Mario Prada, Ph.D.
Seminarian of the Diocese of Crookston
Fourth Theology, SHST
(Retired) Director and Assistant Professor
International and Multicultural Programs
University of Minnesota
September 10, 2006
I have been a seminarian at Sacred Heart School of Theology (SHST) since fall of 2005. I came to SHST sponsored by the Diocese of Crookston, after early retirement from the University of Minnesota. Prior to entering the seminary, I worked as a college administrator and professor for 28 years in Illinois and Minnesota. My graduate education included Master, Specialist, and Ph.D. degrees in Education Administration of Higher Education.
As a professional educator, I can with confidence state that the quality of graduate education at Sacred Heart School of Theology is first class. This is so because of committed faculty, administration, and highly motivated students. High ethical standards in personal and professional life are realities lived at Sacred Heart. Critical, conceptual and reflective thinking have been consistent in all aspects of intellectual and practical activities.
Sacred Heart has expertise in teaching and rigorous academic standards. Personally, I enjoy the rich experiences and challenges encountered in my academic work-load. I also recognize and admire current faculty who have studied, taught and served in other countries; they bring priceless contributions which enrich the intellectual and spiritual development of seminarian students.
Quality of education and spiritual formation were the strongest reasons that influenced my desire to seek admission at Sacred Heart School of Theology. I am very happy to be a seminarian at SHST.
Dr. David T. Link JD, LL.D., D.Litt. D.Sc.
The Joseph A. Matson Dean and Professor Emeritus
University of Notre Dame
September 8, 2006
I am a long-tenured professor and university administrator who is presently privileged to pursue studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology. In my brief time at this institution, I have become convinced that it does exceptional scholarly work while maintaining a well-balanced Program of Priestly Formation. Every aspect of this program is well planned and presented: pastoral, spiritual, human, and intellectual formation.
While I am learning from every facet of the program, I will confine my remarks to what I consider my area of expertise: Intellectual Formation. The intellectual program at Sacred Heart School of Theology is not only comprehensive, but also very demanding and rigorous.
My opinion is not uninformed. I have served as a university president, as a provost, and for 27 years as an academic dean and chaired professor. As the longest serving law dean in the country, I was often called on for accreditation visits or academic evaluations at other universities. I believe that I am familiar with every standard established for quality graduate level studies. With those academic standards in mind, I am confident in stating that the program of studies at Sacred Heart School of Theology is one of the best and most demanding graduate level agendas in the country.
There is one additional comment about the academic program. The faculty members who are my present instructors are highly competent. They know their subject areas well, prepare skillfully for classes and organize classroom discussions with precision. As noted earlier, the faculty has developed a very rigorous and demanding curriculum. However, faculty members demand as much or more from themselves as they do from their students. The faculty at this school has high standards, not only for course preparation but for availability to students. The faculty and administration care deeply about the intellectual welfare and progress of each individual student. The accessibility and time-commitments by faculty members and administrators are exceptional. There is a true dedication to education at this place. I would be proud to have any of my present instructors serve on a faculty for which I was selected as a dean or other academic administrator.
I know am enrolled in a truly remarkable program; learning much about pastoral, spiritual and human formation. The fourth leg, the intellectual program, is absolutely superb. It is demanding, yet caring. It is rigorous, yet bolstered by a strong and compassionate academic support team.
I am proud to pursue a new career through this school. Others interested in seminary studies would do well in considering Sacred Heart School of Theology.
Albert J. DeGiacomo, Ph.D.
Seminarian of the Diocese of Lexington
Third Theology, Sacred Heart School of Theology
(Retired) Associate Professor of English and Theatre
Berea College Theatre Laboratory
30 August 2006
I am a 56-year-old seminarian sponsored by the Diocese of Lexington, now in my second year at Sacred Heart School of Theology. I hold two Master degrees (English and Pastoral Ministry) from Boston College and the Ph.D. (theatre history, dramatic literature and criticism) from Tufts University. My professional life has been in education, teaching at both the high school and college levels in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
As an associate professor of English and Theatre at Berea College in Berea, Kentucky, I had climbed the hill of tenure and promotion, doing my share of scholarly research and writing, delivering conference papers in Irish studies and theatre history, publishing articles in refereed journals (Irish University Review, New Hibernia Review, Eire-Ireland and Christianity and the Arts) and a book on Irish dramatist T. C. Murray (Syracuse University Press, 2003).
I recount all this to say that I am no stranger to scholarly reading, reflection and writing. Yet I can also say without qualification that rigor abounds in the academic program at Sacred Heart School of Theology. The program is demanding and in no way “watered down” because the men are in their “second careers” (a.k.a. older). In fact, I find myself seriously and continually challenged in all levels of formation, especially the intellectual. Though professors attend to the individual needs and abilities of students, they in no way lessen the standard of the academic enterprise. Indeed, I have very high regard for my professors, and I would have been honored to have been one of their colleagues had I known them in my “first career.”
I hasten to add that I shared this experience with my bishop in these terms during his visitation last year: If one gives oneself fully to the intellectual component of the program for priestly formation at Sacred Heart School of Theology, there is more than enough challenge to keep one fully engaged.