Theological College: Celebrating 100 Years (1917-2017)

For over a century, Theological College has played a pivotal historic role in forming seminarians for diocesan priesthood for the American Catholic Church. To learn more, view the centennial video (below) and order your copy of Ecce Quam Bonum: A History of Theological College by emailing tccentennialbook@gmail.com.

Explore Our History

 

1641

Beginnings

Father Jean-Jacques Olier founds the Society of St. Sulpice in France to strengthen seminary vocation formation and the priesthood.

1791

Beginnings

At the invitation of Bishop John Carroll, Sulpicians from France open the first diocesan seminary in the United States, St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland.

1917

Sulpician Seminary

An annex of St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Sulpician Seminary opens in Washington, D.C., with 40 fourth-year seminarians who take up residence in the Paulists’ Apostolic Mission House (on the campus of The Catholic University of America) and are taught by three Sulpicians and one Paulist.

1918

Sulpician Seminary

Nuns from the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence of Kentucky begin their work of domestic care for the seminary and its residents. Now 70 seminarians reside in Caldwell Hall and the Paulists’ Apostolic Mission House.

1919

Sulpician Seminary

Sulpician Seminary becomes a full theologate with seminarians in all four years of seminary study. The new building at the corner of 4th Street and Michigan Avenue was dedicated on September 23 by Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore

1923

Sulpician Seminary

The Basselin Foundation is established at Catholic University and the Sulpician Seminary, funded through a generous bequest from Theodore Basselin to provide for the education and training of exceptionally qualified philosophy students in college seminary studies, with a focus on public speaking and apologetics.

1924

Sulpician Seminary

Sulpician Seminary becomes independent of St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore.

1926

Sulpician Seminary

Seminarians are given responsibility for Sunday services at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, including High Mass and Vespers. This continues for decades.

1928

Sulpician Seminary

Founding of the Sulpician Seminary Alumni Association.

1937

Sulpician Seminary

Sulpician Seminary becomes the university seminary of The Catholic University of America. That year, first-year seminarians take their classes at Catholic University. The next year, both first- and second-year seminarians receive their academic formation at Catholic University, followed then by first-, second-, and third-year men in 1939.

1940

Theological College

The Sulpician Seminary and Catholic University ratify a contract, through which the seminary is renamed Theological College  and becomes a national pontifical seminary. All academic formation is now at Catholic University, with all other formation at Theological College.

1942

Theological College

The Sedes Sapientiae statue is erected in the seminary courtyard as a gift from the alumni, marking the 25th anniversary of the seminary founding. It was later moved to the front walkway.

1966

Theological College

Dedication and blessing of the seminary building, the tower section, and the “new wing” (which is now McCormick Pavilion).

1969

Theological College

Theological College initiates pastoral formation as part of the overall program of preparation for priesthood.

1971

Theological College

The seminary faculty create the position of formation advisor, which quickly becomes a national standard.

1980

Theological College

During the 1980s, the seminary and University create the Pre-Theology Program (for seminarians who already have bachelor’s degrees) and a joint Sacred Theology Bachelors/ Masters of Divinity degree program.

1993

Theological College

Phase one of a major renovation campaign, which modernized and reconfigured the first floor, is completed. The unused seminarian rooms were separated into office space in the new McCormick Pavilion.

1999

Theological College

Phase two of the renovation campaign is completed with new student and faculty rooms.

2006

Theological College

The newly renovated reservation chapel is dedicated.

2016

Theological College

The seminary and University institute a five-year combined S.T.B and S.T.L. degree program.

Theological College Centennial Video

As we celebrate more than 100 years of forming priests after the heart of Jesus Christ, we reflect on the history and tradition of our seminary.