In September 1952, the Diocese of Cleveland purchased the fifty-six acre campus of Marycrest School in suburban Wickliffe with the intention of using the property for a preparatory seminary. On July 16, 1953, Fr. John F. Whealon was appointed rector of the new seminary which was named after St. Charles Borromeo. Borromeo Seminary High School opened in September 1953. In the fall of 1954, the college program was begun with the addition of the first year of college; a year later, the full college program was in operation.
The enrollment at Borromeo reached its peak in 1962 when 500 students were enrolled in the two divisions - 220 in the college and 280 in the high school. Following this peak, the enrollment gradually declined. The decision to close Borromeo High School came in the spring, 1976.
Borromeo College Seminary served as an independent liberal arts college for men for the Diocese of Cleveland as well as other parts of the country, granting a Bachelor of Arts Degree. From it’s inception in 1954 through the early 1990’s the college hosted a number of young men interested in discerning a call to the priesthood while attaining their college degree.
Beginning in 1991, college students now enter the Borromeo Seminary Formation Program, taking classes at John Carroll University. A number of philosophy and religious courses are taught at the Center for Pastoral Leadership.