As noted in our Mission Statement, Saint Joseph’s Seminary and College exists for the formation of candidates for the priesthood of the Catholic Church. Our primary responsibility, therefore, is to attend to the human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation of our seminarians - the four pillars of priestly formation outlined by Pope John Paul II in Pastores Dabo Vobis and mandated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the Program of Priestly Formation.
Saint Joseph’s Seminary offers its students a comprehensive program of priestly formation which integrates these four pillars. Our goal is to form each seminarian to be a priest “who understands his spiritual development within the greater context of his call to service, his human development within the greater context of his call to advance the mission of the Church, his intellectual development as the appropriation of the Church’s teaching and tradition, and his pastoral formation as participation in the active ministry of the Church” (P.P.F., 71).
By integrating these four areas, the Seminary prepares seminarians for the three-fold office of Jesus Christ: proclaiming the Gospel, celebrating the sacraments and shepherding God’s people.
The time at Saint Joseph’s Seminary consists of eight semesters of study with concentration on theology and allied disciplines. Our academic program is broadly classical in scope and tradition, humanistic in approach, and scientific in method. Additionally, St. Joseph's Seminary offers a full-time, non-credit Pastoral Formation Internship that begins in the fall semester and continues through the spring semester. The two-part course is a practical application of what is learned in the candidate's course of study. The academic dean approves enrolllment in the course and administers the program in conjunction with the pastor of the church to which the candidate is assigned. The pastor acts as a mentor and overseer, who provides an evaluation of the candidate's progress to the academic dean upon completion.
After six semesters, students are eligible for the degrees of Master of Divinity and Bachelor of Sacred Theology from the University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Qualified students may apply for the degree of Master of Arts (Theology) during their fourth year.
At the end of six semesters of professional study and priestly formation, the seminarians are evaluated by the Rector and the Resident Priests Advisory Board in order to be presented as worthy for ordination to the Order of Deacon.
Students are considered for ordination for the Priesthood at the end of fourth year.