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The mission of the Diocese of Arlington Seminarian Education Endowment Fund (SEEF) is to receive and safeguard charitable gifts in support of priestly education for the seminarians of the Diocese of Arlington.  


The vision of the Endowment is to encourage and foster giving in support of seminarian education by providing a charitable vehicle whose assets are safely, securely and professionally invested with a Catholic conscience. Growth of this endowment will help to provide funding for the educational development of men who have answered the call to serve the people of God through their priestly service.

Support the Seminarian Education Endowment Fund

Support SEEF


 Checks can be made out to Foundation for CDA with Seminarian Education Endowment or SEEF written on the memo line.

Mailing Address:
Foundation for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington
200 N. Glebe Road Suite 811 
Arlington, VA 22203

About the Seminarian Education Endowment Fund

A growing fund, supporting the education of seminarians

The Seminarian Education Endowment Fund (SEEF) was created by donors, Bob and Laura Coleman, to provide financial support for the education and development of men who have answered the call to serve the people of God through their priestly service. The diocese currently has 50 men studying to become priests at four seminaries in the United States and Europe. 

Every year our diocese invests an average of $45,000 to educate each of our seminarians.

Through the generosity of the faithful the Seminarian Education Endowment Fund exceeded $3 million as of July 2022. 

“Bob and I are honored to fund priestly education in our diocese through our continued commitment to the Seminarian Education Endowment Fund (SEEF), and we are humbled by and grateful for the generosity of the lay faithful who already support the endowment with their prayers and financial contributions. We ask everyone in the diocese to join us in "Answering the Call" by spreading the word about this important fund to friends, family and fellow parishioners, by praying for the fund's success, and by donating what you can to help us reach our goal of fully funding all priestly education in the Diocese of Arlington through SEEF!” said Laura Coleman.


For more information, please download our Seminarian Education Endowment Fund flyer

Seminarian Education Endowment Fund FAQ

Fund the formation of our future priests!

“The goal of priestly formation is to form missionary disciples so that they are ready for consecration as shepherds for God's people, sharing in the authority of Christ the Redeemer, who sent the Apostles to preach and heal. The Church continues to place the highest value on the work of priestly formation, because it is linked to the very mission of the Church, especially the evangelization of humanity: Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19).”

(Program of Priestly Formation, 6th edition, Introduction)

What is SEEF? The Seminarian Education Endowment Fund (SEEF) is a permanent fund established to ensure continual resources for the education and formation of seminarians to serve as future priests of the Diocese of Arlington. It can be compared to a college fund that parents might start to save for their children's college education, planning on the value compounding with interest over time.

Why should I give to SEEF? To ensure the diocese has the financial means to educate our future priests, thus securing that the faithful of the diocese will receive the sacraments for years to come.

What costs does SEEF cover? SEEF helps cover the expenses of forming and educating a seminarian: tuition, room and board, fees, books, summer programs, travel expenses, and medical coverage. This adds up to roughly $45,000 per year, multiplied by 6-8 years of formation, times 48 seminarians (2022-23), which is a lot of money!

Aren't these expenses covered by the BLA? Why do we need SEEF?  The Bishop's Lenten Appeal currently provides much of the funding for seminary formation. Looking ahead, as the number ofseminarians continues to grow, SEEF is a means of ensuring these expenses can be covered into the future. As an endowment fund, SEEF monies are invested and 4% is annually distributed to pay for seminarian education while the rest of the fund continues to grow in value.

Will my donation to SEEF really help? Yes, both one-time gifts and affordable weekly or monthly donations pack a powerful punch over time. Regardless of the gift amount, every single dollar contributed increases the principle. With steady growth over time, each additional million dollars accumulated will pay for one seminarian each year FOREVER. We are all in this together so please encourage family, friends, and fellow parishioners to donate.

How much money is provided each year by SEEF for seminarian education? The fund provided $75,000 in 2022 and $62,000 in 2021. Again, the principal is not touched but continues to increase year over year.

How long do our priests normally serve the diocese once they are ordained?  Recently, the average age of a priest at ordination has been 35, and the majority serve our parishes until the retirement age of 75. The total education costs over 40 years of priestly service provide phenomenal spiritual benefits.

In addition to my donation, how can I help? Everyone can help by praying for our seminarians and the ongoing success of the Fund. Please also consider:
-Sharing SEEF ads and updates published in the Arlington Catholic Herald with family, friends, and fellow parishioners.
-Encouraging support of the fund at your parish through bulletin ads and SEEF promotional materials.
-Spreading the word about SEEF to everyone!

What is involved in the formation of a priest? Men who sense a calling from the Lord to be a priest are asked to dedicate themselves completely not only to academic study of philosophy and theology, but to the work of being transformed into another Christ, alter Christus. There are four areas of this formation. (Excerpt from Program of Priestly Formation, 6th edition)

Spiritual: The seminarian is called “to live in intimate and unceasing union with God the Father through his Son Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit.” This is the foundational call to discipleship and conversion of heart. Those who aspire to be sent on a mission, as the Apostles were, must first acquire the listening and learning heart of disciples.

Human: The human personality of the priest is to be a bridge and not an obstacle for others in their meeting with Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the human race. The humanity of the priest is instrumental in mediating the redemptive gifts of Christ to people today.

Intellectual: In the seminary program, intellectual formation culminates in a deepened understanding of the mysteries of faith that is pastorally oriented toward effective priestly ministry, especially preaching. Arlington seminarians follow the prescribed course of study at their respective seminaries, culminating in an S.T.B. (bachelors' degree in Sacred Theology) or an M.A. in Theology. Some manage to also achieve a master's degree in Philosophy during their time in seminary.

Pastoral: Pastoral formation is the culmination of the entire formation process: “The whole formation imparted to candidates for the priesthood aims at preparing them to enter communion with the charity of Christ the Good Shepherd. True shepherds must have a 
desire to understand the hearts of others and engage in attentive accompaniment.”
In order to devote themselves to their full-time studies and pastoral assignments, seminarians are asked not to have outside jobs. For this reason, the diocese relies on donors to cover their expenses.

If you'd like more information or to set up an appointment to learn more, contact 
John French, Foundation Liaison
Phone: 703-841-3819
The Foundation for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington

Why I support SEEF

"I knew I wanted to support the formation of priests after a seminarian came to my parish to talk about SEEF."
-Parishioner, St. Leo the Great Catholic Church