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Certificate in Philosophy for Ministry

The College of Philosophy and Letters offers a certificate in philosophy for ministry for students on the path to Catholic priesthood, but who have already earned a bachelor’s degree. The 38 hours of coursework in this program satisfy the philosophical requirements for ordination, as determined by the Conference of Catholic Bishops and Society of Jesus.

Curriculum and Program Details

Certificate course requirements are normally satisfied by undergraduate courses, though students may, with the approval of the dean, also satisfy some requirements with graduate courses.

Transfer coursework may be accepted for most requirements, but at least 16 credit hours must be taken after admission to the College of Philosophy and Letters, including the Special Ethics/Social Analysis and capstone courses.

Specific course offerings that satisfy an area requirement are determined by the dean. The three special ethics/social analysis courses are selected with a view to the student’s capstone project, and may include courses from disciplines other than philosophy.

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Requirements Credit hours
Epistemology 3
Philosophy of Religion 3
Philosophy of Human Nature 3
Ethics 3
Ancient Philosophy 3
Medieval Philosophy 3
Modern Philosophy 3
 Contemporary Philosophy 3
 Special Ethics/Social Analysis 9
Integration seminar (concurrent with moral theology and advanced ethics) 1
Two-semester capstone process  4

Jesuit scholastics pursuing this certificate are expected to complete eight graduate-level theology courses, six of which will count toward your future Master of Divinity coursework at an approved Jesuit priest training school. These courses are usually offered by the Saint Louis University Department of Theology or the Aquinas Institute of Theology.

Application Requirements

Applicants must already have a bachelor’s degree; students in training toward ordination in the Catholic priesthood normally, they must also be approved by a religious superior or bishop to pursue training toward ordination in the Catholic priesthood.

All students are enrolled as undergraduate students, even those who have a degree.

Apply as a transfer student and pay special attention when you choose your major. You will want to pick “Philosophy (Philosophy and Letters)," not the regular philosophy major.