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English as a Second Language

English as a Second Language

Mount St. Mary's Seminary offers a unique ESL Program, providing individualized English language instruction focusing on each student's particular needs, accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA).

Seminary

Mount St. Mary’s Seminary is a school of faith, discipleship and learning that prepares men for the Catholic ministerial priesthood. We strive to be a spiritual place that fosters a way of life and provides an atmosphere for excellent priestly formation in all its aspects: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral.

  • Undergraduate Major
  • Undergraduate Minor
  • Graduate Degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Accelerated Undergraduate
  • Adult Undergraduate
  • Special Program

ESL Program Purpose

The mission of the Mount St. Mary’s Seminary ESL Program is to provide English language instruction for students preparing for ordination through the Seminary’s Discipleship Stage program, Master of Divinity, Master of Arts (Theology), or S.T.B. degree programs and for students in ongoing pastoral formation. Through the program’s instruction in writing, grammar, pronunciation, speaking, listening comprehension, reading comprehension, vocabulary development, and United States culture, students will develop English language communication skills effective not only in academic settings but also in preparation for pastoral ministry.

Accreditation

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Accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation.

Goal

The primary goal of the ESL program is for students to develop English language communication skills effective not only in academic settings but also in preparation for pastoral ministry through program instruction in writing, grammar, pronunciation, speaking, listening comprehension, reading comprehension, vocabulary development, and United States culture.

Objectives

Throughout the course of English language instruction, students will:

  • Improve speech clarity through the study and practice of the sounds and rhythm patterns of North American English
  • Develop writing skills through instruction centered on assignments from Seminary classes or authentic pastoral needs, depending on the student
  • Increase command of English grammar both through traditional rule-based methods and in the context of writing
  • Continue to develop theological and academic vocabulary that focuses on terminology necessary for Seminary studies and/or pastoral ministry
  • Increase reading and listening comprehension

ESL Program Content

  • The ESL program at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary offers individualized English instruction that focuses on each seminarian’s particular language needs. Class sizes are very small, with most instruction delivered in one-on-one student/instructor classes. Additionally, our state-of-the-art language lab helps seminarians master the pronunciation and listening comprehension skills integral for ministerial success. English classes are offered in conjunction with Seminary classes and follow the Seminary academic calendar. 
  • Based on diagnostic placement exams, students may be placed in one of three levels of the following classes: Writing, Grammar, Reading, Vocabulary, Pronunciation, and Listening Comprehension. Depending on individual needs, students may also be placed in a course on U.S. Culture and/or may be assigned a peer conversation partner.We also offer instructor led academic support tutorials where students receive class notes, reading support, vocabulary development, and learn test preparation skills to help them succeed in their courses.

Educational Resources and Learning Strategies

  • Location/Duration: 
    • All ESL classes are offered at the Seminary Monday–Friday between 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m. Students enrolled in philosophy/theology courses may simultaneously enroll in one or more ESL courses per semester, depending on the results of their diagnostic placement exams. A final schedule is made available prior to the first day of classes. Students taking English only will be expected to take 12-18 credits per semester. 
  • Distinctive Resources:
    • Our state-of-the-art language lab helps seminarians master the pronunciation and listening comprehension skills integral for ministerial success.
    • All instructors are native English-speakers with professional training and experience teaching ESL/ESOL/EFL. 
    • The Seminary is authorized to issue I-20's to international students accepted as full-time seminarians in the M.Div. degree/Ordination Formation Program or the prerequisite Pre-Theology Program and are eligible to receive ESL support.

ESL Admissions Requirements

  • One does not apply directly to the ESL program.
  • Accepted seminarians who indicated on the Seminary Application form that they are non-native English speakers are automatically given diagnostic placement exams during our new student Orientation to determine the level of need for ESL support.  
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