St. Mary's Seminary & University

The Seminary

St. Mary's is the first Roman Catholic seminary in the United States. We were established by the priests of the Society of Saint Sulpice in 1791, at the behest of Bishop John Carroll, the first U.S. bishop of the first diocese in the new nation: Baltimore. Our alumni have included bishops and priests throughout the United States, including Blessed Fr. Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus (class of 1877). The Sulpician fathers continue to run the seminary. We form the kind of priests the people of God truly deserve.

About the Seminary

In these pages, you will learn about the seminary at St. Mary’s Seminary & University. After being welcomed by our President-Rector, Rev. Phillip J. Brown, P.S.S., you will find information about our Sulpician Tradition, the faculty, the administration and staff, the Board of Trustees, and the community life of the seminarians in formation.

Key information about the seminary

Becoming a Priest

The process of becoming a priest is established by the Vatican in the document, Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis (The Gift of the Priestly Vocation). This document has been adapted for use in the United States as the Program of Priestly Formation in the United States of America (sixth edition).

Learn more about this journey.


Intellectual formation is one of the four dimensions of priestly formation. Each seminarian must achieve a Master of Divinity degree before ordination, though some also pursue additional degrees.

Academics in the Seminary

Seminary Events

For Current Students

Current students (seminarians) can access information required for their ongoing classes here.

Get Information for Current Students

For Alumni

Alumni have access to “Class Notes” published twice a year, as well as the Annual Alumni Day celebration each October. Please keep your information current using the update form in the alumni pages.

Go to the Alumni pages.

Dioceses, Bishops, and Vocation Directors

The seminary currently serves 13 dioceses in the United States and Canada as well as the Diocese of Zhao Xian in the Peoples Republic of China. Several religious orders have also sent seminarians as well. Bishops and Vocation Directors may also request a special information packet about St. Mary’s.

See what dioceses we serve and find resources for bishops and vocation directors.

Support Us

St. Mary’s Seminary & University has been blessed by the generosity of many benefactors. Every gift, no matter its size, is welcomed. Each gift builds a stronger foundation as we prepare the kind of priests the people of God truly deserve.