Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology

In response to the increasing number of seminarians who enter Immaculate Conception Seminary from countries in which English is not their first language, the Seminary instituted an English as a Second Language (ESL) program in 2008. The program is currently headed by Chandler S. Cohen, Coordinator of ESL Services, effective July 2014. Her primary responsibility is to assist seminarians in upgrading their English skills so that they can benefit more fully from the academic Theology courses offered by the Seminary. Ms. Cohen accomplishes this goal by planning, organizing and implementing the ESL program; coordinating with the University-wide Seton Hall University ESL program; serving as a liaison to archdiocesan, diocesan and University officials; implementing the Seminary's English tutorial program; participating in the University's Academic Resource Program's Consortium; and assessing the students and the Seminary's ESL program.

In the past six years, almost 60 percent of the Seminary population has participated to some degree in the ESL program. The dedication of the ESL program's many volunteer tutors, as well as staff member, Sister Geraldine Romano, M.P.F., who has served on the Seminary staff as ESL Tutor since 2006, has been a major reason for the program's success. Seminarians for whom English is not their first language require assistance, encouragement, and reinforcement as they learn skills associated with reading comprehension, critical listening, academic writing, speaking and liturgical proclamation. The Seminary provides this assistance by assigning students to level-appropriate University ESL classes and by assigning each international seminarian to a personal tutor for at least one hour intensive instruction per week. In addition, the seminarians are encouraged to benefit from programs offered on campus, particularly the Language Resource Center, where they regularly practice their English skills through the use of interactive online programs. The Writing Center also assists students with organizing papers and editing. Gradual mastery of English language skills enables students to perform at a higher level, thereby facilitating the learning process in each individual class in which they are enrolled. Improvement in students' ability to comprehend, to speak and to write English contributes to the academic quality of the Seminary, which thereby strengthens the intellectual climate of the University as a whole.

Volunteer Tutors

John Clark
Before beginning his volunteer work at the Seminary in March 2010, John was an Information Technology executive with Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals for 36 years.  As an avocation, he served as a certified Dale Carnegie Course Instructor for 27 years.  John has found tutoring interesting and rewarding.  He delights in the supportive, positive atmosphere at the Seminary and in the many “God bless you's” he hears so often.  John is happily married to his wife, Alison, and is the proud father of six children and grandfather of 15 grandchildren.  
Daniel J. Duane, M.B.A., Ph.D.
A Chartered Financial Analyst, Dan worked for almost 30 years on Wall Street as a global equity securities analyst and portfolio manager before joining the ESL tutoring team in 2008.  Dan is an alumnus of Boston College, and he holds an M.B.A. from NYU and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Yale University.  He also studied at the Eberhard Karls Universität, Tübingen, Germany.  Dan and his wife, Deborah, also an ESL volunteer, have three children.  Dan delights in the seminarians' motivation to learn English and in listening to their stories about their diverse and intriguing backgrounds.
Deborah Lerner Duane
Since 1990, Deborah has served as President of Lerner Duane Communication, Inc., a Public Relations consulting firm representing business and nonprofit clients.  A candidate for a Master of Arts degree in Jewish-Christian Studies from Seton Hall University, Deborah has served on the Executive Committee of the Sister Rose Thering Endowment for Jewish-Christian Studies since 2008 and on the Maplewood/South Orange Interfaith Holocaust Remembrance Committee since 1998.  In 2008, she began volunteer ESL tutoring at the Seminary.  Deborah is happy to facilitate the seminarians' transition to life in America by assisting them as they gain fluency in English.  Her tutoring hours at ICS are among her favorite hours each week.
Douglas J. Harper, J.D.
An alumnus of Ursinus College and Rutgers University School of Law, Doug worked for many years as a deputy attorney general for the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety.  He currently serves as Pastoral Council President for the Good Shepherd Worship Community at Seton Hall University and as President of the Foundation for Judaeo-Christian Studies.  Doug has been a volunteer ESL tutor since 2006.  He appreciates the inquisitiveness and diligence of the seminarians, and he considers it a privilege to work with these delightful men.
Marie Kelly
An ESL tutor at the Seminary since 2009, Marie has worked as an administrative assistant for the Department Chair of the Graduate School of Medical Sciences at New Jersey Medical School, the executive secretary for the Vice President of Public Relations of a major healthcare insurance organization and an instructor of adult education.  Marie considers tutoring a purposeful task, through which she hopes to help the seminarians to prepare for the challenges that they may encounter in their ministry.  She is gratified by the noticeable progress in the seminarians' English skill development.  She has found these men to be dedicated, persevering, enthusiastic, sincere, goal-driven and eagerly striving for excellence.  In addition to volunteering for the Seminary's ESL program, Marie serves as a radio reader for Electronic Information Education System (EIES) for the visually impaired, a volunteer for Summit Helping Its People (SHIP), an ESL tutor in Summit, NJ and a tutor for elementary students in the Achieve Program.
Reverend John F. Morley, Ph.D.
Father Morley, Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Religious Studies, currently is an adjunct professor in the College of Arts & Sciences, teaching such courses as World Religions and The Holocaust (his academic specialty).  In Spring 2009, he began volunteering as an ESL tutor, a service that he hopes to continue in the future.  For Father Morley, it has been an edifying experience to listen to and observe his students as they practice reading the Mass texts and performing the various liturgical gestures.  Father Morley reflects that his students' devotion to the Mass, their commitment to learning both the reading of the Mass texts and the rubrics, and their anticipation of and excitement at being ordained priests within a short time have inspired and enriched him immensely.
Kathryn Sheldon
Kathryn Sheldon is an M.A. student of Systematic Theology at ICSST.  She completed her B.A. at Seton Hall in 2008, majoring in Catholic Studies and minoring in Religious Studies and Classical Languages.  She also has completed extensive studies in International Relations and Human Rights, and has twice interned at the United Nations, experiences that have informed her Catholic faith, theology and vocation greatly. Kathryn plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Theology, as well as a J.D. with a concentration in International Human Rights Law, with the hopes of becoming a human rights attorney and professor of theology.  She has just accepted a Fulbright Grant in the Slovak Republic, where she will be teaching English and studying environmental and health policy, beginning in September 2010.  Although she decided to pursue theology, Kathryn entered Seton Hall as an English major.  Her love for both teaching and English have motivated her to volunteer with ESL programs for the past six years, and she especially appreciates working with the ICS seminarians, as she can help with theology-specific English.
To volunteer for the Seminary's ESL Program, please contact Sister B. Phyllis Kapuscinski at (973) 275-2863 or

Sign In to PirateNet