Sacred Heart School of Theology

Hispanic Studies

In many of our sponsoring dioceses, already half or more of the Catholics are Hispanic. Throughout the United States the number of Hispanic Catholics continues to grow, resulting in changing needs for the Church. Therefore, Sacred Heart offers a program in Hispanic studies which has been designed to prepare seminarians for effective ministry in Hispanic cultures. This program , which includes spiritual and human formation, intellectual formation, and pastoral formation, is offered as a service to the dioceses and religious communities which sponsor seminarians at Sacred Heart.

Program Options

Option One: Introduction to Hispanic Ministries

Introduction to Hispanic Ministry is for seminarians who wish or who are required by their sponsor to become aware of the Hispanic reality in the U.S. Church but who are not required to prepare for Hispanic ministry per se. The goal of this option is that the student develop an awareness of the Hispanic reality and be able to identify alternative ministerial possibilities.

Option Two: Fundamentals of Hispanic Ministries

Fundamentals of Hispanic Ministry is the minimal preparation needed for Hispanic ministry. Students whose sponsors require Hispanic ministry preparation enroll in this option. Goals are (1) students become aware of the ministerial issues and the socio-cultural experiences facing Hispanics and current pastoral responses to these; (2) students begin learning a foreign language, i.e. Spanish.

Option Three: Hispanic Ministry Preparation

Hispanic Ministry Preparation is recommended for basic preparation for Hispanic ministry in the three major areas of ministry training, i.e. spiritual and human formation, intellectual formation and pastoral formation. Students learn to offer basic ministerial services in a Spanish-speaking cultural setting, including some facility in the use of Spanish. For those with only a limited facility in Spanish, an intensive language immersion experience during the summer will be needed.

Spanish Language Component

Enrollment in options two or three presumes that the student will use Spanish in future ministry as a presider, homilist and/or pastoral agent. Students enroll in the appropriate level depending on prior Spanish language study.

Intensive Intermediate Spanish - May session program

Sacred Heart School of Theology offers an Intensive Spanish language immersion-style program specifically for clergy, seminarians and others ministering in Hispanic communities. This is a four-credit course, running six hours a day, five days a week, for four weeks. Details.

Hispanic Summer Program

Sacred Heart School of Theology participates in the Hispanic Summer Program which takes place for two weeks every summer at a different site in the United States or Puerto Rico. Hispanic students, as well as others who are bilingual and who are interested in Hispanic ministries, may attend. Courses in the Hispanic Summer Program cover a wide range of theological curriculum and are always taught with the Latino church in mind.

Hispanic Studies Pastoral Formation Component (Field Education)

The seminary requires eight credits of field education plus one unit (six credits) of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE). Arrangements can be made to have all or part of the experience in Hispanic settings both in the Milwaukee area or the home diocese.

The following are Hispanic Studies courses:

  • Presiding/Preaching in the Hispanic Community
  • The Hispanic Presence: Challenge and Commitment
  • Hispanic Devotional Practices
  • Corazon y Alma
  • Spanish Fundamentals
  • Beginning Spanish Conversation
  • Intermediate Spanish Conversation I
  • Intermediate Spanish Conversation II
  • Intensive Intermediate Spanish

All courses offered through the Hispanic Studies Program are "electives." They are not mandatory as part of the core curriculum. Additonal courses may be offered on a periodic basis through the program.