From Academic Kids

A seminary is a specialized university-like institution for the purpose of instructing students in religion, often in order to prepare them to become members of the clergy. This usually, though not always, applies to Christian education. Roman Catholic seminaries usually have their degrees conferred by a Pontifical University.

Although the primary purpose of a seminary is to prepare and equip candidates for religious service in the church, nowadays many people not intending to become involved in church leadership may study in seminaries. Qualifications may be obtained majoring in pastoral work and similar fields, as well as in the more academic disciplines. Many monks, nuns and church workers attend a seminary to enhance their qualifications. It is also quite common for lay people to study in a seminary to enhance their spiritual life, to explore academic interests, or to prepare for non-ordained ministries (for example, choir director or Sunday school teacher).

A partial list of seminaries

Youth seminaries

The word seminary also applies to a school of religious education for children that accompanies normal secular education. A prominent example of this is the seminary education system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which provides extended study of theology and religious text throughout the school week, in addition to normal Sunday classes. These types of seminaries schedule classes before or after regular school time, or negotiate agreed "release time" permits with the nearest public school districts to allow students to voluntarily leave school grounds for an allotted amount of time (usually one class period) to receive seminary education. In predominantly LDS communities, LDS seminary facilities are commonly built on Church-owned properties that immediately neighbor the grounds of state-owned public schools, allowing individual students to simply walk between school and seminary during their scheduled release time. These arrangements work to ease the integration of secular and religious study into a child's school day without inappropriately (or illegally) violating the separation of church and state in secular society.

Teacher seminaries

In many countries, especially in middle and Northern Europe, the term seminary was also used of secular, mostly state-owned schools training teachers for primary schools, and while the function of the schools is different, the terminology hasn't changed (compare the use of dean in education and dean in religion ). Teacher seminaries of the 19th century also employed strigent discipline and required impeccable behaviour. In the Nordic countries with the Lutheran state church, there was little ambiguity as the training of Lutheran priests was the duty of theology departments of the state universities.

When founded in the 19th century, teacher seminaries enrolled primary school graduates, but gradually the requirements were increased until, in the middle of the 20th century, the requirement was raised to high school diploma. At the same time, most teacher seminaries in the Nordic countries were incorporated into universities as part of their Education divisions. Some – most notably the Seminary of Jyvskyl, Finland – formed the basis of entire universities.fa:حوزه‌ی علمیه no:Seminar (kirkelig) de:Priesterseminar fr:Sminaire nl:seminarie it:seminario es:seminario


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