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Catholic College of Distinction LogoWell Informed Well-Formed Ministers

As a Catholic university, Seton Hill is committed to providing basic theological education, leadership development, ministry training, and spiritual formation for adult laypersons. Through this program - created in partnership with the Diocese of Greensburg’s Office for Lay Ecclesial Ministry - you will develop knowledge that will allow you to use your gifts effectively in service to the church. 

Program At A Glance GraphicThe Certificate in Pastoral Ministry Program is a joint venture of Seton Hill University and the Diocese of Greensburg. The certificate program serves the educational and formational needs of adults who are committed to the mission of Christ within the Roman Catholic Church and whose service is under the leadership of the diocesan Bishop as successor of the Apostles and in communion with the Holy Father, the Bishop of Rome. Some of these persons serve as lay ecclesial ministers and others as ordained permanent deacons.

Through this program you will benefit from:

  • Faculty who are noted scholars in religious studies and theology
  • Courses in pastoral care, scripture, ministry and spirituality, counseling and social work 
  • Supervised ministry experience in an area relevant to your interests

Graduates of this program often assume important roles at the parish level in:

  • Catechetics
  • Schools
  • Youth ministry
  • Music ministry
  • Social ministry
  • Pastoral care
  • Stewardship
  • Temporal activities

They have also gone on to serve beyond parish settings in hospice care and retreat centers.

Program Format & Schedule

This certificate program opens to new students during the fall term in even numbered years. The program will open to new students in the fall of 2020. Courses are held on campus on Saturday mornings in 8 week sessions. (Classes begin at 8:15 a.m. and conclude by 11:45 a.m.) It takes slightly more than two years to earn the certificate. 

Admission Requirements

To enroll in the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry Program, you must:

  • Complete the application form for Seton Hill University (free online application)
  • Submit an official copy of your high school transcript or GED
  • Provide official transcripts from any colleges or universities attended
  • Submit a statement of career interest in the Pastoral Ministry Program (2 page limit)
  • Participate in an interview with program faculty


Since the goal of the program is to prepare a person for ministry in a particular church communion, sponsorship by a church judicatory is required. Seton Hill University requires a letter of sponsorship from a legitimate church judicatory that must be submitted for each student admitted to the Pastoral Ministry Certificate Program. For parishioners of the Greensburg Diocese, an application form must be completed and submitted to the Office for Lay Ecclesial Ministry in order to be reviewed for sponsorship.

Tuition Discount Program GraphicTuition Discount & Continuing Your Education at Seton Hill

As a student in Seton Hill's Adult Degree Program, you will receive a significant tuition discount.  If you are a current diocesan employee, you may be eligible for an additional discount. 

If you’d like to continue with your education after graduation, you can use the credits earned within the certificate program toward a B.A. in religious studies/theology - or any Seton Hill undergraduate degree.

Ready to Apply?

Apply online for free anytime.