SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary 1885
SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary was founded in 1885 in Detroit, Michigan,
to prepare candidates for the Roman Catholic priesthood primarily to serve Polish American immigrant communities. Approval for founding such a seminary was granted on January 14, 1879, by Pope Leo XIII upon the petition of Father Leopold Moczygemba, O.F.M. Conv., founder of the Polish settlement in Panna Maria, Texas, in 1854. The establishment of the Seminary was realized by Father Joseph Dabrowski, the first rector, who obtained approval from Bishop Caspar Borgess of Detroit for constructing a building on St. Aubin Avenue between Forest Avenue and
Garfield Street and organizing the Seminary program. Increasing enrollment and
the need for additional space led the second rector, Father Witold Buhaczkowski, to transfer the seminary in 1909 from Detroit to the site of the former Michigan Military Academy in the rural village of
Orchard Lake, northwest of Detroit.
The original academic program of the Seminary consisted of ten years of
studies: five in the preparatory classical department and five in the upper
division, namely, two in philosophy and three in theology. In 1927 three
four-year administratively independent schools were established: SS. Cyril &
Methodius Seminary, St. Mary’s College, and St. Mary’s Preparatory, known
collectively at present as the Orchard Lake Schools.
In 1968, the Seminary began to provide a training program for permanent
deacons, field education for seminarians, and continuing education for adults.
In the ensuing years, the following degree programs were introduced: Master
of Divinity (1973) for priesthood candidates, religious, and lay women and
men; Master of Religious Education (1977), later designated as Master of Arts
in Religious Education (1989); and now called the Master of Arts in Pastoral
Ministry with a concentration in Catechetics(2002); Master of Arts in Pastoral
Ministry (1989), an upgrading of the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry, which
had been in existence since 1975. In 1971, SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary became
an associate member of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States
and Canada (ATS). In 1992 the seminary was granted
candidacy for accredited status in the association
and undertook a two-year self-study as part of
the process leading toward accreditation.
SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary was granted initial
accreditation by ATS in January 1995. It was
reaffirmed for five year terms in 2000 and 2005.
The most recent accreditation visit was in 2010. SS. Cyril and Methodius
From this visit, the Seminary received a full ten year accreditation .