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Philosophy for Ministry, B.A.

Saint Louis University's Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy for Ministry allows the student to combine a major in philosophy with a general-education concentration that either focuses more intensely on the humanities or allows study of a second language. These concentrations leave considerable room for electives. Core, major and concentration requirements may simultaneously satisfy requirements for a second major, minor or certificate in other schools and colleges, provided content is appropriate.

Saint Louis University also offers an Archdiocesan Philosophy for Ministry, B.A. (specifically for students on track to ordination to diocesan priesthood) and a Bachelor of Science in Philosophy for Ministry through the College for Philosophy and Letters, as well as a traditional Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy through the College of Arts and Sciences. 

Curriculum Overview

These concentrations leave considerable room for electives. Core, major and concentration requirements may simultaneously satisfy requirements for a second major, minor or certificate in other schools and colleges, provided content is appropriate.

Careers

Saint Louis University's Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy for Ministry provides both the philosophical and intellectual background needed for further studies in theology and ministry. Options for students who envision a future in areas of ministry and service to the Church include:

  • For future priests, the philosophical requirements for ordination
  • For servants of the Church, tools for reflecting on contexts of ministry 
  • For dedicated Catholics, opportunities to integrate your wider studies and interests with your faith

Admission

Admission requirements for each candidate’s religious order or diocese in the area of academic achievement, personal character, and spiritual ideals must be met. Lay students must articulate a serious desire for Catholic ministry.  

Admission Requirements

Begin Your Application

Saint Louis University also accepts the Common Application.

Freshman

All applications are thoroughly reviewed with the highest degree of individual care and consideration to all credentials that are submitted. Solid academic performance in college preparatory coursework is a primary concern in reviewing a freshman applicant’s file.

To be considered for admission to any Saint Louis University undergraduate program, applicants must be graduating from an accredited high school, have an acceptable HiSET exam score or take the General Education Development (GED) test. 

Transfer

Applicants must be a graduate of an accredited high school or have an acceptable score on the GED.

Students who have attempted fewer than 24 semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must follow the above freshmen admission requirements. Students who have completed 24 or more semester credits (or 30 quarter credits) of college credit must submit transcripts from all previously attended college(s).

In reviewing a transfer applicant’s file, the Office of Admission holistically examines the student’s academic performance in college-level coursework as an indicator of the student’s ability to meet the academic rigors of Saint Louis University. Where applicable, transfer students will be evaluated on any courses outlined in the continuation standards of their preferred major.

International Applicants

All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:

  • Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
  • Proof of financial support must include:
    • A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
    • A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
  • Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are two principal ways to help finance a Saint Louis University education:

  • Scholarships: Scholarships are awarded based on academic achievement, service, leadership and financial need.
  • Financial Aid: Financial aid is provided in the form of grants and loans, some of which require repayment.

For priority consideration for merit-based scholarships, apply for admission by Dec. 1 and complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1.

For information on other scholarships and financial aid, visit the student financial services office online at https://www.slu.edu/financial-aid.

  1. Graduates will be able to identify connections among major thinkers and ideas that have shaped the history of Western philosophy.
  2. Graduates will be able to state and explain key philosophical ideas and methods suitable for understanding and analyzing contexts of Catholic ministry.
  3. Graduates will be able to analyze specific challenges in the contexts of Catholic ministry using philosophy and other relevant knowledge.
  4. Graduates will be able to  demonstrate knowledge of relevant humanistic, social-scientific, and STEM resources for understanding today’s world, as a context of Catholic ministry.
English Composition
ENGL 1900Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research (or equivalent)3
Latin, Greek, or Modern Language
Complete through the intermediate level; may be satisfied by a passing grade on an approved language proficiency examination.9
Social Science
The Social Science requirement may be met by courses in Sociology/Anthropology, Political Science, Psychology, Economics, courses cross-listed with these, or courses whose content is judged appropriate.12
Theology
Select 9 credits9
Major Requirements
Epistemology 3
Philosophy of Religion3
Philosophy of Human Nature3
Ethics3
Ancient Greek Philosophy 3
Medieval Philosophy 3
Modern Philosophy 3
Contemporary Philosophy 3
Social Analysis/Special Ethics 9
Capstone Preparation2
Capstone Project3
Concentrations
Select one of the following concentrations:33-39
General Electives10-16
Total Credits120

The historical period courses are normally satisfied by history of philosophy courses, but courses on appropriate historical figures and topics may also count, with approval of the Dean. Contemporary Philosophy includes late 19th century to present.

The Social Analysis/Special Ethics requirements may be satisfied by courses in other disciplines, provided their content is appropriate; these courses may also simultaneously satisfy other core requirements or concentration requirements.

Humanities Concentration

English, American, or World Literature12
Fine Arts or Art History9
History 9
Mathematics or Logic3
Natural Science6
Total Credits39

Language Concentration

English, American, or World Literature6
Fine Arts or Art History3
History6
Mathematics or Logic3
Natural Science6
A second foreign language through the intermediate level9
Total Credits33

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a minimum 2.00 GPA.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester.  Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Humanities Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
PHIL 1050 Introduction to Philosophy: Self and Reality (May satisfy an area requirement in Ancient Phil or Phil Human Nature, if content is appropriate) 3
THEO 1000 Theological Foundations 3
ENGL 1900 Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research 3
Language 3
Art/Art History 3
 Credits15
Spring
PHIL 2050 Ethics 3
PHIL 3250 Philosophy of Religion 3
Ancient Philosophy (if needed) Normally satisfied by PHIL 4400, but other courses with appropriate content may also qualify 3
PLJ 4900 Integration Seminar 1
Theology 3
Language 3
Math/Logic (if Ancient is not taken) 3
 Credits19
Year Two
Fall
Medieval Philosophy (normally satisfied by PHIL 4500, but other courses in medieval thinkers/topics may also qualify) 3
Natural Science 3
Theology 3
Language 3
Social Sciences (May count as a Social Analysis course) 3
 Credits15
Spring
Modern Philosophy (Normally satisfied by PHIL 4600, but other courses on modern thinkers/topics may also qualify) 3
Philosophy of Human Nature (if needed) Normally satisfied by PHIL 3300, but other courses with appropriate content may also qualify 3
Art/Art History 3
History 3
Literature 3
Elective 1-2
 Credits16-17
Year Three
Fall
Epistemology (Satisfied by multiple offerings, including PHIL 3600 and philosophy of science courses) 3
Contemporary Philosophy 3
Social Analysis: Social Sciences 3
Natural Science 3
History 3
 Credits15
Spring
Social Analysis/Special Ethics 3
Social Sciences (May count as Social Analysis course) 3
History 3
Math/Logic (if not taken in semester 2) 3
Literature 3
Elective 3
 Credits18
Year Four
Fall
Social Analysis (if needed) 3
Social Sciences 3
Capstone Preparation 2
Literature 3
Elective 3
 Credits14
Spring
PLJ 4960 Capstone Project 3
Social Analysis/Special Ethics (if needed) 3
Art/Art History 3
Literature 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits127-128

Language Concentration

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
PHIL 1050 Introduction to Philosophy: Self and Reality (May satisfy an area requirement in Ancient Phil or Phil Human Nature, if content is appropriate) 3
THEO 1000 Theological Foundations 3
ENGL 1900 Advanced Strategies of Rhetoric and Research 3
Language I 3
Art/Art History 3
 Credits15
Spring
PHIL 2050 Ethics 3
PHIL 3250 Philosophy of Religion 3
Ancient Philosophy (if needed) Normally satisfied by PHIL 4400, but other courses with appropriate content may also qualify 3
PLJ 4900 Integration Seminar (See Program Notes) 1
Theology 3
Language I 3
Math/Logic (if Ancient is not taken) 3
 Credits19
Year Two
Fall
Medieval Philosophy (normally satisfied by PHIL 4500, but other courses in medieval thinkers/topics may also qualify) 3
Natural Science 3
Theology 3
Language I 3
Social Sciences (May count as a Social Analysis course) 3
 Credits15
Spring
Modern Philosophy (Normally satisfied by PHIL 4600, but other courses on modern thinkers/topics may also qualify) 3
Philosophy of Human Nature (if needed) Normally satisfied by PHIL 3300, but other courses with appropriate content may also qualify 3
Language II 3
History 3
Literature 3
Elective 3
 Credits18
Year Three
Fall
Epistemology (Satisfied by multiple offerings, including PHIL 3600 and philosophy of science courses) 3
Contemporary Philosophy 3
Social Analysis: Social Sciences 3
Natural Science 3
Language II 3
 Credits15
Spring
Social Analysis/Special Ethics 3
Social Sciences (May count as Social Analysis course) 3
Math/Logic (if not taken in semester 2) 3
Language II 3
Elective 3
 Credits15
Year Four
Fall
Social Analysis/Special Ethics (if needed) 3
Social Sciences (May count as a Social Analysis course) 3
History 3
Electives 6
Capstone Preparation 2
 Credits17
Spring
PLJ 4960 Capstone Project 3
Social Analysis/Special Ethics (if needed) 3
Literature 3
Electives 3-6
 Credits12-15
 Total Credits126-129

Program Notes

Approval for Course Substitutions

The determination of “appropriate content” for course substitutions is made by the Dean of the College of Philosophy and Letters.

Integrative Seminars

These courses are required of Jesuit students only.

Social Analysis/Special Ethics Course Requirements

Courses taken to satisfy other requirements (such as the social sciences requirement) may simultaneously satisfy the Social Analysis/Special Ethics requirement, with the Dean’s approval. To the extent possible, students should select courses that focus on areas of contextual analysis that are relevant to their envisioned capstone project. Social analysis courses include courses in social-political philosophy or courses in other disciplines, so long as course content is largely dedicated to understanding aspects of contemporary life, society or culture, relevant to the context of ministry for the student’s capstone. Special ethics courses are satisfied by:

PHIL 3360Medical Ethics3
PHIL 3380Business Ethics3
PHIL 3400Ethics & Engineering3
PHIL 3410Computer Ethics3
PHIL 3420Environmental and Ecological Ethics3
PHIL 3430Philosophy of Law3

Contemporary Philosophy Requirement

Satisfied by philosophy offerings that treat thinkers from the late-nineteenth to the twenty-first century, or contemporary treatments of philosophical topics (metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science, contemporary ethics, etc.). Special ethics courses do not satisfy this requirement.