The board of regents of Conception Seminary College met for its annual fall meeting on October 14 and 15. Focus centered again on developing the strategic plan that will guide the seminary into the future.

Regent Jan Lewis, Overland Park, KS, has been leading the institution in this process. In a breakout activity, Lewis challenged the board to focus on the four pillars of priestly formation and to pinpoint observable growth points for which the institution can assess a seminarian’s progress in formation.

“Conception Seminary College is not just providing academic formation. We focus on forming the person as a whole in character, pastoral and spiritual ways as well as academic,” Fr. Brendan Moss, president-rector of Conception Seminary, said.

A fruit of this work led the board to approve a new purpose and mission statement that encapsulates seminary formation at Conception Seminary. The unanimously approved statement reads: “Conception Seminary College provides a unique setting for men discerning the call to Holy Orders to pursue their liberal arts education. Following the model of Jesus Christ, formation and conversion of heart are nurtured in the intimacy of community and deepened by the discipline of prayer in the Benedictine tradition.”

“What has come out of this new statement is that Conception Seminary College is now able to articulate what makes them unique and sets them apart from other institutions with similar objectives,” Lewis said. “With this new understanding comes the opportunity to be much more intentional and focused about their work.”

The board also approved a four percent increase in tuition, bringing the 2017-2018 total cost of tuition and lodging to $34,335. The remaining actual cost of attendance per seminarian will continue to be a focus of fundraising efforts by the Conception Abbey and Seminary Development Office to ensure an affordable and quality seminary education for Conception Seminary College seminarians.

In the discussion on approving the budget framework, Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha said, “there is an incalculable value in the formation and education provided by the monks of Conception Abbey.” This work of the monks of Conception Abbey allows Conception Seminary to provide a unique and economical education for men discerning a priestly vocation.

In other proceedings, Peter Hutchison, executive vice president and general counsel of Landmark Legal Foundation, Kansas City, was inducted into the board. He will serve a three-year term.

The Regents will gather again on March 17-18, 2017, when they will review a draft of the new strategic plan for Conception Seminary College.