Seminary Classes for only Boys


So my Question is this,

I have been searching around and researching what drives me to become a priest and what drives me to work for god in this way in order to find a religious congregation in which to join and go to seminary to become priest. As im looking around some of these, i found videos on youtube which sortve give briefs of what their mission is and a sortve quick tour of the school. In these videos im seeing that in some schools like the Boston College and also the Santa Clara Theology College which are Jesuits, they allow girls into the school im guessing so that they can too get their degree in Theology.

I want to know if this is true for all seminaries or atleast most, that females are allowed into the same classes that the seminarians are going in. Obviously they wont go into classes that teach the more priestly things, but do they share classes as far as basic Theology, spanish, history classes etc?

I am not liking that at all, dont get me wrong i dont see anything bad if they do allow it, but i want to go where im only studying with seminarians as well and not other people studying other majors.

Is there Seminaries which are strictly only “priestly Vocation” Schools? No other students allowed?


Some Catholic universities have a seminary attached to them, like Boston College or Seton Hall or Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg. In those places, seminarians and lay students can expect to have classes with one another–and all of those universities are co-ed, so there’s a high probability that there would be women in classes there with seminarians.

At standalone seminaries, there are typically lay Masters programs, and these would occasionally admit female students. I can tell you that in the four and a half years I’ve been in seminary, I’ve only seen a grand total of 5 people listed as being in the lay MA program here, and I’ve never actually had a class with them. Some standalone seminaries may have a program where classes are taught concurrently with nearby Protestant seminaries, in which case it’s possible to have classes with female divinity students from those places–this is the case in my seminary, and I’ve had several classes with women in them.

Bottom line, it’s entirely possible that wherever you go, you’ll have women in your classes, although this is fairly rare. It’s really no big deal though–what’s wrong with studying with women?



I can pretty much guarantee you that unless you are taking undergraduate philosophy classes, you won’t have any women in your classes.The woman you do meet in graduate level seminary classes could only possibly be sisters or nuns, so don’t worry about temptation there.

And of those women, they’d only be taking spirituality classes and church history and what not. Classes specifically for priests wouldn’t have any women in them.


Oh dont get me wrong, theres nothing wrong with studying with them. I just wanted to experience seminary more deeply without it feeling like a college experience. I guess im sortve seeking a more spiritual experience to become a priest, so a more secluded seminary is what i was looking for.

Is it wrong for me to be thinking like this? Also, if you are in a seminary right now, do you mind if i ask you a few questions over Private Messages? I want to know some things directly from a seminarian.

Im not worried about temptation haha. Like i stated above im only looking for a more secluded ambiance.


Have you looked at Our Lady of Guadalupe seminary?

From a fellow priest discerner


Your initial post bothers and confuses me.

First, adult males of a maturity to discern a priestly vocation aren’t boys, but men. Likewise, adult females are not girls, but women. Please use the appropriate terms.

If you are looking to join an exclusive “all boys” club, please just pledge a fraternity. If you are looking for a segregated Catholic men’s scholastic experience, please attend a Catholic all-male liberal arts college that does not share resources with a women’s college.

If you are discerning priesthood, you will need to be able to form healthy friendships and professional relationships with both men and women. You will also encounter women as strangers who offer you their complete trust. I don’t see how trying to escape women during your formation is wise.

It sounds like you are primarily discerning religious life. Please focus on that in the spirit of becoming a good male religious and incorporating into a specific congregation and charism. That particular institute will handle your formation and education. If priesthood is also part of that call, they will arrange for seminary.

If you are discerning diocesan priesthood, you will apply to a diocese, and the seminary rector will arrange for your program of formation, which might include minor seminary, pre-theology studies, and major theology. That diocese may have a local seminary, or they may hold outside contracts to suit the needs of the diocese.

In either case, the choice of seminary is generally not up to you, and your classes or campus may include women for a variety of reasons, as a poster stated above.


My mistake, sorry for the misunderstanding. I tend to use Boys as a general term for Male since its all around us like in the bathrooms and stuff. But youre right, sometimes i just must use the correct terminology. (i have edited the title for a better understanding of what i mean)

Now, please dont misunderstand my question. All i was asking was if it was ok for me to want this from a seminary? I was told that the seminary was supposed to be a place for further discernment for some as well as teaching to be a priest. Now i was concerned that the seminary might be “too” mixed now where the teachers now have to concentrate on teaching a wide range of students instead of teaching just seminarians. (hopefully you understand me)

If i am wrong, please correct me.

Now i do disagree as far as my given choice of seminary. Yes it is true that spiritual directors can guide you to a certain seminary, but if i feel like the congregation of st John Bosco Salesians is my calling, because i love to work with kids, then i will choose to go there.


I attended a seminary for an MA in Theology and was in classes with seminarians. I think we all found it to be a good experience. There is nothing different between what was taught to seminarians and laity with regard to things like Scripture, Eccelsiology, Christology,Morality, Liturgy. It was great to get to meet the men and since then I have worked with some of them in my ministry. Our discussions were great. BTW I had one prof. who got angry with the seminarians because he said us lay people were participating more and had better papers. He told them they had to shape up. I also studied with those in the diaconate program.

The Major seminary is not like college. The lay people come to class and go home. We were all older adults and most of us worked for the Church so we had more Church experience than the seminarians, and in a way what we had to say in class was helpful to them. They of course had specific courses that were not open to laity.


This was really helpful and I’m a bit excited now. Hopefully (if I go) I experience something similar.

All I didn’t want was a sortve “college” experience. Most of the videos showing seminaries, show how they have fun and study, but they don’t go into depth on the classes and materials they study as much. Atleast the videos I have seen.

Thank you much Joannm


Perhaps you should, in consultation with your vocations director, visit a seminary for a live-in weekend to see what it’s really like?



Academic formation is only one part of seminary life and of the formation for priesthood. If anything, being in a mixed environment can actually be beneficial since the non-seminarian students have their own experiences to share and provide a different point of view.

More generally, few (if any) seminaries today are exclusive communities - seminarians are encouraged to develop and maintain friendships and activities beyond the seminary community and being in classes with non-seminarians is a good way to achieve this. At the moment, I’m doing a course with some protestant theology students which is proving to be quite informative. Of course we have very different points of view on some things (as indeed do the protestants amongst themselves) but there’s also a fair amount of common ground and mutual learning from each other.


You probably won’t get to pick your seminary as you will attend where your diocese or religious order sends you.


Well, you may discern a congregation – and then they’ll decide whether to accept you. And they will decide where you go to seminary. That will be true of any religious order, and any diocese.

You do not choose your seminary – the vocation director of the religious order or diocese does, as authorized by his superior or bishop.


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