The Josephinum strives to uphold the highest standards of academic excellence, thereby equipping its students with the knowledge and pastoral skills they will need to serve effectively as priests in the contemporary world. As a community of faith, the Josephinum works to provide the environment and support a seminarian needs to grow in personal maturity and holiness, and to cultivate the habits of prayer and virtue that are essential to the life of the priest.


Through the four dimensions of human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation, seminarians acquire the human, spiritual, pastoral and social skills and characteristics needed for effective service, leadership and life. This formation program is considered the foundation of a life of ongoing learning across a range of disciplines, to facilitate effective ministry in a diverse and interconnected world.


Human Formation

The program of human formation is designed to aid each seminarian in assuming personal responsibility for his development in all phases of life in the seminary and after. It guides and supports the seminarian in reaching maturity in personal standards, psychological development, and social interaction.


Spiritual Formation

The program of spiritual formation is twofold: first, to foster the personal prayer life and spiritual growth of seminarians; and second, to foster an understanding and love for the liturgical life of the Church. Through active participation in this process of personal spiritual discernment, seminarians are helped to respond with growing understanding and commitment to the call that brought them to the seminary.


Intellectual Formation

The program of intellectual formation is followed in the academic programs that are specific to each level of formation (College, Pre-Theology, and Theology). They address the needs of each seminarian to be a fully educated and well-rounded person.


Pastoral Formation

The program of pastoral and apostolic formation helps seminarians see Christ in those to whom they will minister and come to see Christ at work in themselves. Through this focus, seminarians will learn to demonstrate pastoral charity and a commitment to the Church’s teaching on justice, peace and the dignity of human life.




The norms for priestly formation were set forth by the Second Vatican Council in its Decree on the Training of Priests, by the Basic Norms for Priestly Formation (Vatican City, 2nd Edition, 1985) and by the Program of Priestly Formation, (USCCB, 5th Edition, 2005). Further norms for philosophical and theological education are specified in the apostolic constitution Sapientia 

Christiana (Vatican City, 1979) and in the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1992. The last document provides a summary and a comprehensive vision of priestly formation.