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Monastic Students

The great scholar, Dom Leclerq once described the intellectual life of Benedictines as one imbued with "the love of learning and the desire for God".  And that is what monastic women and men find in their studies at Saint John's.   

Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary educates monks and nuns in an environment drawing upon the Benedictine ethos that sees the glorification of God in all things.  By following programs involving ministerial preparation and theological education, our graduates have returned to their home communities to take positions in formation, education, doctoral studies, and various forms of ministry, from chaplaincies to priesthood.  

Priesthood studies

The seminary at the School of Theology trains Benedictines, Cistercians, and others in monastic orders for priestly ordination.  With the Rule of Benedict as the foundation for theological education and spiritual development, the Master of Divinity incorporates the requirements of the USCCB's Program of Priestly Formation into its curriculum.  Seminarians live in the abbey, study with the other students in the School of Theology, and participate in their own formational training.  For more information, see Seminary Studies section, or contact the rector, Fr. Michael Patella, [email protected].  

Cistercian Cohort

The School of Theology has developed the Cistercian Cohort especially for students from Trappist monasteries.  Conducted as an online hybrid, classes gather at Our Lady of Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky at the beginning of each semester.  Weekly sessions then continue through the Web.  Each summer, the Cohort comes to Saint John's for courses of three week duration, either to complete degree requirements for an MA or simply to take courses for self-enrichment.  For further information, please contact Fr. Michael Patella, [email protected] or the director of admissions, Mary Beth Banken, [email protected] .

Other cohorts

Other cohorts may be available for enrollment.  Please contact the director of admissions, Mary Beth Banken, [email protected]  for more information.

Holy Land Program 

The Incarnation has sacralized both space and time, and the study of Sacred Scripture in the land where it was written, monasticism in the countries in which it arose, and Christianity in the places which shaped its theology is a vital component to both monastic studies and seminarian formation.  At the conclusion of the spring semester, Saint John's sponsors instruction in biblical, archaeological, and early Christian sites in Israel, Palestine and either Turkey, Egypt, or Jordan.  This program is a requirement for all seminarians and is open to all graduate students and qualified undergraduates.  See the Holy Land Tour section of the site for more information.

More information on these and other programs is available through the online information request form, by e-mailing [email protected], or by calling 800-361-8318 | 320-363-2896.

Schedule of Classes