Sacred Heart Major Seminary

2701 Chicago Blvd 
Detroit MI 48206 

(313) 883-8512

Sacred Heart Major Seminary

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sacred Heart Seminary
Sacred Heart Major Seminary Tower.jpg
Location 2701 West Chicago Boulevard
Detroit, Michigan
Coordinates 42°22'27?N 83°06'41?W? / ?42.37417°N 83.11139°W? / 42.37417; -83.11139Coordinates: 42°22'27?N 83°06'41?W? / ?42.37417°N 83.11139°W? / 42.37417; -83.11139
Built 1923
Architect Donaldson and Meier
Architectural style Classical Revival, Late Gothic Revival
NRHP Reference # 82000553[1]
Added to NRHP December 02, 1982

Sacred Heart Major Seminary is a Catholic institution of higher learning associated with the Archdiocese of Detroit. It is located at 2701 West Chicago Boulevard,[2] at the western edge of the Boston-Edison Historic District in Detroit, Michigan. In 2012-2013, 122 seminarians, representing eleven dioceses and two religious orders, and 318 lay students (full and part-time) were enrolled in classes.[3] Sacred Heart Major Seminary has been accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1960; the School of Theology degree programs have been accredited by the Association of Theological Schools since 1991.[4]

The seminary building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[1]


The main building of Sacred Heart Major Seminary viewed from Chicago Boulevard

On Sept. 11th, 1919, Bishop Michael James Gallagher established Sacred Heart Seminary at Martin Place in Detroit.[5] This first incarnation of the seminary offered the first two years of high school. Junior and senior classes were added the next two years, and the first class graduated in 1922; college-level classes were added in the fall.[5] Enrollment outstripped the capacity of Martin Place, and in February 1923 construction was begun on a new facility at the corner of Chicago Boulevard and Linwood.[5] The new building opened on September 22, 1924. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[6]

The seminary building is built in the English Tudor Gothic architectural style, with stained glass windows designed by Margaret Bouchez Cavanaugh.[7] The Seminary and chapel contains the largest collection of Pewabic tile in Michigan. Major donors to the construction of the seminary included prominent Detroit families such as the Fishers, Crowleys and Van Antwerps.[5]

The first college class graduated in 1926; these graduates were ordained in 1930.[5] The seminary continued to grow, and by 1959, it became apparent that housing both high school and college programs in one building was infeasible. Construction was begun on another building, the Cardinal Mooney Latin School, on the southeast corner of the seminary grounds. This building was completed in 1963.[5] However, in 1970, the seminary high school was closed, leaving only the college-level program. In 1980, the Seminary charter was expanded to offer associate, bachelor and graduate level degrees.[5] In 1989, Sacred Heart Major Seminary was refounded under Cardinal Edmund Szoka. The first graduate degrees were granted in 1993.[5]

The seminary building makes an appearance in the cult film Detroit 9000 where it stands in for the "Longview Sanitarium."


  • First Rector: Father Dennis L. Hayes (1919-1926)[5]
  • Second Rector: Father (later Monsignor) Daniel J. Ryan (1926-1940)[5]
  • Third Rector: Monsignor Henry E. Donnelly (1940-1952)[5]
  • Fourth Rector: Monsignor Albert A. Matyn (1952-1964)[5]
  • Fifth Rector: Monsignor Francis X. Canfield (1964-1971)[5]
  • Sixth Rector: Father Thaddeus J. Ozog (1971-1976)[5]
  • Seventh Rector: Father Bernard J. Harrington (1977-1985)[5]
  • Eighth Rector: Father F. Gerald Martin (1985-1988)[5]
  • Ninth Rector: Monsignor John Clayton Nienstedt(1988-1994)[5]
  • Tenth Rector: Most Reverend Allen Henry Vigneron (1994-2003)[5]
  • Eleventh Rector: Father Steven C. Boguslawski, O.P. (2003-2006)[5]
  • Twelfth Rector: Monsignor Jeffrey Marc Monforton (2006-2012)[5]
  • Thirteenth Rector: Monsignor Todd J. Lajiness (2012–present)[5]


Sacred Heart Major Seminary offers civil degree programs at multiple levels.[8] It offers a two-year undergraduate liberal arts/vocational degree, the Associate of Arts in Ministry; and two bachelor's programs: the Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy (an undergraduate liberal arts degree with a major in philosophy) and Bachelor of Philosophy (a two-year program with a major in philosophy for students who already possess a bachelor's degree).[8] Three Master's level degrees are offered: the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies, Master of Arts in Theology, and Master of Divinity.[8]

Sacred Heart offers two ecclesiastical degrees, Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) and the Licentiate in Sacred Theology (S.T.L.)[8] Both degrees are conferred by the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome through the faculty of SHMS.[9]

Sources: Google Maps, The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Wikipedia, Yahoo! Answers

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