Monsignor Gerard McCarren named Rector, Dean of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology at Seton Hall University

The Archdiocese of Newark and Seton Hall University announced that Monsignor Gerard McCarren, S.T.D., has been appointed Rector and Dean of lmmaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology following a national search. Monsignor McCarren has served as Interim Rector and Dean since July 1, and prior to that time, he was Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and the seminary’s Spiritual Director. His multifaceted experiences in priestly formation, deep knowledge of theology and esteemed reputation among priests and seminarians made Monsignor McCarren a clear choice for this appointment. 

“Monsignor McCarren is a well-respected priest, theologian, and spiritual director, with a depth of pastoral experience that will allow him to continue our vital mission of supporting the seminarians from the Archdiocese and other dioceses as they discern God’s call to the priesthood,” said Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., archbishop, Archdiocese of Newark. “I am confident he will guide the men to follow Christ our Redeemer in ordained ministry and prepare them to be good shepherds who will minister to the flocks that will one day be entrusted to their care. Additionally, he will create even greater collaboration among the faculty while maintaining a productive relationship with the administration of Seton Hall University. I am grateful for his generous acceptance of the crucial service as Rector and Dean of Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology.” 

Monsignor McCarren is a well-known scholar of Saint John Henry Newman and was a member of the Newman Association of America’s board of directors from 2001 to 2016. In addition to his work at Seton Hall, he has taught and provided spiritual direction over many summers at the Institute for Priestly Formation (IPF) in Omaha, Nebraska, and is deeply grateful to IPF for the profound spiritual support he has received there. 

“We are grateful to Monsignor McCarren for his leadership, spiritual service and devotion to preparing men for the priesthood with the support of an outstanding formation and academic faculty,” said Joseph E. Nyre, president of Seton Hall. “Nothing is more important for Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology than helping seminarians affirm the Lord’s call to a priestly vocation. With Monsignor McCarren as rector and dean, the school will inspire seminarians, religious men and women, priests, lay students and others in their devotion to the kingdom of God, as they face society’s opportunities and challenges guided by the wisdom of the Church.” 

Monsignor McCarren, a graduate of Delbarton School, earned a B.A. from Yale University with majors in History and in Philosophy (Psychology track), an M.Div. from Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology, and an S.T.L. and an S.T.D. in Systematic Theology from The Catholic University of America. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1991. From 2007 to 2016, he served as a Vatican appointee to the Joint Commission for Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the World Methodist Council. Monsignor McCarren served as president of the Federation of Seminary Spiritual Directors (United States and Canada) from 2018-2022. He is thankful for his many years as a weekend assistant priest at Holy Trinity Church in Westfield. 

“When I entered Immaculate Conception Seminary on September 2, 1987, ‘it was like coming into port after a rough sea; and my happiness on that score remains to this day without interruption,’ if I may borrow words from Saint John Henry Newman (Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1865), 238),” said Monsignor McCarren. “I am deeply humbled and honored to be asked to pilot this barque that sails under a title of Saint Mary. Although I embark with a real measure of’fear and trembling’ (Philippians 2:12), I do so in the knowledge that this remarkable, dedicated, loving, supportive and encouraging community of seminarians, students, faculty, administrators and friends embodies Trinitarian Communion and life in the Body of Christ Jesus Crucified and Risen.”

For more information, please contact: 

Laurie Pine, Seton Hall University, Director of Media Relations,

Maria Margiotta, Archdiocese of Newark, Director of Communications,