Expanded program for growing needs in the Church

In response to the need to clearly define nationally-recognized programs for language learners, Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology has introduced Language and Leadership for Intercultural Ministry. Housed under this umbrella program are English and Culture Studies (ECS – formerly English as a Second Language), Accent Modification, and Hispanic Studies.

Kelly Kornacki, ESL director, talks with a student

Built on over 30 years of success with priests, deacons, sisters, and laity, SHSST’s English and Culture Studies name change came from the fact that English is often not a second or even third language of those who study here, nor is English learning the sole purpose of the program. While English functions as a common language for many, it is often the fourth or fifth language our students master. Furthermore, acclimation to American culture is a critical component of the program, addressing a growing need of the Catholic Church that simply cannot be taught in a standard English language class. Accent Modification, a program aimed at helping international ordained priests and religious as they preach to those whose first language is English and international seminarians/MA students who need to communicate clearly for their coursework, as well as a bridge program for those in priestly formation are still critical parts of English and Culture Studies.

Fr. Jim Walters, SCJ

SHSST’s Hispanic Studies Program, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, prepares seminarians, priests, and laity for ministry in the growing Hispanic populations. Through language learning, immersion programs, and opportunities for field education, our students meet the changing needs of ministering to Hispanic populations in the U.S. Catholic Church.

If you are interested in learning more about English and Culture Studies (ECS, formerly ESL) or Accent Modification, please contact Kelly Kornacki at kkornacki@shsst.edu. If you are interested in Hispanic Studies, please contact Fr. Jim Walters, SCJ, at jwalters@shsst.edu.


Click here to access an FAQ sheet that details the Language and Leadership for Intercultural Ministry programs.

With approximately 170 students, Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology is North America’s largest Catholic seminary focused on preparing men of all ages for priesthood. Sacred Heart’s expertise ensures a complete, rewarding, and effective formation experience for men, while rigorously following the Program of Priestly Formation, 5th Edition. Approximately 30 bishops and religious superiors entrust their seminarians to Sacred Heart. The school, founded in 1932, is an apostolate of the Priests of the Sacred Heart (Dehonians). Click here to view the seminary’s Facebook page.