Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 24 July |
Saint of the Day: St. Sharbel Makhluf
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Number of Seminarians and Deacons Increasing, Study Finds

Jeffrey Bruno

Matthew Archbold - published on 10/01/13

Following decades of downward trends, the number of men currently enrolled in graduate seminaries is the highest it has been in two decades.

Following decades of downward trends, the number of men currently enrolled in graduate seminaries is the highest it has been in two decades, according to Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).

This year’s reported numbers of 3,694 graduate theology students is a sign of hope for the Church which had been in a state of continued decline. Since 1985, enrollment numbers had gone down from 4,063 in 1985, to 3,172 in 1995, to 3,474 in 2000, and just 3,308 in 2005. But the number is still fewer than half the 8,325 seminarians in 1965.

St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Florida has seen enrollment rise from 61 students in 2010 to 85 this year, according to the Sun-Sentinel newspaper. Fr. David Toups, the seminary’s rector, told the newspaper that the seminary may be forced to expand if this trend continues. "We can always use more priests,” he reportedly said. “There will never be a shortage of work."

Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis saw 125 seminarians in the pre-theology and theology programs. That’s reportedly the highest enrollment the seminary has seen in the past 15 years. Jesuit Father John Horn, the president-rector, told The St. Louis Review, “People are happy that the numbers have increased. How can you not be happy?"

Annual ordinations have also rebounded a bit with 511 a year, versus the 442 and 454 reported in 2000 and 2005 respectively. CARA also reported that the number of permanent deacons is rising every year. In 1985, there were just 7,204, but now there are 17,325 permanent deacons.

Meanwhile, the Church has continued to grow in the U.S. Since 1965, the number of Catholics, according to the Official Catholic Directory, has grown from 45.6 million to 66.8 million this year.

Originally published by The Cardinal Newman Society's Catholic Education Daily on 30 September 2013.

Tags:
Vocations
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
nightbirde
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
2
HEADACHE
Kathleen N. Hattrup
2 Bible verses when you’re weary down to the soul
3
FRAY JUNIPERO SERRA
John Burger
Alumni sue after this Catholic saint’s name was removed fro...
4
ŁACINA
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
5
WEB2-Benjamin_West_-_Joshua_passing_the_River_Jordan_with_the_Ark_of_the_Covenant_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
6
LEONINE PRAYERS
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
5 Questions (and answers) about Pope Francis’ changes to La...
7
MACHAERUS
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.