Sacred Heart College was established in 1895 at Shembaganur, Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, as a center for the philosophical training of young men who chose to become Catholic priests in the Society of Jesus. Several hundred students from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Europe and North America have passed out of this College during its long history.

Prompted by a desire to be closer to the centers of higher learning and culture, the College was shifted to its present campus in 1980 and the place was named as SATYA NILAYAM.

In February 1986, the University of Madras granted recognition to Satya Nilayam to begin a new research institute and gave permissions to conduct research leading to Ph.D. in Philosophy and in Sanskrit. In 1995, Sacred Heart College-Satya Nilayam celebrated its centenary.

The Philosophy Degree programme came to be attached to Loyola College (Autonomous), Chennai in 1998 and it now offers Master’s Degree in Philosophy.
Today, Satya Nilayam has the following units functioning within its campus – Sacred Heart College- Ecclesiastical Faculty of Philosophy, Satya Nilayam Research Institute, Kolvenbach Library, and Arrupe Jesuit Community.