Saint Ignatius founded the first Jesuit colleges to equip both priests and laypeople
with the intellectual tools to serve the people of God, spread the Gospel and advance
the common good.
Today the Saint Louis University College of Philosophy and Letters continues in that
tradition, administering programs in philosophy designed specifically for students
who are preparing for the Catholic priesthood, or who envision a future in ministry
and Christian service.
The college offers undergraduate programs leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor
of Science degree with a major in philosophy for ministry. The College also offers
a post-baccalaureate certificate in philosophy for ministry. Course requirements for
all programs are designed to provide you with the background concepts and methodological
tools to engage issues of faith and justice in dialogue with culture.
In addition, the philosophy major prepares students for graduate studies in theology
and satisfies the philosophy requirements for ordination in the Catholic priesthood.
Programs Within the College
- Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science
For students seeking their first higher-ed degree on the path to Catholic priesthood
or interested in a deeper intellectual background for service to the Church, SLU’s
B.A./B.S. programs in the College of Philosophy and Letters offer three track options
that allow you to combine a major in philosophy with a minor or second major in other
- Certificate in Foundations of Christian Service
Designed to provide students with basic philosophical, theological, and interdisciplinary
tools for intelligent reflection on contexts of Christian ministry.
- Certificate in Philosophy for Ministry
For students who already have a degree, this certificate program satisfies the philosophical
requirements for ordination in the Catholic priesthood.
- M.A. in Philosophy (with College of Arts and Sciences)
In partnership with the Department of Philosophy in SLU's College of Arts and Sciences,
the College of Philosophy and Letters offers students a path toward an M.A. degree
in philosophy, with flexible course requirements that maximize personalized program
For students interested in greater scholarly depth in their philosophical studies,
a thesis program with course requirements designed for eventual doctoral studies in
philosophy or theology is also offered.
- Concomitant Master's Programs (with other SLU Departments)
In partnership with other SLU departments, the College of Philosophy and Letters arranges
for its students to begin graduate coursework toward master's degrees offered through
those departments, as they complete their philosophical requirements in the college.
- Concomitant Master's of Divinity
In partnership with SLU's Department of Theological Studies, the Aquinas Institute
of Theology, Boston College and Santa Clara University, the College of Philosophy
and Letters has arranged for its Jesuit students, while enrolled at SLU, to begin
graduate theological coursework that will transfer toward an eventual Masters of Divinity
at Boston college or Santa Clara University.