Saint John's School of Theology·Seminary sponsors many events as part of its mission to serve the Church and the world.

2014/2015 Saint John's School of Theology·Seminary Events

Conversatio Events

Conversatio Lifelong Learning program allows individuals to grow spiritually or professionally and enjoy time alone and time with others on beautiful Saint John's campus. For more information...

Theology Day Series

Theology Day is a chance for people in our communities who are seeking a deeper understanding of their faith and its place in their everyday lives and the theologians of Saint John's School of Theology·Seminary to interact with and learn from each other. For more information....

Monastic Institute

The Monastic Institute is sponsored and organized by Saint John's School of Theology·Seminary and Saint John's Abbey. Its goal is to foster reflection and conversation on matters of concern to monastic communities and other intentional communities, both Christian and non-Christian.  For more information...

Collegeville Conference on Music, Liturgy, & the Arts

The Collegeville Conference on Music, Liturgy, and the Arts (CCMLA) is an annual event sponsored in conjunction with Saint John's School of Theology·Seminary, The Liturgical Press, and Saint John's University Music Department. For more information...

Upcoming Events:

Theology Day: Daniel Finn, Ph.D.
Distant Markets, Distant Harms: Thinking Clearly about Economic Complicity
April 29 - 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Town and Country - Saint Paul

There are many reasons why Christians should feel responsible to relieve the suffering of people half-way around the planet. These reasons have nothing to do with whether the believer played any role in causing that suffering. However, this presentation will ask: Is there a causal relationship between me and the Asian woman who sewed the stitches on the collar of the shirt I am wearing - even if I have no idea who she is?


Theology Day: Shawn Colberg, Ph.D.
A Poor Church and a Church for the Poor: Saint Francis of Assisi and Christian Poverty in the 21st Century
May 2 - 8:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Emmaus Hall
May 13 - 6-9 p.m. - Saint Francis Cabrini Church, Minneapolis, MN

Three days after his election, Pope Francis proclaimed publicly, "Ah, how I would like a church that is poor and is for the poor." This initial sentiment has remained a constant theme in his articulation of the nature and the mission of the church, and it may fairly be noted as one of the early themes of his pontificate. His selection of a papal name reflects this same commitment, calling to mind Saint Francis of Assisi who embraced a life of radical poverty even as the spirit of Francis and his followers breathed new life into the 13th Century Church. This session will explore the concept of Christian poverty. To do so it will look backward and inward in order to look forward. Our time will include a discussion of the biblical notion of poverty in Jesus' sermons and the apostolic lifestyle found in scripture, images and writings from Francis of Assisi, and review of recent statements by Pope Francis. Finally we wil examine how Christians in our modern context might cultivate something of the vision shared by Francis of Assisi and Pope Francis.


Business and Theology: August Turak
Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks: Making Meaning While Making Money
May 6 - 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Minneapolis Club, Minneapolis, MN

For over 1500 years monasteries around the world have been running some of the world's most successful and profitable businesses. They do so by producing products of only the highest quality while maintaining a reputation for integrity. How do they do it? In this talk August Turak will share the secrets to this monastic success. More importantly he will show you how to use these ancient yet emergent monastic secrets to transform your business, professional, and personal life as well.


Benedictine Center: "Imagining God"
St. Paul's Monastery Benedictine Center, St. Paul, MN
Thurs., Jun. 19, 1:00 p.m. - Sun., Jun. 22, 1:00 p.m.
Barbara Sutton, Victor Klimoski, and S. Virginia Matter OSB
$350 includes lodging, meals and materials

No one has seen God, but countless artists and writers across the centuries have sought to convey divine attributes we humans might grasp, even if "through a glass, darkly" (1 Cor 13:12). These images, no matter the medium, expand the vocabulary of the heart in recognizing how God moves among us and is revealed to us. This retreat immerses participants in the symbolic voice of Scripture as they learn about the role of creativity in lectio divina. Visio divina (praying with images) will also be a shared practice. A resident writer and a potter will provide hands-on opportunities to free the inner artist/writer in all of us. Limit 12 participants.


Collegeville Conference on Music, Liturgy, and the Arts
Worship in a Changing Church: Perspectives, Resources, and Skills
June 16-19, 2014 Online registration now available!

Fifty years after Vatican II, a new pope is leading in a new style. The church around the world is becoming more diverse - more multicultural, more varied in musical repertoires, and with more tension between contemporary and traditional liturgical styles. How can musicians and liturgical ministers make the best use of old and new, and draw in young people, with the best resources and skills to respond to a rapidly changing church? Join us this summer to renew your ministry, learn what the issues are and what you need to know from leading experts in music and liturgy.
2014 Conference highlights:

* Keynotes and breakouts by Steve Warner, Chris de Silva, Alan Hommerding, Rita Ferrone, Johan van Parys, and Walter Tambor.
* Workshops on cantoring, organ and keyboards, choral directing, and Gregorian chant.
* Choral reading sessions with GIA, WLP, and Liturgical Press
* Conference Eucharist with musicians from the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis, MN Early bird discounts valid from now until April 15 only. Register early to save up to $100 on the conference fee!

Early bird discounts valid from now until April 15 only.

  • Full conference registration - $249 (reg. $350)
  • Single-day registration - $99 (reg. $140)
  • Register early to save up to $100 on the usual conference fee!
    Enter promo code ENLCCMLA2014 at registration to get a FREE $5 gift card to Liturgical Press.

For more details, visit or email


29th Annual Monastic Institute
"Imagining the Future: Monastic Life in 2020"
June 29 - July 3, 2014

What is the appeal of monastic life in contemporary society? How does monastic life generate hope within and outside of the cloister walls? In a world hungering for security and love, the time-tested practices of the monastic tradition bear witness to the reality of God among us. The call to community offers an alternative to the fluidity, fragmentation, and isolation weighing upon many in our fast-paced global society. Our speakers bring a wealth of experience and a diversity of perspectives on the importance of monastic life for our times.


Praying with Imagination 2014
July 13-18, 2014, 4 p.m. on Sunday - breakfast Friday

  • $600 includes lodging, meals, supplies, and program fee
  • 10 $200 scholarships available for ministry positions
  • Facilitator: Barbara Sutton, D.Min.

This retreat invites pastoral leaders and catechists to pray with the Illuminated Word of The Saint John's Bible and to extend that prayer through the arts of bookmaking, such as calligraphy, painting, and storytelling. This year's theme will be The Joy of the Gospel and will use the themes of social justice that Pope Francis highlights in his apostolic exhortation. The retreat's morning sessions empower participants to practice the Seeing the Word process, delve deeper into learning the rhythm of visio divina and facilitate the practice with others. The afternoon will invite participants to ground their own spirituality through developing their artistic imagination. It's a beautiful retreat experience. Mornings begin with the prayer practice of visio divina, followed by talks on Scripture, prayer, and facilitating. After lunch, participants work directly with a master artist to learn new techniques and spiritual art practices, with a special emphasis on the arts of bookmaking (calligraphy, pastels, binding, etc.).

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Interested in becoming a spiritual director?
An innovative new program that prepares students for the ministry of spiritual direction is now offered by Saint John's School of Theology·Seminary in collaboration with Saint Benedict's Monastery. This graduate certificate requires two years of part-time study and includes an internship under the guidance of trained supervisors at the Spirituality Center of the monastery. For more information on the program, contact Becky Van Ness ( , Director.

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Testing the Waters
Building Healthy Staffs, Healthy Parishes

The current healthy congregations movement has deep roots in family systems theory. This powerful framework for understanding interpersonal relationships has helped countless parishes transform themselves. At the heart of the process is leadership by staff in modeling and encouraging fresh ways of working together, managing conflict, and cultivating relationships that bring the best out of people. We are exploring a continuing education design that would include an initial daylong workshop for parish staffs and the option for staffs to be part of a smaller peer group of staffs. The peer groups would meet once a month for three months.


National Catholic Youth Choir

NCYC is still accepting applications for this summer's 2014 camp and tour!  All Catholic high school students entering grades 10, 11 or 12 next fall 2014 are welcome to apply.  We have received many applications from talented young voices thus far, but always have room for more tenors and basses.  If you know of a vocally talented yougn male that would enjoy the experience of the NCYC program and working with Axel Theimer, please encourage him to apply.  The deadline has been extended.

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