THe seminarian Process
"Come follow me, and I will make you fishers of men"
Candidates for the seminary in the Archdiocese of Newark come from a great variety of backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life. Some young men choose to inquire during high school. Others feel drawn to enter discernment during their college years or after a few years working in a professional career. Each man is unique and everyone has a different story, which adds to the beauty of the priesthood in this Archdiocese.
For seminarian applicants
All men seeking to apply to the seminary must first enroll in and complete the Aspirancy Program.
Given the nature of the Diocesan Priesthood, all men interested in becoming a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Newark must live on a self-sustaining basis within the Archdiocese for a period of no less than 2 years prior to seeking an application
Applicants should show active participation in a parish of the Archdiocese
18 years or senior in high school
Due to various factors, the typical age limit for an applicant is 40 years old
Completion of a high school diploma or GED is required for entrance into St. Andrew’s college seminary.
A college degree is required for entrance into Immaculate Conception Seminary An applicant must demonstrate a history of academic success or significant progress in their studies in order to ensure he is able to handle the collegiate and/or graduate level coursework
Due to the vast diversity of peoples within the Archdiocese of Newark, men with knowledge of other languages are beneficial to the local Church. Applicants must, however, have adequate command of both spoken and written English.
An applicant must be an active member of a parish or Catholic institution and should demonstrate pastoral leadership through participation in Parish activities.
He should also be drawn to explore and deepen his spiritual life and share it with others.
He should be well catechized, actively engaged in Sacramental life (Sunday Mass, regular Penance)
in good health
Good physical and mental health are required and must be certified by health care professionals because of the life-long demands of the priesthood for physical stamina and emotional stability.
An applicant should not carry with him any substantial amount of personal debt or personal liabilities
See below for common questions about the program
Life in the seminary is similar to that of a college or graduate student in respect to attending a regular class schedule. However, seminarians live by a rule focused on prayer, the sacraments, and the individual formation of each man towards ordination to the Priesthood. Each day is structured according to that rule. Seminarians live in community with each other gathering throughout the day for prayer, Mass, and common meals. Part of each seminarian's formation includes coursework, regular spiritual direction and mentoring, pastoral fieldwork, and parish assignments.
The following video was made recently for Immaculate Conception Seminary's Sesquicentennial (150th) Anniversary.
Men who wish to enter the seminary immediately following High School, or those who have not yet completed a Bachelor's Degree, will enter The College Seminary of the Immaculate Conception - St. Andrew's Hall. The College Seminary has a clear mission: to provide the foundation for a young man discerning a call to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Students pursue this mission through the first-class academic resources of Seton Hall University, earning a Bachelor's Degree in Catholic Theology and Philosophy, an integrated program in Christian formation, and through the daily experience of opening one's self to the transforming power of God's grace.
The College Seminary prepares a young man to discern the Roman Catholic priesthood by focusing on the four pillars of development: human, pastoral, spiritual, and intellectual. Students live and participate in seminary activities at St. Andrew's Hall, located several blocks from the main campus of Seton Hall. The seminary building combines student rooms, common areas, and a private chapel to further the development of each student.
Men who have already completed a bachelor's degree will be considered for formation at Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology. ICS is the Graduate School of theology of Seton Hall University and the major seminary of the Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. As a house of formation, the Seminary offers men preparing for priesthood the personal, academic, ministerial and spiritual formation essential for conversion to Jesus Christ and their commitment to a life of service to the Church as Roman Catholic priests.
Seminarians at ICS spend 4-6 years in formation and graduate-level studies towards a Master of Divinity degree and eventual ordination to the Priesthood.
The Archdiocese of Newark is blessed to be home to Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary, located in Kearny. Redemptoris Mater Seminaries are missionary diocesan seminaries located throughout the world. The seminarians here receive the same theological formation as the other diocesan seminarians (receiving BA in Catholic Theology and Philosophy/Master's in Divinity from Seton Hall University). Although they come from all over the world, upon completion of their formation, they are ordained priests for the Archdiocese of Newark.
A characteristic of these Redemptoris Mater Seminaries is that they are international: they are for the whole world and at the service of the Church and are linked to the Neocatechumenal Way. Experience has shown that the combining of a way of initiation to the Christian life - the Neocatechumenal Way - with the formation of the presbyter is a great help for the psychological, affective and human development of the candidates. (Before being presbyters they are Christians, and in the way of faith they learn prayer, obedience, the sense of the Cross, to be in communion, etc.) Above all, it is a help in uniting the mission with the parish, since the Neocatechumenal Way is a time of formation that finishes in the parish with living, adult, missionary communities united to the parish priest and the bishop.