In 1955, Archbishop Joseph Hurley, the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine, had a vision for the future of the Catholic Church in Florida. He purchased more than 100 acres west of Boynton Beach with the vision of building and supporting a seminary.
In 1963, his dream became a reality.
Today, St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary is owned by the seven dioceses of the state of Florida. More than 578 of our alumni have been formed, graduated, and now serve in parishes throughout the state of Florida and as well as the Dioceses of San Juan, Savannah, Richmond, and the Archdiocese of Hartford. In this day of urgent need for cultural diversity, St. Vincent’s is notably, one of only two bilingual theologate seminaries in the United States.
In 2013, our seminary celebrated 50 years of priestly formation and with rising seminary enrollment and the challenge of aging facilities St. Vincent’s embarked on a capital campaign. As part of the expansion and renovation, two new dormitories were constructed and the old facilities are being modernized.
Our formation program offers a holistic approach to formation which shapes the identity of a priest: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral. The seminary’s focus is to form, train and educate priests who will meet the challenge of fostering and nurturing tomorrow’s Catholic community. Candidates for the priesthood must complete four years of undergraduate work and 5 years of graduate studies at a major seminary. The five year program includes one year pastoral work which requires the seminarian to live and work in a parish before being eligible for priestly ordination. During their time at St. Vincent’s, students are assigned weekly ministry work in the local community. Through their ministry work seminarians feed the hungry, give hope to the imprisoned, offer comfort to the sick and give strength to those struggling with addiction and recovery. In addition, they pastor to immigrants, the youth and the elderly preparing the seminarians to be true shepherds of souls.
For the 2015-2016 academic year, 107 seminarians are enrolled, the largest number in the seminary’s history. Students come from the seven dioceses of Florida as well as the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Chicago, Hartford, Kingston and Nassau and the Diocese of Brooklyn and Savannah.
Degrees offered include Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theological Study (MATS), available to any non-resident student. The MATS program consists of either a four year cycle of courses for a MATS degree or certificate of Theological Studies.