Institutional Purpose & Information

Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, legally titled the St. Louis Roman Catholic Theological Seminary, is a not-for-profit corporation operated by the Archdiocese of St. Louis under the laws of the State of Missouri. It comprises Kenrick School of Theology, a four-year graduate and professional program that prepares men for ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood, and Cardinal Glennon College, a four-year undergraduate program that prepares men for ordination studies at Kenrick or elsewhere. Founded in 1893, the seminary today continues a rich heritage of philosophical, theological, and priestly pastoral service, attentive to the needs of its constituencies, while cognizant of the challenges of contemporary evangelization.

Cardinal Glennon College operates a collaborative-model undergraduate formation program conjointly with the College of Philosophy and Letters of Saint Louis University. Seminary students complete two years of general education requirements at the University and two years of philosophy and theology requirements at the seminary campus, culminating in the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy.


Pre-Theology Commencement 2012The Pre-Theology Program of Kenrick School of Theology is a program, separate from the three credential programs described below, that operates in cooperation with the Cardinal Glennon College, the undergraduate division of the seminary. This program is for candidates who have completed undergraduate study but have not met the philosophy and theology requirements for entry into Kenrick’s graduate-level programs. This option requires participation in a human and spiritual formation program at Kenrick, and normally entails two years of residency there as well.

Kenrick School of Theology operates three overlapping credential programs: the Ordination Program, the Master of Divinity Program, and the Master of Arts Degree Program. The three programs are designed to be completed by students—all of which are candidates for the priesthood—within their four years of residency at Kenrick, prior to ordination. The operation of these credential programs at Kenrick entails the following elements:

  • a competent and dedicated administration, faculty, and  staff;
  • a diversified student body recruited from a variety of constituencies;
  • a set of theological and pastoral formation subprograms, conducive to teaching, learning, and research (see ATS General Institutional Standard 3), focused in four areas—the human, the spiritual, the intellectual, and the pastoral (see PPF 5th ed, n. 70);
  • a fine library and information resources program;
  • a state-of-the-art instructional technology program, with appropriate training;
  • a set of faculty and student support services;
  • a system of regular outcomes assessment, evaluation, and program revision;
  • an effective and consultative system of governance, including a Board of Directors and a Board of Trustees;
  • a continuously updated strategic plan;
  • a commitment to institutional integrity at all levels of operations;
  • a sound financial basis;
  • a safe, comfortable, and attractive campus and plant;
  • an ongoing collaboration with the other theological and educational agencies of the St. Louis area, as well as with the member schools of ATS and HLC.

Authority and Governance

Kenrick-Glennon Seminary derives its rights, responsibilities, and powers from its articles of incorporation and bylaws, and from its ecclesiastical authorization as an institution of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. On this basis, it maintains the legal and moral authority to establish and operate educational programs, to confer certificates or degrees, to provide for personnel and facilities, and to assure institutional quality and integrity.

Ordination to the Priesthood 2012The structure and scope of this authority is based on the relationship of Kenrick to the Archdiocese. The articles of incorporation and bylaws of the seminary establish a Board of Directors and a Board of Trustees with specific authority for maintaining the integrity and vitality of the school. Trustees are chosen on the basis of qualifications appropriate to the task they will undertake, with a specific view towards diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, profession, and educational background.

The Board of Directors appoints the chief administrative leadership and the faculty of the seminary. The Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees jointly confer degrees, enter into contracts, approve budgets, and manage the assets of the seminary. The Boards in turn delegate authority to the administration and faculty of the seminary to fulfill their respective roles and responsibilities.

The Administration of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary is responsible for achieving the school’s purpose by developing and implementing institutional policies and administrative structures in cooperation with the Board of Trustees, the faculty, the students, the administrative staff, and other constituencies. It reflects the shared values of the greater Kenrick community in the management of resources, in communication with constituencies, and in evaluation and planning. Responsibilities and structures of accountability are clearly defined in a set of administrative position descriptions.

Faculty - Qualifications, Reponsibilities, Development and Employment

The members of the faculty of Kenrick-Glennon Seminary constitute a collaborative community of faith and learning, and are crucial to the scholarly activities of teaching, learning, and research. The core of the faculty at Kenrick is a group of 16 full-time members, with varying numbers of continuing part-time teachers, and of teachers engaged occasionally or on a one-time basis. Kenrick treasures the resource that this faculty represents, and provides its faculty members appropriate structure, support, and opportunity.

Kenrick-Glennon Seminary appoints to faculty positions only those persons who possess the appropriate credentials for graduate theological education, normally a research doctorate. In addition to academic preparation in its faculty members, Kenrick also values ministerial and ecclesial experience, and sees this as an important qualification in the composition of the faculty as a group. All priest faculty members have regular pastoral duties on weekends, and some are in full-time residence at nearby parishes. In determining the composition of the faculty, Kenrick is guided by its institutional purpose, and includes attention to this composition in its strategic planning. Its hiring practices reflect the value of diversity in race, ethnicity, and gender, as well in educational background and point of view. Since it is a Roman Catholic seminary, it maintains a preference for hiring qualified Roman Catholic priests when this is possible, without prejudice to its commitment to diversity. In the context of the seminary’s institutional purpose and in accord with the provisions of Canon Law and the norms of the Program of Priestly Formation (5th ed., 2006), Kenrick acknowledges and respects the freedom of faculty members to seek knowledge and to communicate their findings (ATS 6.1.2).

On an ongoing basis, the faculty of Kenrick exercises responsibility for the planning, design, and oversight of the seminary’s programs. It provides leadership in the development of academic policy, oversight of academic and curricular program, establishment of admissions criteria, and recommendation of candidates for graduation. It also participates in the processes concerning the appointment, retention, and promotion in rank of faculty members.

Kenrick-Glennon Seminary maintains policies concerning faculty rights and responsibilities, freedom of inquiry, procedures for recruitment, appointment, retention, promotion, and termination, criteria for faculty evaluation, faculty compensation, sabbaticals, and other conditions of employment. These policies are published in an up-to-date faculty handbook. Kenrick-Glennon Seminary does not offer tenure, but has been enriched by a great deal of continuity within its faculty over the years. Much of this continuity is related to the religious stability of its diocesan and religious priest faculty members, and a related stability among its women religious faculty members. In recent years, Kenrick has enjoyed the continuing services of a number of lay faculty, who are deeply committed to its mission.

Kenrick faculty members have freedom in the classroom to discuss the subjects in which they have competence. They are also encouraged to include whenever possible in their classroom work a cross-disciplinary and pastoral perspective. Kenrick maintains a program for evaluating faculty performance, including teaching competence. This program involves interaction with the President-Rector and the Academic Dean, as well as with fellow faculty members.

Kenrick faculty members are involved in evaluating the quality of student learning by identifying appropriate outcomes and assessing the extent to which they have been achieved. Faculty members are also involved in the development of the library collection and other resources. Faculty members further contribute to students’ learning by being available for regular advising and interaction with students.

Kenrick provides structured opportunities for faculty research and intellectual growth in such means as faculty colloquia and in-service workshops, in allowances for books, memberships, and attendance at conventions, and above all in sabbatical leaves. The latter are offered every seventh semester at full salary or every seventh year at half salary. Faculty are encouraged to make available the results of their research by means of scholarly publication, constructive participation in learned societies, informed contributions to the intellectual life of Church and society, as well as in their teaching.