Program Director: Rev. Richard J. Gabuzda, S.T.D.

Program Office: Campion House, Suite 6

Graduate Study in Priestly Formation

The Institute for Priestly Formation was founded to assist bishops in the spiritual formation of diocesan seminarians and priests in the Roman Catholic Church. The Institute responds to the need to foster spiritual formation as the integrating and governing principle of all aspects of priestly formation. Inspired by the biblical-evangelical spirituality of Ignatius Loyola, this spiritual formation has as its goal the cultivation of a deep interior communion with Christ; from such communion the priest shares in Christ’s own pastoral charity. In carrying out its mission, the Institute directly serves diocesan seminarians and priests as well as those who are responsible for diocesan priestly formation.

Each summer the Institute, in collaboration with Creighton University, conducts a residential summer program for diocesan seminarians. Seminarians may earn nine graduate credits in the course of the program. Other programs, credit and non-credit, are offered in the summer and throughout the year.

Program Goals

  1. To demonstrate a knowledge and practical application of Ignatian discernment of spirits.
  2. To identify the connection between human development and Christian spiritual development with a particular focus on sexuality.
  3. To distinguish the unique characteristics of diocesan priestly spirituality
  4. To explain the relationship of personal and liturgical prayer.

Admission Requirements

Seminarian applicants must be part of an accredited Roman Catholic seminary formation program. Participants in IPF courses are restricted to diocesan seminarians and priests with exceptions granted by the IPF director.

Certificate in Spiritual Formation


IPF 501. Christian Prayer and Discernment. 2 credits. SU

A fundamental grounding in the Church’s spiritual tradition. An emphasis is placed on the prayerful understanding of interior spiritual movements and the practice of Ignatian discernment of spirits.

IPF 502. Human and Spiritual Foundations for Receiving Celibacy as a Generative Gift. 3 credits. SU

An integrated approach to understanding and appropriating the relationship between Christian spirituality and human sexuality. An emphasis is placed upon appreciating and living priestly celibacy as a generative gift from God. The readings, lectures, and assignments present opportunities for personal integration.

IPF 503. Prayer and Priestly Identity. 2 credits. SU

This course aims to form participants in a whole-hearted embracing of the distinctive spirituality of the diocesan priesthood as that relates to the unique identity of the diocesan priesthood, so as to help foster a more effective exercise of pastoral authority and charity in the service of the Church.

IPF 504. The Mystery of the Liturgy: Receiving in Celebration and in Life. 2 credits. SU

An exploration and experience of the ways in which the wellspring of Trinitarian life interpenetrates liturgical celebrations, personal prayer, and daily life and ministry.

IPF 505. Introduction to John Paul II's Theology of the Body. 2-3 credits. OD

This course will examine the 129 Wednesday audience addresses that comprise John Paul II's "theology of the body" with an emphasis on the importance of John Paul II's project for the new evangelization. Particular attention will be paid to themes such as creation in the imago Dei, fall and redemption, Christian ethics and ethos, freedom and person, gender and vocation.

IPF 506. Integration Seminar: Holy Spirit. 0 credits. OD

This seminar is required and is analogous to a comprehensive exam. It meets for fifteen hours in a flexible time frame that sets up a dialectic of prayer, spiritual reading, worship and personal conversation. This fosters personal integration of content from the Unit One IPF 501-504 level courses and is an instrument helping to determine readiness for Unit Two IPF 707. The seminar is facilitated by local diocesan personnel affiliated with IPF. This seminar also serves to strengthen and integrate the gifts of the Holy Spirit received in Christian baptism.

IPF 707. The Spiritual Exercises Of St. Ignatius Loyola: Theory And Practice. 2-5 credits. OD

Practical experience of the Spiritual Exercises in either the individually directed silent retreat format or the retreat in daily life format. Integration of this experience includes study and reflection on the theology, structure, and application of St. Ignatius' biblical- evangelical spirituality.

IPF 793. Directed Independent Readings. 2-5 credits. OD, SU

Directed Independent Readings. P: DC.

IPF 795. Directed Independent Study. 1-4 credits. OD, SU

To be arranged. P: DC.