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Institute for Christian Spirituality  

About the Institute

The Institute for Christian Spirituality was created by Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology to provide a premier center where those who serve in the Church today may obtain a solid foundation in their faith, learn effective skills in pastoral ministry and leadership and be given tools for discernment and spiritual growth – all in an atmosphere of collaboration and camaraderie. The Institute’s mission is grounded in 2 Timothy 1:6: “I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God within you.” Begun in 2005 through a grant from the Lilly Endowment, the Institute accomplishes this goal through various programs, including the Center for Diaconal Formation, the Catholic Center for Family Spirituality, the Prayerfully Speaking Initiative, the Workplace Spirituality Program, and Seminary’s Theological Education for Parish Services (STEPS). Learn more »

The Institute's Programs

The Institute for Christian Spirituality seeks to "stir into flame" excellent ministry by making a series of vital connections that will call, train and sustain pastoral leaders. Drawing upon a network of seminary, parish and diocesan resources, the Institute will provide systematic formation to those already in ministry and those considering it, particularly young adults. This is accomplished through four distinct but mutually supportive "Making Connections" Initiatives.

Key Leaders and Faculty

The Institute for Christian Spirituality is co-directed by Dianne Traflet and Reverend Monsignor Joseph Chapel, supported by a strong and experienced leadership and faculty team.
View full-time department faculty »

Part of a Rich Tradition

For more than 150 years, Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology has been educating students for various ministries in the Church. In 2010, the Center became an integral part of that rich history. Providing Christ-centered academic programs, the Center prepares its students to be heralds of the Gospel and servants and leaders of the New Evangelization.

Focus on Excellence

Our unique and innovative Center is positioned to address the intellectual norms set forth in the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, preparing men for leadership roles as ordained ministers in their local parishes, diocesan institutions and the universal church. Students acquire the knowledge and skills to carry out the deacon's ministry of word, liturgy and charity.

Extraordinary Faculty

Our highly respected faculty is one of the largest among U.S. theology schools, and is recognized nationally and internationally for its outstanding scholarship. Sharing their love of their faith, our professors provide students with the academic and pastoral skills necessary to carry out their ministry of service to Christ's Church and the people of God.

Broad Array of Programs

In addition to graduate-level academic programs, we collaborate with Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology and the Institute for Christian Spirituality to offer workshops, lectures and presentations for diaconal candidates, deacons and their wives that focus on Christian spirituality, new evangelization and parish services.


For more information, please contact:
Deacon Andrew E. Saunders, M.A.
Director, Center for Diaconal Formation
400 South Orange Avenue
South Orange, New Jersey 07079
Phone: 973-313-6335
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