Benedictine Institute of Sacred Theology

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The Benedictine Institute of Sacred Theology (BIST) at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University offered the first graduate degrees for women from a Catholic seminary.   It was formed in 1957 at the request of Benedictine prioresses, so that Sisters assigned the formation of new monastery members had a thorough preparation in theological education.   Father Paschal Botz, O.S.B. and Sister Mary Anthony Wagner, O.S.B. were the founding director and assistant director, respectively.    The Institute was located at CSB and SJU in large part because of the quality of the Saint John's library collections. 60 students joined the first class in 1958.  

The directors sought accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, which was granted in 1964.   After accreditation, the BIST opened enrollment to students other than Benedictine Sisters, including seminarians, members of other religious orders, and lay people.  BIST evolved along with other graduate theological programs to become what is now the Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary.   


Read more:

Raverty, Aaron, OSB. "Saint John's School of Theology-Seminary," Abbey Banner, Fall 2014, p. 13.

Benedictine Institute of Sacred Theology