Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology (ICSST) was proud to be reaccredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), and ICSST will now be fully accredited for the next ten years. In preparation for the reaccreditation visit and in our continual efforts to meet our students’ needs with unmatched opportunities for educational and spiritual development, ICSST, in recent years, has conducted intensive self-study, researched areas in which we could strengthen our performance, and made changes in order to optimize student outcomes. We are delighted to have the distinction of being the only Catholic ATS-accredited graduate school in the state of New Jersey, and we take seriously the opportunities and responsibilities that this status affords us.
During the past several years, we have been working hard and effectively to raise our academic profile. In just the past several years we have:
- Welcomed half a dozen new faculty members
- Successfully introduced a popular bachelor’s degree program in Catholic theology
- Established core courses in all of our theological specialties
- Concluded a curriculum review of all of our M.A. programs
- Instituted our Center for Diaconal Formation
- Developed a new Certificate in Catholic Evangelization
- Expanded our English as a Second Language programs for international students
- Received major grants from the Wabash Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion and the Lilly Endowment and
- Hosted Visiting Scholars after a hiatus of a number of years
Beginning with the Fall 2015 semester, ICSST will begin a new initiative that will enhance the learning environment for our students: we will increase the instructional time for our graduate courses. Having concluded a study of instructional time at all Catholic theologates in the United States and explored our possibilities over the past two years with our faculty, vocation directors, religious directors of studies, a number of alumni and current students, our own Board of Trustees and the Association of Theological Schools, we will increase our graduate course instructional time for 3-credit courses from two hours to two and a half hours per week.
Monsignor Joseph R. Reilly, S.T.L., Ph.D., Rector/Dean, explains: “This increase in instructional time will enable our professors to explore in ever greater depth the richness of Scripture and Tradition in their classes and will enable our students to be more profoundly prepared for ministry and research in the service of Christ and His Church. I am grateful to our graduate professors who will be undertaking these heavier responsibilities, and to the administration of Seton Hall University, which has assisted us in every way possible in this development. Most of all, I am grateful to all of the members of the ICSST family for your generous response to the Lord’s invitation to know Him more profoundly through your studies here.”