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Christ the King Seminary began as an integral part of St. Bonaventure College, which was founded in 1857 at Allegany, New York. For more than 100 years, the College, under the direction of the Order of Friars Minor, was engaged in the formation of diocesan clergy.
In 1950, St. Bonaventure was elevated to the status of University, and the Seminary became its School of Theology. In 1951, new self-contained quarters for the Seminary were opened on the upper campus of the University. The Seminary was incorporated separately from the University in 1974.
In 1974 the trustees of St. John Vianney Seminary, East Aurora, invited Christ the King Seminary to relocate to its spacious 132-acre campus, 20 miles southeast of Buffalo. The trustees of Christ the King Seminary accepted the offer, and the move was made in September 1974. In June 1990, the Diocese of Buffalo assumed corporate sponsorship of the Seminary.