Pontifical North American College


How does a seminarian get to attend the Pontifical North American College in Rome?


After completing college seminary or pre-theology at a seminary stateside, the bishop may assign the seminarian to the North American College. It is usually up to the bishop and the vocations director, with some input from the seminarian.



After I finish my college degree in the seminary, I hope my bishop will sponsor me to attend the North American College.


From what I know from priests who did attend the NAC,and from other priests I know, bishops only send the brightest and best. So study hard. Also show some leadership potential. Many who attend the NAC also go on to specialize is an specific area of theology after graduation so they stay on to get their STL. Is there a particular area you are interested in?


And, on top of it all, they have a rockin’ soccer team as well.

They’ve beaten the other seminaries and the Swiss guard team twice now




I’m wondering can religious attend NAC because I feel called to the Jesuits.


I’d be shocked if they don’t have a study option there or nearby. But the best way to find out is to ask them!


The Gregorian in Rome, a place for higher theological and canon law studies is a Jesuit institution. To go, I am not sure on this, but I would logically think it is possible. You would have to be sponsored by your superior and also your bishop.


I think we need to clarify what the Pontifical North American College is first.

The PNAC is not a college as we think of one, because no classes are taught there. Seminarians from the U.S. (and Canada and Australia) live at the PNAC, eat there, sleep there, pray there, and receive pastoral assignments there, but classes are taken at Pontifical Universities. The most common universities which the students attend are the Gregorian (Jesuit, classes in Italian), and the Angelicum (Dominican, classes in English).

The only way for a seminarian to be sent to the PNAC is for his bishop to assign him there for studies.

However, I think it would be odd for a Jesuit novice or seminarian to be sent there, because most religious orders prefer to have their new members live in a community of their order (for formation, et c.). Because of this, I don’t think any superior would send a Jesuit to the PNAC as a student. There are, however, Jesuits that live at the Gesù or other Jesuit communities in Rome, and study at the Gregorian, or other universities.


I did know about the Angelicum and it’s Dominican patronage. I did not know about the Gregorian. Is there any difference other than language (and order, obviously)?
Do the, um, “mores” of college hierarchy (“oh that schools better than that school for X studies…”) apply to the PNAC (either school) or theology institutions at all?

I haven’t much knowledge about seminary education. I should get off my duff and go research, but you all might save me some time :smiley: Hehe.

To the OP: The small amount of research I’ve done on religious orders seems to indicate that novices are almost never sent “abroad.” Most have a formation period before any education takes place, though it is different from order to order.
I wonder if JCReducation (spelling?) knows much more. Or any other ordained/enrobed forum member.


The Pontifical Universities are generally considered to be all on equal footing for the basic degree (Bachelors in Sacred Theology – A graduate degree referred to as an STB), however some universities are considered better for a specialized License in Sacred Theology (STL). For instance: the Augustinium University it regarded as the best for advance studies in Patristics, and the Atheneum of St. Anselm is regarded as the best for advanced studies in Liturgy (although the the Atheneum was founded especially for Benedictine students).


Yes, Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit has STB and STL degreea through the Angelicum.


Would one hoping to be sent to a prestigious school in Rome be upset if he or she was not ? ( I am guessing there is room for religious sisters to find an education in Rome as well ) .


I suppose that all depends on their motivations for wanting to go there in the first place.


I think the important thing to remember is the prayer that should frequently be on everyone’s lips, especially seminarians and novices: “God’s will, not mine.”


Amen to that. It’s all too easy to want to follow a vocation on our own terms and not on God’s and then complain when we don’t like things the way they are!


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