Skip to Content
theology diaconal formation

Center for Diaconal Formation

Created 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.

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.

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

Academic Programs

The Center offers a master of arts in theology delivered in-person or online focused on the intellectual dimension which nourishes the other dimensions of formation in collaboration with the individual diocese. Our graduate-level degree prepares permanent diaconate candidates to be heralds of the Gospel and leaders as ordained ministers. 

Completion of the respective academic programs leads to a Master of Arts in Theology with a systematic concentration (12 courses; 36 credits) and includes four extra specialized diaconate-specific courses for a Certificate in Diaconal Studies.

  •  M.A. in Theology – the prescribed curriculum for all deacon candidates who are seeking ordination and are enrolled in their diocese’s class cohort. Course curriculum is delivered at the main Seton Hall campus in South Orange and at three off-campus locations: St. Paul Inside the Walls, Madison, NJ;  St. John Neuman Pastoral Center, Piscataway, NJ; and Diocese of Trenton Chancery, Lawrenceville, NJ. Learn more » 
  • Online Delivery of the M.A. in Theology – available specifically for permanent diaconate candidates outside of the Northern New Jersey area, the program is delivered in collaboration with our sending dioceses. Students must receive the approval of their bishop to participate as part of a learning cohort. Learn more » 

Watch Our Videos

On February 27, 2021, the Center for Diaconal Formation welcomed renowned Catholic author Father Jacques Philippe for his virtual presentation "Spiritual Fatherhood: A Call to All Men," designed for priests, deacons, seminarians and religious brothers.

You may also take a look at our 10th Anniversary Virtual Celebration from September 26, 2020, featuring retired NBA referee Deacon Steve Javie (below, left), as well as our general video explaining the Center's mission and impact (below, right).

Key Leaders and Faculty

Meet the Key Leaders of the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology as well as the Center's Staff. You will also have an opportunity to view the profiles of the faculty who teach the courses for diaconal formation. 

 Learn more »

Diaconate Resources

The Center maintains a list of reference resources on the diaconate including books, graduate-level programs, church documents and websites. 

View resources »