Institute for Priestly Formation

Program Director: Rev. Brian Welter
Program Office: Campion House, Suite 6

Graduate Study in Priestly Formation

In collaboration with Catholic seminaries and dioceses, the Institute for Priestly Formation forms seminarians, priests and bishops in holiness and accompanies them in their ongoing spiritual growth, so they can more effectively lead others to Christ.  Inspired by the biblical-evangelical spirituality of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Institute responds to the need to foster relationship with Jesus Christ as the integrating and unifying core of all aspects of priestly formation. Through this relationship, the priest shares in Christ’s own pastoral charity.

Each summer the Institute, in collaboration with Creighton University, conducts a residential summer program for diocesan seminarians. Seminarians may earn eight 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 awaken and deepen relational prayer with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, effecting a participation in Christ's own pastoral charity.
  2. To foster a seminarian's joy and delight as he is assisted to appropriate his identity as a "contemplative even in action" rooted in the call to be beloved son, chaste spouse, spiritual physician, spiritual father and good shepherd.
  3. To guide the seminarian in a radical reorientation to Christ unleashing in him an affectively mature embrace of chaste celibacy leading to his sharing Christ's own self-donation to His Bride, the Church.
  4. To form future shepherds as teachers of prayer and discernment to serve the laity in their (own) call to holiness as transformers of culture.

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.


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. Growing into Authentic Manhood with Christ the Priest. 2 credits. SU

This course fosters the integration of the human and spiritual dimensions of the seminarian’s life so that he can faithfully exercise Christ’s own pastoral charity in his future ministry. 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 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.