of charity, the Truth of integrity, and the Life of friendship. We live Our Lady’s fiat in the Dehonian charism of Ecce Ancilla, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord” (Luke 1:38).

Collaboration in Community: We foster unity and collegiality through shared worship, attentive conversation, and integrated goals. We live the Eucharist in the Dehonian charism of Sint Unum, “That they may all be one” (John 17:21).

Excellence in Innovation: We create as we think with the Church. We instill discovery in our intellectual programs, discernment and growth in our spiritual and human formation, and distinction in our pastoral vision. We live the Lord’s Prayer in the Dehonian charism of Adveniat Regnum Tuum, “Your Kingdom come” (Matthew 6:10).

Service in Pastoral Care: We exist to serve our neighbor through the Heart of Christ. We form servant leaders who herald God’s mercy, encounter the forgotten, and heal wounds of division. We live social justice in the Dehonian charism of Ecce Venio, “Behold I come to do your will” (Hebrews 10:7).

 

History

The seminary began because Venerable Leo John Dehon, a French priest and the founder of the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, valued education, had a passion for the priesthood, and was committed to social justice. Between 1910, when Fr. Dehon first visited the United States, and 1932 a dedicated band of men filled with vision and courage laid the foundation for Sacred Heart School of Theology. The seminary program was established at Sacred Heart Monastery in 1932, with the introduction of philosophy and theology courses for the seminarians who were members of the religious community. In 1955, the philosophy program was moved elsewhere, and the seminary was dedicated exclusively to the theological preparation of men for priesthood.

Construction of a new building across the street was completed in 1968. In 1972 the name of the school was changed to Sacred Heart School of Theology. This signified the beginning of a change in the character of the school. Prior to 1970, the school exclusively served as the theological seminary for the Priests of the Sacred Heart. That year the seminary began accepting older second-career candidates for the priesthood from other religious communities. The program was called the Center for Adult Religious Vocations (CARV). In 1973, Sacred Heart received approval to accept second-career candidates sponsored by dioceses throughout the country.

The program received initial accreditation by The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada in 1982 and has received reaccreditation continuously since. In 1995, the Higher Learning Commission: a commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredited the program and renewed that accreditation in 1999 and 2009.

In 2014 the seminary’s name was expanded to Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology, to reflect the fact that the institution provides all four pillars of priestly formation to resident seminarians (making it a seminary) and also serves as a school of theology for a group of seminarians who receive their human, spiritual and/or pastoral formation in their own houses for formation in the Milwaukee area – receiving only their academic formation at Sacred Heart.

Sacred Heart awards master of divinity and master of arts degrees. The seminary is advised by a board of directors that includes bishops, religious and diocesan priests, women religious and laity. Its faculty is diverse and includes priests from a variety of dioceses, archdioceses, and religious communities as well as women religious and laity.

The Sacred Heart campus is comprised of a complex of connected buildings, with three chapels, classrooms, a library, a dining room, dormitories, conference space, and a gym and other recreation areas, all under a single roof. It is located on a partially wooded 250 acre campus in western part of the Milwaukee metropolitan area.