Hans Urs von Balthasar wrote, “The demand for scientific method is not sacrificed when theological research is carried on in a religious spirit of listening to the Word of God, when it is alive with the life of the Church and shares in the strength of her Magisterium. Spirituality does not attenuate the work of scholarship, but rather supplies theological study with the correct method so that it can arrive at a coherent interpretation.”
In 2006 Pope Benedict XVI addressed theologians honoring the life and work of Hans Urs von Balthasar. There he said, “Theology can develop only with prayer that recollects the presence of God and relies upon him in obedience. This is a road that is worth traveling to the very end.”
Furthermore, the Program for Priestly Formation, 5th edition, begins its introduction on intellectual formation by stating, “There is a reciprocal relationship between spiritual and intellectual formation. The intellectual life nourishes the spiritual life, but the spiritual also opens vistas of understanding” (no. 136).
In response, the wisdom of the Holy Father and the call from the Program for Priestly Formation, the Institute for Priestly Formation is pleased to host an annual Seminar for Seminary Faculty. This seminar is an annual event that convenes on the campus of Creighton University in Omaha. The goal of the seminar is to gather invited seminary theologians from around the country to share ideas on how to make Catholic spirituality a more vital contributor to seminary academics (Program of Priestly Formation, no. 115).
After the conclusion of each Seminar a book of the proceedings are published for wider dissemination in the seminary community.
The Seminar for Seminary Faculty has been a profound blessing. Dr. John Gresham, Academic Dean at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in Saint Louis shared, “The seminar was a blessed opportunity to deepen my work in integrating spirituality and theology. The conversation and prayer with other faculty was priceless. This seminar gets to the very heart of our task as seminary theologians.”