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As a Catholic university, grounded in the charism of Elizabeth Ann Seton, Seton Hill is committed to providing basic theological education, leadership development, ministry training and spiritual formation for adult laypersons. Through this program, which has operated for over two decades in partnership with the Diocese of Greensburg’s Office for Faith, Family and Discipleship, you will develop knowledge and discern your vocation in order to use your gifts effectively in service to the church. The certificate program serves the educational and formational needs of adults who are committed to the mission of Christ within the Roman Catholic Church as well as other Christian communities. 

Through this program you will benefit from:

  • Faculty who are noted scholars in religious studies and theology
  • Faculty who are pastorally sensitive to the needs of the church
  • Courses in theology, scripture, ministry, spirituality, counseling and social work 
  • Supervised field experiences in ministries relevant to your interests

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Many graduates go on to serve as lay ecclesial ministers and ordained permanent deacons. Graduates serve in a wide range of ministry roles in Catholic as well as other church communities related to: 

  • Pastoral Care
  • Religious Education
  • Youth Ministry
  • Music Ministry
  • Service and Social Ministries
  • Hospice Care
  • Retreat Centers
  • Hospital Chaplaincy

Program Format & Schedule

This certificate program opens to new students during the fall term. The next cohort will begin in fall 2021. As a program committed to cultivating a community of learners preparing for ministry, courses are held in person on Saturday mornings in 8-week sessions. Classes begin at 8:15 a.m. and conclude by 11:45 a.m. It takes two years to earn the certificate. 

Admission Process & Requirements 

As a partnered program with the Diocese, the Pastoral Ministry Certificate has a two-part admissions process.

Seton Hill University Requirements

  • 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 the program director

Diocesan Requirements

Since the program prepares people for ministry in a church community, sponsorship by an official church body is required. The application for sponsorship is handled through the Diocese of Greensburg. Candidates from a range of backgrounds are encouraged to contact the Diocese to explore the sponsorship process. This program is open to parishioners within the Diocese of Greensburg, parishioners of other dioceses, and Christians from other faith communities. To initiate this process, please contact either the director of Seton Hill’s Certificate program, Daniel Martino, at martino@setonhill.edu,  or the Office of Faith, Family, and Discipleship in the Diocese of Greensburg.

Tuition Discount Program GraphicTuition Discount

As a student in Seton Hill’s Pastoral Ministry Adult Degree Program, you will receive a significant tuition discount (up to 50%) from Seton Hill’s regular tuition. After being formally sponsored by the Diocese, you may also receive additional tuition support contributed by the Diocese of Greensburg, beginning with 25% and with the potential for full coverage as you progress in the program.

Continuing Your Education at Seton Hill

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.

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