Seminary Program

Inter-Diocesan Partnership

St. Joseph’s Seminary participates in the St. Charles Borromeo Inter-diocesan Partnership created by the three diocesan bishops of New York, Brooklyn and Rockville Centre. On November 10, 2011 Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio and Most Rev. William Murphy signed a Joint Operating Agreement that acknowledged their earlier decision to collaborate on a single college and pre-theology program at the Cathedral Seminary House of Formation in Douglaston NY, and to move toward a common graduate level program of priestly formation at Dunwoodie.

The Joint Operating Agreement was subsequently modified by a Memorandum of Understanding (March 15, 2012) to include the aggregation of all degree programs, faculty and students (lay and permanent deacon candidates) of the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception (SIC), Huntington NY to St. Joseph’s Seminary (SJS). By August 31, 2013, SJS will become the sole degree-granting Catholic seminary for the downstate New York region, operating on a main campus (Yonkers) and two additional locations (Huntington and Douglaston). The Boards of Trustees of the Partnership schools have agreed that SJS will serve their constituencies by offering the following degrees:

  • Master of Divinity Degree and the Degree of Bachelor of Sacred Theology (S.T.B.) from the University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome to seminarians at the main campus
  • Master of Arts in Theology to seminarians and lay students at the main campus
  • Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies to lay students at the main campus and to lay students and permanent deacon candidates at Huntington
  • Master of Arts in Catholic Philosophical Studies to pre-theologians at the Cathedral Seminary House of Formation, Douglaston NY who are preparing for graduate-level theology by taking courses in philosophy as a part of their formation for the priesthood

History and Description

Saint Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, is the fifth in a series of educational institutions established for the formation of clergy for the Archdiocese of New York. It traces its ancestry to parent seminaries, all in the State of New York, starting in Nyack (1833-34), Lafargeville (1838-40), Fordham (1840-62), and then in Troy at Saint Joseph’s Provincial Seminary (1864-96).

On May 17, 1891, Archbishop Michael A. Corrigan, desiring to relocate the seminary closer to his Episcopal city, laid the cornerstone of the present Saint Joseph’s Seminary in the Dunwoodie section of Yonkers, just a few miles north of New York City. The first scholastic year began on September 21, 1896, with ninety-eight students. For the first ten years the seminary was under the direction of priests of the Society of Saint Sulpice, who composed the majority of the faculty.

In 1906, Saint Joseph’s reverted to the control of Archdiocesan authorities and has since remained under an adminis- trative and academic staff composed largely of diocesan priests.

Successive Archbishops of New York (Cardinals Farley, Hayes, Spellman, Cooke, O’Connor, Egan, and Dolan) have enlarged the institution and its buildings. The addition of a residence wing in 1907 provides accommodations for approximately 160 students in single rooms. A new library was constructed in 1953. In 1967 Cardinal Spellman dedicated the recreation center. In 1983 Cardinal Cooke restored the main chapel of the Seminary. In 1995 Cardinal O’Connor completed the restoration of the Chapel for the visit of Pope John Paul II on October 5, 1995. In 2008, Cardinal Egan further beautified the chapel in preparation for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI.

In 2012, Saint Joseph’s Seminary became the Major Theologate for the Seminarians from the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn, and the Diocese of Rockville Centre. In addition, by the Fall of 2013, Saint Joseph’s will become the single degree-granting institution for all graduate-level degree programs offered by the dioceses of the downstate New York region, with its main campus in Yonkers and two additional locations at Douglaston in Queens and Huntington on Long Island.

Saint Joseph’s Seminary extends for forty acres atop Valentine Hill. Its buildings are of gray mile-square granite, most of which was quarried on the seminary site. The main building is in early Renaissance style, and the cross over the cupola reaches one hundred and fifty feet above the ground.

In the main building, the chapel, auditorium, class- rooms, meeting rooms, offices, and dining facilities are on the first floor and the rooms for faculty, students, and guests are on the three upper floors. The Chapel of Our Lady Queen of Apostles, on the third floor, was opened in 1955.

The Archbishop Corrigan Memorial Library is a separate building of three stories on the fourth side of the cloister, with entrances from the first floor of the main building and from outside.

To the west of these buildings are the outdoor recreational facilities of the seminary: a baseball and softball diamond, soccer field, and tennis court, and several walkways. The Cardinal Spellman Recreation Center, completed in May 1967, contains a basketball court, squash courts, a swimming pool, steam rooms, and bowling lanes.

The campus includes the Institute of Religious Studies and Permanent Diaconate Office, which are housed in what was originally a convent. The Archdiocesan Instructional Television facilities are also located on the seminary property.

Pillars of Formation

  • Human Formation
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Intellectual Formation
  • Pastoral Formation

Human Formation, which is centered on Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is the necessary foundation of all priestly formation and every priest “should mold his human personality in such a way that it becomes a bridge and not an obstacle for others in their meeting with Jesus Christ the Redeemer of humanity” (Pastores Dabo Vobis, 43).

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The goal of the Spiritual Formation Program is to form future priests to be men who continually work to establish an intimate relationship with God the Father in Jesus Christ His Son through the Holy Spirit.

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The goal of the Intellectual Formation Program is, according to the Seminary’s Mission Statement, to form future priests “who are able to share in the three-fold office of Christ: teaching the Gospel, celebrating the divine mysteries and shepherding God’s people.”

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Pastoral Formation serves as the effective culmination of the entire process of priestly formation. As John Paul II noted in Pastores Dabo Vobis, “the whole formation imparted to candidates for the priesthood aims at preparing them to enter into communion with the charity of Christ the Good Shepherd. Hence, their formation in its different aspects must have a fundamentally pastoral character” (Pastores Dabo Vobis, 57).

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Contact Us

St. Joseph's Seminary
St. Joseph's Seminary
201 Seminary Ave.
Yonkers, NY 10704
P: (914) 968-6200
F: (914) 376-2019
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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