Maria Assumpta Seminary [1] – high school (minor) and college seminary of the Diocese of Cabanatuan, Philippines.
The students at Sacred Heart Apostolic School praying the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, 2009
Telšiai Diocese Minor seminary in Lithuania
Countries with Minor Seminaries (blue) and have existed in the past (red)

A minor seminary or high school seminary is a secondary day or boarding school created for the specific purpose of enrolling teenage boys who have expressed interest in becoming Catholic priests. They are generally Catholic institutions, and designed to prepare boys both academically and spiritually for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. They emerged in cultures and societies where literacy was not universal, and the minor seminary was seen as a means to prepare younger boys in literacy for later entry into the major seminary.

The minor seminary is no longer very familiar in the developed world. The 1917 Code of Canon Law described the purpose of minor seminaries as: "to take care especially to protect from the contagion of the world, to train in piety, to imbue with the rudiments of literary studies, and to foster in them the seed of a divine vocation". Suitable boys were encouraged to graduate to a major seminary, where they would continue their tertiary studies for the priesthood.

The program of priestly formation of the USCCB refers to them as "high school seminaries" rather than minor seminaries.[1]

Today, college seminaries, where philosophy is studied, are often called minor seminaries even though they are for those who have completed high school.[2]

Currently Operating Minor Seminaries


East Timor







United States

The following minor seminaries operate in the USA today.




  1. ^ Program of Priestly Formation - 5th Edition
  2. ^ "St. Joseph House of Formation residences undergoing renovations". Catholic Diocese of Wichita. 2019-05-31. Retrieved 2019-08-04.
  3. ^ "St. Teresa's Minor Seminary".