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{{expert|Religion|date=February 2018}}Seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, and divinity school are educational institutions for educating students (sometimes called seminarians) in scripture, theology, generally to prepare them for ordination to serve as clergy, in academics, or in Christian ministry.BOOK, Encyclopædia Britannica Concise,weblink Seminary, 2014-12-01, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2014-12-26, The English word is taken from the Latin seminarium, translated as seed-bed, an image taken from the Council of Trent document Cum adolescentium aetas which called for the first modern seminaries.XXIII Session, Council of Trent, ch. XVIII. Retrieved from BOOK,weblink The Canons and Decrees of the Sacred and Oecumenical Council of Trent, J. Waterworth, London, Dolman, 1848, 170–92, June 16, 2009, In the West, the term now refers to Catholic educational institutes and has widened to include other Christian denominations and American Jewish institutions.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Seminary, n.1, Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd, 1989, WEB,weblink History, The Jewish Theological Seminary, April 15, 2011, In the US, the term is currently used for graduate-level institutions, but historically it was used for high schools.


The establishment of modern seminaries resulted from Roman Catholic reforms of the Counter-Reformation after the Council of Trent.ENCYCLOPEDIA, Glazier, Michael, Hellwig, Monika, Ecumenical Councils to Trent, The Modern Catholic Encyclopedia, Collegeville, Michigan, Liturgical Press, 2004, 263, 978-0-8146-5962-5, The Tridentine seminaries placed great emphasis on personal discipline as well as the teaching of philosophy as a preparation for theology.BOOK, Rose, Michael S., Goodbye, Good Men, Regnery Publishing, 2002, 217–25, 0-89526-144-8,

Current Catholic practice

{{Hierarchy of the Catholic Church}}Seminaries in the Catholic Church are divided into minor seminaries for teenagers and major seminaries for young adults, including both college seminaries for undergraduate students and post-graduate seminaries for those who already have a bachelor's degree. There are also seminaries for older adults who are well out of school, such as the Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary in Massachusetts, and for other more specialized purposes.All seminaries are run either by religious orders or by dioceses or other similar structures. Often a seminary will train both that particular order's or diocese's priests and the priests of other orders or dioceses that select that particular seminary for its priests. For instance, Saint John's Seminary in Boston, Massachusetts trains priests for many of the other dioceses in New England who are suffragan dioceses of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. Often a diocese might be attached to or affiliated with a larger Catholic college or university so that the larger college and its faculty provides more general education in history or theology while the seminary focuses on topics specific to the needs of future priests, such as training in canon law, the sacraments, and preaching, or specific to the particular order or diocese. For instance the Theological College in Washington, D.C. is part of The Catholic University of America.Further, in Rome there are several seminaries who educate seminarians or already ordained priests and bishops and which are maintained by orders or dioceses from outside of Italy. For instance, the Pontifical North American College, which trains priests from the United States and elsewhere, is supported by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Accreditation and recognition

In North America, four entities that accredit religious schools in particular are recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation: Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools, Association for Biblical Higher Education, Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools.WEB, U.S. Department of Education,weblink October 23, 2009, Accreditation in the United States: Specialized Accreditation Agencies,

Other uses of the term

In general use, a seminary can be a secular institution, or part of an institution, designated for specialized training, e.g. a graduate course. It has occasionally been used for military academies, though this use is not well attested after the nineteenth century.In some countries, the term seminary is also used for secular schools of higher education that train teachers; in the nineteenth century, many female seminaries were established in the United States.WEB,weblink The Rise of Women's Colleges, Coeducation, The Women's College Coalition, June 24, 2011, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church or the Mormons) hosts seminary classes for high school students ages 14 to 18, as part of the Church Educational System. Unlike use in other religious contexts, the word "seminary", in an LDS Church context, does not refer to a higher education program designed to train students that they may obtain a church-based career.BOOK, All Abraham's Children, Mauss, Armand L., Armand Mauss, 2003, University of Illinois Press, 978-0-252-02803-8, 84–85,weblink 2008-09-12, LDS seminary students do not get high school credit for their seminary studies.

See also



External links

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  • AMERICANA, Education, Theological, Graves, Charles, x,
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