About Saint Charles
Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary forms priests to be shepherds after the heart of Jesus Christ, and also forms permanent deacons, religious and lay men and women for various forms of ministry, service, and discipleship.
Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary exists to be, "in its own way, a continuation in the Church of the apostolic community gathered about Jesus, listening to his word, proceeding toward the Easter experience, awaiting the gift of the Spirit" (cf. Pastores dabo vobis, n. 60) as it prepares priests, deacons and other missionary disciples.
The Seminary carries out its mission under the leadership of the Archbishop of Philadelphia and a Board of Trustees, guided by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and her Supreme Pastor, and in accordance with the directives of the Apostolic See and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary will form humble servants, heroic leaders, and holy priests, deacons, consecrated religious and laity.
1. Within the context of its mission, Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary will serve the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, partner dioceses, institutes of consecrated life, societies of apostolic life and contemporary ecclesial movements.
2. Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary will form priests, deacons, religious and lay men and women who encounter Jesus Christ in the Church's Sacraments, who deepen their friendship with Him in liturgical and personal prayer, and who grow in this relationship with Him through the study of His teaching.
3. Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary will form graduates who will be inspiring workers and effective evangelizers who share with every person the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Church's worship, preaching, catechesis, and charitable works.
4. Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary will actively collaborate with the Director of the Vocation Office for the Diocesan Priesthood and the vocation directors of other (arch)dioceses and religious communities in fostering the recruitment of candidates for the priesthood and their enrollment in the College Seminary and the Theology Seminary at Saint Charles Borromeo, Overbrook.
Founded in 1832 by Reverend Francis Patrick Kenrick, third Bishop of Philadelphia, Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary is the oldest Catholic institution of higher learning in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary’s mission is to form priests to be shepherds after the heart of Jesus Christ, and permanent deacons, religious and lay men and women for various forms of ministry, service, and discipleship.
Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary is a rich resource of priestly formation and theological instruction for religious and lay men and women throughout the United States. The Seminary is comprised of four Schools of Learning: Theological Seminary, College Seminary, School of Diaconal Formation and School of Theological Studies. Partner dioceses and religious congregations entrust their men to the Theological Seminary and College Seminary, confident in Saint Charles’ commitment to the Four Dimensions of Formation, exercised in fidelity to the Magisterium of the Church.
As a center of enrichment for the larger Church community, Saint Charles provides ongoing academic and pastoral programs to priests, deacons, religious and laity through the School of Diaconal Formation and the School of Theological Studies. Students work toward academic degrees, catechetical certificates and more.
With more than 180 years of rich tradition, Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary has entered a pivotal point in its history. Guided by the Rector, Most Reverent Timothy C. Senior, ’85, Saint Charles is undergoing exciting changes that include new programs and faculty as well as partnering with area Catholic colleges to provide courses in subjects such as servant leadership.
For the last five years, Saint Charles has experienced a surge in enrollment with annual increases in the number of seminarians on campus.