Group of priests lined up against church wall posing for photo

23rd Annual Acculturation Seminar for International Priests

June 2024

The 23rd Annual Acculturation Seminar for International Priests is a virtual seminar created and hosted by St. John’s University. The University directs this program to international priests who minister in the US. These men profit spiritually and ministerially as they study with their peers and reflect on ministry and culture in the US.

Program Goals

  1. Church Development in the United States: Gain an overview of the development of the Catholic Church in the pluralistic, religiously diverse United States and discuss models of Church and roles of priests within that context.
  2. Sociological Issues: Engage in discussions on culture, gender, race, family, multiculturalism, cultural bridges, and the acculturation process itself to discern differences between one’s native culture and US culture(s).
  3. Counseling and Self-Care: Reflect on the issues of stress, creativity, self-knowledge, and personal growth, which the acculturation process engenders.
  4. Priest as Leader, Team Member, and Collaborator: Grow in appreciation of the need in organizations for servant leadership and effective management skills.
  5. Church Structure and Collaboration: Study overall church structure in the United States and the roles of clergy and laity within the parish and diocesan organizations.
  6. Interpersonal Communications: Recognize the complexity and centrality of communication to ministry and engage in practice sessions that focus on cultural differences. 
  7. Pastoral Communications: Reflect on attitudes and skills that enhance pastoral communication, with special emphasis on reading and preaching.
  8. Time Management: Learn time management skills that contribute to a healthy and productive work ethic and lifestyle.
  9. Immigration and Legal Issues: Discuss legal issues, immigration, and pastoral concerns.
  10. Understanding Boundaries: Recognize healthy distance and content in relationships.


Program Coordinator:
Rev. Patrick J. Griffin, C.M.
Executive Director, Vincentian Center for Church and Society
St. John’s University
Contact: [email protected]

Faculty: Courses are led by St. John‘s University faculty (specializing in business, law, theology, psychology, speech, and anthropology), staff of the Vincentian Center, diocesan administrators, foreign-born resident priests, as well as experienced pastors.


To be eligible for admission to the program, a priest must:

  • Be a US resident for at least six months and less than five years.
  • Demonstrate conversational proficiency in English.
  • Be recommended by officials of the diocese or the leadership of his religious community. A letter of recommendation must be forwarded directly to the Vincentian Center for Church and Society ([email protected]) from the diocesan personnel office or major superior in the United States. 

2024 Program Dates, Tuition, and Registration

Program Dates

The seminar will be presented via Zoom this year. There will be two days of classes a week for three weeks. The dates are as follows: June 10, 13, 17, 20, 24, and 27.

Program Schedule

The most recent seminar schedule is available to download (PDF).

Registration Deadline

Registration will close on May 17 at 5 p.m.


$200 per person payable by credit card online

Application Materials

Frequently Asked Questions

For answers to frequently asked questions, please view the 2024 FAQ Sheet (Word). 

Contact Us 

Email (preferred): [email protected]                  
Phone: 718-990-1612

About St. John’s University: Established in Brooklyn by the Vincentian community in 1870, St. John’s has campuses in Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan in New York City, and in Rome, Italy; and three locations in Hauppauge, NY; Limerick, Ireland; and Paris, France. In addition to its undergraduate liberal arts college, the University has schools of law, pharmacy, business, professional studies, and education, as well as a wide range of continuing education programs. The student body numbers more than 20,000 and reflects the broad diversity of cultures that characterize metropolitan New York.

The Vincentian Center for Church and Society was established at St. John’s in 1994 as a means of relating this Catholic and Vincentian University to the greater civil and ecclesial communities. The center sponsors a range of programs for Church personnel and conducts Vincentian research on poverty and social justice. Find us at