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A seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, or divinity school is an educational institution for educating students (sometimes called ''seminarians'') in
scripture Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of ...
,
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed ...
, generally to prepare them for
ordination Ordination is the process by which individuals are , that is, set apart and elevated from the class to the , who are thus then (usually by the composed of other clergy) to perform various religious . The process and ceremonies of ordination va ...

ordination
to serve as clergy, in academics, or in
Christian ministry In Christianity Christianity is an , based on the and of . It is the , with about 2.5 billion followers. Its adherents, known as , make up a majority of the population in , and believe that is the , whose coming as the was in the (c ...
. The English word is taken from the Latin ''seminarium'', translated as ''seed-bed'', an image taken from the
Council of Trent The Council of Trent ( la, Concilium Tridentinum), held between 1545 and 1563 in (or Trento, in northern ), was the 19th of the . Prompted by the , it has been described as the embodiment of the ."Trent, Council of" in Cross, F. L. (ed.) ''Th ...

Council of Trent
document ''Cum adolescentium aetas'' which called for the first modern seminaries. In the United States, the term is currently used for graduate-level theological institutions, but historically it was used for high schools.


History

The establishment of modern seminaries resulted from Roman Catholic reforms of the
Counter-Reformation The Counter-Reformation (), also called the Catholic Reformation () or the Catholic Revival, was the period of Catholic Church, Catholic resurgence that was initiated in response to the Protestant Reformation, also known as the Protestant Revol ...
after the
Council of Trent The Council of Trent ( la, Concilium Tridentinum), held between 1545 and 1563 in (or Trento, in northern ), was the 19th of the . Prompted by the , it has been described as the embodiment of the ."Trent, Council of" in Cross, F. L. (ed.) ''Th ...

Council of Trent
. The Tridentine seminaries placed great emphasis on personal discipline as well as the teaching of philosophy as a preparation for theology. In the United States, Protestant institutions widely adopted the term 'seminary' for independent graduate schools (separate from a university) to train its ministers. The oldest seminary in the United States was
Andover Theological Seminary Andover Theological Seminary (1807-1965) was a Congregationalist seminary founded in 1807 and originally located in Andover, Massachusetts Andover is a New England town, town in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. It was settled in 164 ...
founded in 1807 and affiliated with the
Congregationalist Church Congregational churches (also Congregationalist churches; Congregationalism) are Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be Crit ...
.


Catholicism

Seminaries in the Catholic Church are divided into minor seminaries for teenagers and major seminaries for adults, including both college seminaries (though in the U.S. these are often called minor seminaries) for undergraduate students and post-graduate seminaries for those who already have a
bachelor's degree A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin Medieval Latin was the form of Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
. 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 order A religious order is a lineage of communities and organizations of people who live in some way set apart from society in accordance with their specific religious devotion, usually characterized by the principles of its founder's religious practice. ...
s or by
diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the increasingly subdivided Roman province, prov ...
s 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 which are
suffragan diocese A suffragan diocese is one of the diocese In Ecclesiastical polity, church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop. History In the later organization of the Roman Empire, the ...
s of the
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston ( la, Archidioecesis Bostoniensis) is an ecclesiastical territory or Archdiocese In church governance, a diocese or bishopric is the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop A bish ...

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston
. Either way, a man who seeks to enter a seminary to become a priest must be sponsored by either a diocese or by a religious order. 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 Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler A ruler, sometimes called a rule or line gauge, is a device used in geometry and technical drawing, as well as the engineering and construction industries, to measure dis ...
, the
sacrament A sacrament is a Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ...
s, and
preaching A sermon is an oration Public speaking (also called oratory or oration) is giving speech face to face to a live audience An audience is a group of people who participate in a show or encounter a work of art A work o ...

preaching
, or specific to the particular order or diocese. For instance the
Theological College A seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, or divinity school is an educational institution for educating students (sometimes called ''seminarians'') in scripture, theology, generally to prepare them for ordination to serve as clergy, in ...
in
Washington, D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk within the National Mall The National Mall is a Landscape architecture, landscaped ...
is part of
The Catholic University of America The Catholic University of America (CUA) is a private university, private research university in Washington, D.C. It is a pontifical university of the Catholic Church in the United States and the only institution of higher education founded by U ...
. Further, in Rome there are several seminaries which 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 The Pontifical North American College is a Roman Catholic Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *'' ...
, which trains priests from the United States and elsewhere, is supported by the
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is the episcopal conference of the Catholic Church in the United States. Founded in 1966 as the joint National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) and United States Catholic Conference ( ...

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
.


Evangelicalism

The International Council for Evangelical Theological Education was founded in 1980 by the Theological Commission of the
World Evangelical Alliance The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) is a global organization of evangelical Christian churches, serving more than 600 million evangelicals, founded in 1846 in London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the Unit ...
. In 2015, it would have 1,000 member schools in 113 countries.


Other uses of the term

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 A female seminary is a private educational institution for women, popular especially in the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when opportunities in educational institutions for women were scarce. The movement was a signi ...
were established in the United States.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian Nontrinitarianism is a form of Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism ...
( Also known as the LDS Church or the Mormons) hosts seminary classes for
high school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a ...

high school
students ages 14 to 18, as part of the
Church Educational System The Church Educational System (CES) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a Nontrinitarianism, nontrinitarian, Chri ...
. 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. LDS seminary students do not get high school credit for their seminary studies.


See also

*
Consecrated life Consecrated life (also known as religious life) is a state of life in the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, ...
*
Bible college A Bible college, sometimes referred to as a Bible institute or theological institute, is Protestant Protestantism is a form of that originated with the 16th-century , a movement against what its followers perceived to be in the . Protestants ...
*
List of Eastern Catholic seminariesThis is list of Eastern Catholic The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, Eastern Rite Catholicism, or simply the Eastern Churches and in some historical cases referred to as '' ...
* List of evangelical seminaries and theological colleges * List of Roman Catholic seminaries *
Minor seminary File:Stations at SHAS.jpg, The students at Sacred Heart Apostolic School praying the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, 2009 Image:Telšiai Diocese Minor Seminary.jpg, 220px, Telšiai Diocese Minor seminary in Lithuania A minor seminary or high ...
*
Female seminary A female seminary is a private educational institution for women, popular especially in the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when opportunities in educational institutions for women were scarce. The movement was a signi ...
* Jewish use:
Yeshiva A yeshiva (; he, ישיבה, , sitting; pl. , or ) is a Jewish education, Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and the Torah, and halacha (Jewish law). The studyin ...
, and especially
Midrasha 250px, Founding Beit Yaakov Teachers' Seminary, Kraków, Poland A ' (Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, ...
, the women's equivalent, widely referred to as "seminaries" *
Madrasa Madrasa (, also , ; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental cou ...

Madrasa
in
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling ...
) is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that Muhammad is a Muhammad in Islam, messenger of God.Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , ed ...


References


External links

* * {{Authority control Christian universities and colleges School types Types of university or college Catholic education