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Who We Are
Christ the King Seminary is a fully-accredited ecumenical graduate school of theology and pastoral studies for men and women seeking to minister in either a lay, or ordained capacity. The seminary’s main mission is to educate sponsored candidates for ordained priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church, but it also serves individuals preparing for the Permanent Diaconate, and students pursuing a graduate theological education, a ministerial education program, or a program of continuing education.
Lay people from varied faith traditions study alongside those pursuing ordained religious ministry. CKS students are teachers, engineers, accountants, nurses, retirees, and people from all walks of life seeking to deepen their faith and minister to others.
Degree and certificate programs include:
- Masters degrees in Theology, Pastoral Ministry and Divinity
- Certificate programs for personal enrichment or continuing education
- Preparation for Roman Catholic priesthood and Permanent Diaconate
All faculty members have advanced degrees in their respective fields of theology. The faculty includes lay professors, diocesan clergy, and members of religious orders.
Christ the King Seminary is chartered by the Education Department of the State University of New York, and accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, and by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. The seminary’s Program of Priestly Formation is governed by ecclesiastical principles and guidelines determined by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools
in the United States and Canada
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275 USA
Telephone: 412-788-6505, Fax: 412-788-6510, www.ats.edu
Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Founded in 1857, today Christ the King Seminary is sponsored by the Diocese of Buffalo and served by a faculty of diocesan and religious clergy, women religious and laity. The seminary is governed by a Board of Trustees, whose chairperson is the Bishop of Buffalo and whose members span a range of persons with expertise in education, business, philanthropy, and church service.
Our campus consists of fifteen buildings including residence halls, a chapel, library, dining complex, classroom building, auditorium, campus center, and gymnasium. Set in an area of rolling hills, meadows, and scenic views, the seminary features landscaped and natural, wooded spaces, and two spring-fed lakes.
Christ the King Seminary was founded in 1857 as St. Bonaventure School and Seminary (later St. Bonaventure University) in Olean by the Franciscan Fathers of the Order of Friars Minor at the invitation of the Rt. Rev. John Timon, D.D., C.M., the first Bishop of Buffalo. As St. Bonaventure grew into a university, its seminary became a separate school of theology and the name Christ the King Seminary was adopted.
Eventually, seminarian enrollment at Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure overflowed and the Diocese of Buffalo acted to create a seminary to more closely serve the needs of the diocese. In 1959, under the auspices of the Most Reverend Joseph A. Burke, D.D., then bishop of Buffalo, St. John Vianney Seminary (named after the patron saint of priests) was constructed on parts of the estate of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Reuter who generously donated the land to the Diocese of Buffalo for the expressed purpose of constructing a diocesan seminary.
In September of 1974, Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure University in Olean merged with St. John Vianney Seminary in East Aurora. The merger relocated the Franciscan-administered seminary in Olean to East Aurora, changing both the sponsorship of St. John Vianney Seminary and its name to Christ the King. The Franciscans administered Christ the King Seminary from 1974 until June of 1990 when the Diocese of Buffalo assumed full sponsorship and administration.
Christ the King Seminary is 30 minutes from downtown Buffalo, 45 minutes from Niagara Falls, and is easily accessible from the New York State Thruway and the Route 400 expressway.
The seminary campus is situated on 132 acres of pastoral fields, small lakes, and woodlands, adjacent to the Knox Farm State Park, near the village of East Aurora, New York. East Aurora is a charming village with a distinctive character, a small town atmosphere, and specialty shops including an old-fashioned five and dime store. To learn more about East Aurora, visit www.east-aurora.ny.us.
The Seminary as a Community Resource
Christ the King Seminary welcomes rental of its facilities by both Catholic and non-Catholic church groups and nonprofit community organizations. Facilities are suitable for activities such as retreats, athletic activities, workshops, study days, and convocations.