Saint Ignatius founded the first Jesuit colleges to equip both priests and laypeople with the intellectual tools to serve the people of God, spread the Gospel and advance the common good.
Today the Saint Louis University College of Philosophy and Letters continues in that tradition, administering programs in philosophy designed specifically for students who are preparing for the Catholic priesthood, or who envision a future in ministry and Christian service.
The college offers undergraduate programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree with a major in philosophy for ministry. The College also offers a post-baccalaureate certificate in philosophy for ministry and a certificate in foundations of Christian service. Course requirements for all programs are designed to provide students with the background concepts and methodological tools to engage issues of faith and justice in dialogue with culture.
In addition, the philosophy major prepares students for graduate studies in theology and satisfies the philosophy requirements for ordination in the Catholic priesthood.
Programs Within the College
- Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Arts (Archdiocesan) or Bachelor of Science
For students seeking their first higher-ed degree on the path to Catholic priesthood or interested in a deeper intellectual background for service to the Church, SLU’s B.A./B.S. programs in the College of Philosophy and Letters offer three concentrations that allow students to combine a major in philosophy with a minor or second major in other fields. A fourth concentration is designed specifically for archdiocesan seminarians at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.
- Certificate in Foundations of Christian Service
Designed to provide students with basic philosophical, theological, and interdisciplinary tools for intelligent reflection on contexts of Christian ministry.
- Certificate in Philosophy for Ministry
For students who already have a degree, this certificate program satisfies the philosophical requirements for ordination in the Catholic priesthood.
Philosophy and Theology for Ministry, M.A.
This master's program provides the interdisciplinary foundations for intelligent ministry in the Church and further divinity studies required for ordination. For future priests, the degree also offers the opportunity to satisfy one year of the four years of graduate theological studies required for ordination.
- M.A. in Philosophy (with College of Arts and Sciences)
In partnership with the Department of Philosophy in SLU's College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Philosophy and Letters offers students a path toward an M.A. degree in philosophy, with flexible course requirements that allow students to satisfy standards for ordination.
- Concomitant Master's Programs (with other SLU departments)
In partnership with other SLU departments, the College of Philosophy and Letters arranges for its students to begin graduate coursework toward master's degrees offered through those departments, as they complete their philosophical requirements in the college.