Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology

“Receive the Gospel of Christ, whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach.”

Statue of MaryCreated by Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology as part of the Institute for Christian Spirituality, the Center for Diaconal Formation is designed to provide graduate-level intellectual formation for permanent diaconate candidates. We are currently responsible for the academic formation for permanent diaconate candidates in the Diocese of Metuchen, Diocese of Paterson and the Archdiocese of Newark. Graduate-level courses are offered through Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology and are taught by Seminary faculty. A student formally matriculated into our graduate-level program upon successful completion receives a Master’s Degree in Theology with aconcentration in Systematics and/or a Certificate in Diaconal Studies. Our program of study focuses on the academic norms outlined in the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States covering Sacred Scripture, Theology of God, Christian Anthropology, Christology, Ecclesiology, Worship, Liturgy, Sacraments, Moral Theology and Canon Law.

In addition to graduate-level courses, we offer workshops, lectures, and presentations for permanent diaconate candidates and their wives covering a wide variety of topics which address the spiritual, pastoral and human dimensions of diaconal formation. In collaboration with other Seminary programs we are positioned to address key areas of the National Directory including:

  • Theology and spirituality of work in the context of vocation, apostolate, and profession;
  • Speaking skills for evangelizing and effectively communicating the Gospel message in a variety of settings and venues;
  • Great spiritual literature in the Catholic tradition reflected in classic and modern spiritual writings;
  • Theology and spirituality of the family providing a useful framework for deacon candidates, as most are married with families and many will have family oriented ministries;
  • Theological reflections on topical issues related to the Gospel and magisterial teachings.

Post-Ordination Formation Programs

The Center for Diaconal Formation also provides workshops, lectures and programs that address post-ordination diaconal formation and continuing education needs. In addition, since the Center is part of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology we recommend graduate-level certificate and graduate degree programs to dioceses and individual deacons who wish to pursue post-ordination graduate studies in theology.

To learn how the Center can support your diocese, please contact Andrew Saunders at (973) 313-6335 or

Contact Us

Center for Diaconal Formation
(973) 761-9575
Lewis Hall

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