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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

Aflame with the Eucharist: "We Cannot But Speak…."

On Saturday, October 1 at 10:30 a.m., the Center for Diaconal Formation will welcome acclaimed author, Deacon James Keating, Ph.D., for a special presentation at St. Mary’s Abbey Church in Morristown, New Jersey.

Drawing from Acts 4:20, "...we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard," this free presentation will consider how the Eucharist, the Sacrament of Love, ignites evangelization within the "the nooks and crannies of secular culture." 

Registration is required to attend by Monday, September 26. Save your seat today!

Register Now

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).

Academic Programs

The academic program offered through the Center for Diaconal Formation is the prescribed curriculum for all deacon candidates who are seeking ordination and are enrolled in their diocese’s class cohort. The program is consistent with the intellectual norms established in the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States. Completion of the academic program 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. Course curriculum is delivered at the main 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.

View the curriculum »

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. 

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Diaconate Resources

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

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