Mission Statement

The STPSU Student Learning Center aims to foster a collaborative community of learning among faculty, staff, and students, centered in the STPSU Library and grounded in the Catholic faith. The Center will provide easily accessible academic support across the seminary curriculum to all students, with particular attention to developing written and oral communication skills and serving non-native English speakers and those overcoming learning challenges or remedial needs.

Programs and Services Offered

  • Small Group Workshops on Grammar, Style, and the Writing Process
  • Small Group Workshops on Study Skills and Reading Comprehension
  • Discipline-specific Writing Workshops (led by faculty)
  • Information Literacy Workshops (in collaboration with the Library)
  • Digital Communication Workshops
  • Peer Tutoring and Paper Consultations
  • Evening Faculty Office Hours
  • Pronunciation and Public Speaking Practice Groups (English and Spanish)
  • M.A. Thesis support

To schedule an appointment with a peer tutor for academic support or a paper consultation, please stop by the SLC office in L1, or contact Dr. Kearns at [email protected].

Student Outcomes

Through the work of the Student Learning Center, students will:

  • Reach General Professional Proficiency in written English, as described on the SPSU Institutional Writing Scale, before graduation from the seminary and/or ordination.
  • Learn strategies for all stages of the writing process: researching, reading, organizing, drafting, receiving feedback, and revising.
  • Gain knowledge of linguistic structures including grammar, punctuation, and sentence syntax.
  • Learn to apply the formatting and citation conventions of the STPSU Style Guide in their work.
  • Become aware of diocesan guidelines and best practices for digital communication.
  • Have opportunities to practice and be coached on public speaking.
  • Improve oral fluency and comprehensibility in the languages of their future ministries.
  • Have access to resources and referrals for one-on-one academic support in content areas specific to seminary studies, including support for work on M.A. theses and other advanced research and writing projects.


Faculty Collaboration

To facilitate achieving these goals and to ensure that student academic support happens in a holistic way throughout the seminary, the SLC collaborates with faculty on the development and implementation of the STPSU Style Guide, institutional rubrics, minimum standards, and assessment practices for oral and written communication skills. Faculty are invited to participate periodically in training opportunities and discussions of best practices related to working with populations of students with particular challenges, including ESL students and students with learning disabilities.


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