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Religious of the Sacred Heart in Higher Education

Religious of the Sacred Heart are called to educate both in the classroom and out. Those classrooms range from preschools with tiny tables, to simple one-room buildings to technologically advanced university settings. In fact, the Society has had institution of higher learning on every continent. Today, twenty-five members of the United States-Canada Province serve at colleges, university and schools of theology, including:

  • Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis
  • Bangor Theological Union
  • Boston College
  • Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard
  • Jesuit School of Theology
  • Saint Paul University, Ottawa
  • University of San Diego

All members of the Society are encouraged and supported in receiving at minimum a bachelor’s degree. In addition, the Society of the Sacred Heart – and the United States-Canada Province in particular – supports Religious who have the desire and gifts for graduate work. The fields of study are not limited to education and religious studies such as sacred scripture, social ethics, liturgy and systematic theology, but also include science, English literature, econometrics, political theory, history, etc.  

A Brief History

The Society’s first ventures into higher education were in teacher training, beginning as early as 1838 in Italy. Here in the United States and Canada, post-secondary schools stemmed first from an adaptation of the European school structure to an American model. Between 1914 and 1949 the Society opened ten colleges:

  • Grand Coteau Normal School and College 1914 - Closed
  • Clifton 1915 – Closed
  • Duchesne College (Omaha) 1915 – Closed
  • Manhattanville 1917 – Continues with formal ties to the Society
  • Barat College 1918 – Absorbed by DePaul University
  • Forest Ridge Junior College 1918 – Closed
  • Maryville 1920 – Continues with formal ties to the Society
  • Menlo Park 1921- Closed
  • San Francisco College for Women/Lone Mountain 1929 – absorbed by University of San Francisco
  • Newton 1946 – Absorbed by Boston College
  • San Diego College for Women 1949 – Continues as University of San Diego, and still has formal ties to the Society

Most of these schools grew from academies; only Newton and San Diego were founded independently of a school. A more detailed history, written and presented by Frances Gimber, RSCJ, is available below.