Intellectual Formation

View More:

Borromeo Seminary offers its students a classical integrated arts curriculum that prepares them for graduate study in theology. At John Carroll’s main campus, students pursue the study of the arts, sciences, and humanities in accordance with the core curriculum. At Borromeo’s campus, students take an integrated sequence in philosophy and theology. Through these studies, the Borromeo student seeks human and divine wisdom. As Pope John Paul II wrote, “Intellectual formation … is a fundamental demand of man’s intelligence by which he ‘participates in the light of God’s mind’ and seeks to acquire a wisdom which in turn opens to and is directed towards knowing and adhering to God.”

The philosophy curriculum encourages genuine thinking by integrating students into the Western and Catholic traditions of philosophy. The course of study is good in itself, because it enlarges and expands the intellectual horizons of the students, and it is good in preparation for theology, because it equips students with categories and distinctions essential for the thoughtful study of the Catholic faith.


The curriculum consists of ten integrated courses or thirty hours of study, and they are ideally taken in sequence. Four are historical courses covering ancient, medieval (including a unit on Logic), modern, and contemporary philosophy. Six are systematic courses dedicated to important areas of philosophical inquiry: philosophy of nature, philosophy of the human person, ethics, philosophy of knowledge, metaphysics, and philosophy of God.

The religious studies curriculum affords the student the opportunity to explore the Roman Catholic Tradition at a deeper level. The curriculum, following the guidelines of the Program for Priestly Formation, provides the student with an extensive foundation of knowledge that will prepare them for the study of theology at the graduate level.