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SLU, Archdiocese of St. Louis Sign Agreement to Enrich Seminarian Education

by Maggie Rotermund on 04/25/2018
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ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson and Fred Pestello, Ph.D., president of Saint Louis University, signed an agreement on Monday, April 23, that brings the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary undergraduate program fully into SLU’s College of Philosophy and Letters, which oversees programs for students training for priesthood and ministry.

Seminary Signing

Pictured in the front row are Fred Pestello, Ph.D., president of Saint Louis University, and St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson. Pictured in the back row, from left, are Chris Collins, S.J., assistant to the president for Mission and Identity; Christopher Duncan, Ph.D., dean of SLU's College of Arts and Sciences; William Rehg, S.J., dean of the College of Philosophy and Letters; Christopher Martin, vice-rector Cardinal Glennon College; Edward Hogan, Ph.D., academic dean of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary; Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., provost at SLU; and James Mason, J.D., president-rector of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. Photo by Maggie Rotermund

Currently seminarians take their first two years of undergraduate classes at SLU and finish their education at the seminary, receiving a degree from Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Under the new agreement, seminarians will receive a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from SLU, taking classes taught both at SLU and at the seminary. The program changes will be implemented for the 2018-19 school year.

“I am very pleased at the latest collaboration between Saint Louis University and Kenrick-Glennon Seminary and know that this partnership will produce superbly trained priests both theologically as well as scholastically, who, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit will be configured to the Heart of Jesus Christ, shepherding whole heartedly with Christ’s pastoral charity,” Carlson said.

The seminarians will be able to explore other disciplines while at SLU. Carlson said he hoped that many would take advantage of the language arts and minor in Spanish as the archdiocese has a growing Spanish-speaking population.

“We are pleased to be able to extend our longtime collaboration with the seminary and the archdiocese,” Pestello said. “I want to thank all of those involved in making this agreement a reality; and we look forward to providing the best possible education for the seminarians.”

William Rehg, S.J., dean of the College of Philosophy and Letters, said the bachelor’s program now contains a track designed for the needs of seminarians, which differ in some ways from the needs of other students in the College.

“The basic requirements are not that different from any other philosophy degree,” he said. “We can keep up with the changing needs of the archdiocese because we have a College devoted to the education of men interested in the priesthood. The benefit for the seminarians is that they will now possess a SLU degree.”

The College of Philosophy and Letters was founded in 1889 and provides both the philosophical and intellectual background needed for further studies in theology and ministry. 

“I am thrilled with this partnership between the archdiocese and SLU because it will provide seminarians with access to SLU faculty and will enrich our classes with students who have dedicated their lives to the church,” added Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D.

Seminary Agreement

Fred Pestello, Ph.D., president of Saint Louis University, and St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson sign an agreement which brings the Kenrick-Glennon Seminary undergraduate program fully into SLU’s College of Philosophy and Letters. Photo by Maggie Rotermund

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers nearly 13,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.