Theological College offers a unique combination of characteristics that make an ideal environment for men who are academically strong, self-motivated, eager for pastoral experience, and looking for a diverse seminary community.
- The Catholic University of America: The University collaborates with the seminary to offer the highest caliber academic formation. Ecclesial degrees are conferred by world-renowned faculty in the School of Philosophy, the School of Theology and Religious Studies, and the School of Canon Law. The seminary offers the opportunity after ordination for a new priest to return to Catholic University for a fifth year in order to complete the S.T.L. degree. Catholic University also welcomes seminarians to its rich array of lectures, musical and drama performances, campus ministry projects, charity initiatives, and intramural teams.
- The Sulpician tradition: Our formation program is guided by the principles and ethos of the Sulpician Fathers, “to live supremely for God in Christ Jesus our Lord...” This charism embodies five essential elements: a commitment to ministerial priesthood, the cultivation of an apostolic spirit, an emphasis on spiritual formation, the creation of a formational community, and the exercise of collegiality.
- Discernment relationships: Decades of faculty formation experience for twice-monthly spiritual direction (internal forum) is complemented by twice-monthly formation advisement (external forum), as now mandated in the 2016 version of Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis. Our excellent faculty-student ratio of advisors and directors is supplemented by area priests who are spiritual advisors approved by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington, First Superior of the seminary.
- Pastoral formation: The first seminary to pioneer a supervised pastoral ministry program nearly a half-century ago, Theological College’s decades of experience has come to fruition in today’s mature and far-reaching program allowing seminarians to choose from multiple local ministry placements (in sequential categories dependent on the student’s year at the seminary). They are mentored by expert, vetted supervisors at outreach centers for the poor, parishes and religious education programs, university campus ministries, prisons, hospitals and elder care centers, and Catholic advocacy services, to name just a few.
- Basselin Scholars Program: A maximum of 15 Ph.L. candidates are hosted by Theological College and Catholic University in this singular three-year full-scholarship program at one of America’s top schools of philosophy.
- Collegiality: Theological College is truly a house with many rooms where personal and cultural diversity is welcomed and celebrated. With a communal life of seminarians hailing from over 25 dioceses and resident priests from different countries, the educative opportunity for growth and fraternity is aided by the various clubs, teams, and charitable associations run by the seminarians themselves, including the active Hispanic Affairs Committee.
- Schola Cantorum: Celebrating a brand new Daffer church organ installed in 2017, Theological College’s music program provides training for liturgical participation as priest, cantor, and leader of song. Gregorian chant, polyphony, and modern liturgical music are studied.
- Location: The “D.C. advantage” enjoyed by seminarians includes the special gift of the seminary’s positioning directly in front of the resplendent Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, with its numerous offerings and ministry opportunities. The proximity of the USCCB’s adjacent buildings grants seminarians more frequent visits from their bishops. And the subway line just blocks away provides easy access to all of the city’s social work and cultural opportunities.