Things you need to know regarding the St. Borromeo Seminary and the operation of Independent Churches

 

Is the St. Charles Borromeo seminary registered?

Yes it is! The seminary is registered as a not-for-profit entity in the State of Missouri. We operate under Missouri code MO § 173.616. Sections 173.600 to 173.618. Our charter number is N001690150. Under the laws of Missouri, Section 173.616, RSMo, we are exempt from the requirements of the Proprietary School Certification Program; 

Not-for-profit religious institutions offering only religiously designated degrees and programs

So, you provide only 'theological degrees'?

Yes. The seminary cannot and will not provide any courses of a secular nature.

Are these degrees recognized?

Well, that is a great question, with a ambiguous answer. The large mainstream churches that operate as a 'business' and pay their clergy probably will not. The seminary trains specifically to be clergy in our organization. Yet, we do have an understanding document in place that describing how other Independent Churches may utilize our curriculum for their needs.

Note: See the next FAQ 'Is the seminary accredited' for more details.

Is the seminary accredited?

No. We are self accredited, as published in our Standards Document. Accreditation is a 'secular' concept. For 1912 years since the death of our Lord, clergy were trained in monasteries or by apprenticeship. It was rare for 'practicing clergy' to be trained in university, that was the purview of clergy that desired to become 'theologians'; those who wished to research, debate or translate biblical writing. Here in the U.S accreditation was totally optional until the G.I Bill was fully enacted in 1945. The only reasons for accreditations are; government loans, auditing financials, oversight of diversity, validating administrative activities and other 'business' activities. Accreditation for seminaries places them in a 'secular' environment forcing the seminaries to run as a secular business.

Our Standards Document is as complex as the Association of Theological Schools Accreditation Standards and we stand by that with pride. 

Here if the deal. if you desire to be 'employed' as clergy and be paid by an organization, you will probably need to seek an accredited degree from a university seminary. Many mainstream churches require a Masters, so the cost can range from $150, 000 to $300,000 depending on the seminary, and with 'formation' requirements of the church it may take 5-7 years without gainfull employment and incur massive debt. If you have to live on campus, that may be another $11,000 to $20,000 a year. There is a seminary in the state of Missouri that charges $1,230 a credit hour for a Masters and the PhD is over $2,500 per credit. A Bachelors may run $400 to $700 a credit hour.

How long does it take to finish a degree?

The curriculum is totally self paced. Each category of study MAY have more than one module to study and submit written respoonses to. Time must also be allowed for the essays and final thesis, and possibly 'apprenticeship' one on one training with the trainers. There is no set time limit to complete. We take this training just as seriously as any major university seminary. You may make your own estimate, count up the number of modules in the categories and estimate time for the essays and thesis. You may expect 1 module per week depending on your secular life, may more. That is a decision you must make based on your life style.

What are the tuition rates?

The St. Charles Borromeo Seminary does NOT charge tuition. We have no plan to do so any time soon. Technically, the seminary is free. Here is the caveat, there is a Donation Commitment that must be made. This donation commitment is non-refundable and is not tax deductible. The process is similar to a 'pledge' to a church. Upon completion, a certificate and letter of good standing will be presented as a 'gift'.

The donation commitment per degree offering is non-refundable, donation commitment must be made in advance of submission. This type of donation is not tax deductible.

The certificates issued by the UECC Seminary are legal documents of authority, yet are considered incidental tokens of the UECC Seminaries appreciation of your donation level and commitment in knowledge and or faith. The certificate or document simply displays your office, as you receive the factual authority of office through placement of your information within the various registries of authority in the UECC Seminary. A degree of higher learning becomes legal by granting authority within the School registry. Religious authority is the placement within the Church registry.

That is how it works. It is much like donating to a charity and receiving a stuffed animal as a gift.

For those who desire to take the curriculum, but not make the donation commitment, this is acceptable with these caveats; the certificate and letter of good standing will not be 'gifted' and depending on certain factors, these individual may be put on a short or long term waiting list and worse case may not be accepted as postulants in the seminary.

 Current donation commitment (may change without notice)

1. Bachelor of Theology - $100.00 US (Non UECC postulants $175, may change without notice)

2. Master of Theology -  $200.00 US (Non UECC postulants $275, may change without notice)

2. Doctor of Theology - $275.00 US (Non UECC postulants $375, may change without notice)

 Does the United Episcopal Catholic Communion, or most Independents, pay their clergy?

No. In the case of our organization, we do not subscribe the the secular precepts of running the church as a business. What we provide is a high level of credibility based on our verified Apostolic Succession, canons, rubrics, beliefs and ethical guidelines. Each clergy is to be 'self employed'. Each clergy member operates semi-autonomously and are bound to us only by the canons, rubrics, beliefs and ethical guidelines of the United Episcopal Catholic Communion but also by the priestly promise (sworn before God and man); to bring the word of God to the people and to obey their bishop. 

 Our organization operates in the ancient ways of the church from the time of Jesus until around 325 AD. The Apostles travelled extensively to bring the word of God to the people, but in the end they came home to their 'secular jobs' and families. Some were carpenters, fisherman and other laborers. Paul is a good example. Paul was a tentmaker who plied his work to make money to run his own ministry.

Can clergy that affiliate with the United Episcopal Catholic Communion create a church and generate finances?

Absolutely! Here is how it works. The clergy may create the church of their choice and operate it semi-autonomously on the day to day activities. They may collect tithes, but land and build, purchase a pre existing building or maybe something as simple as peoples homes or rentals. But let us be clear, NO MONIES flow upwards or downwards within the church.

The clergy has three options, and it their RESPONSIBILTY to research and understand the legal precepts of operations: The can simply have a First Amendment Church where they take 100% responsibility (as if they owned a simple private business) for operation, form a 508c1a church which may be allowed in their state (the church is registered with the state but NOT the federal government, the law allows this) or they may file for a full not-for-profit 508c1a which is registered at both the state and federal level.

There is a caveat, the 508c1a 'state' church has a limitation. For example; You desire to be exempt from property taxes if you have a physical church, unless you file as a 501c3 your state may not allow this. Another example, you may wish to ask for donations through Facebook Pay as a not-for-profit. Facebook REQUIRES the not-for-profit to be a 501c3.

So, clergy are not 'employees' of the United Episcopal Catholic Common, is that correct?

Correct. We have no legal, moral or ethical responsibility for the operations of your church. We are VERY responsible for ensuring that you maintain a high level of CREDEBILITY by following our canons, rubrics, beliefs and ethical guidelines. The United Episcopal Catholic Communion reserves the right of removal, with no recourse, of any clergy at any time.

Can you train clergy for other organizations?

 Yes. Here is how it works. If another organization wishes to utilize our seminary they are required to read and sign our Letter of Understanding.

"This document is not to be misconstrued as a contract, agreement, warranty, accord, pact or other secular binding object, real or imagined. This document is a set of understandings of religious processes and procedures that are bound only by free will acceptance, based on the biblical context and precepts of the Christian Faith by which the understandings are derived."

Do I understand correctly that the United Episcopal Catholic Communion has two options; Independent Catholic and Anglo-Catholic/Anglo-Protestant?

 Yes, you understand that correctly.