Founded in 1888, the Josephinum was located at 17th and Main Streets in downtown Columbus, Ohio. In 1931, the seminary was moved to its current location just north of Worthington. The Josephinum’s landmark 78-acre campus, bordered by the scenic Olentangy River, is graced with magnificent buildings, wide lawns, a lake and ravine, and large wooded areas. The beautifully landscaped grounds are enhanced by a number of shrines, courtyards, and gardens.
Campus Access & Safety
In accordance with federal law, the Pontifical College Josephinum discloses a three-year report about crime on and near campus. View Report
Buildings & Architecture
The Administration Building was constructed in 1931, according to the designs of architect Francis Ludewig of St. Louis, MO.
The Administration Building features exquisite brickwork on both the exterior and interior walls, inlaid wood paneling, and terrazzo floors – tributes to the skilled artisans who designed and built the landmark structures. The hallways of the main building form a series of aesthetic courtyards.
The south wing of the Administration Building is home to offices and residence halls for the faculty and students in the School of Theology.
The north wing of the Administration Building is home to The Pope Saint John Paul II Education Center which houses a number of classrooms and technology labs, as well as The A.T. Wehrle Memorial Library – one of the finest Catholic seminary libraries in the country. The library contains more than 145,000 items: 118,000 volumes of books; more than 400 periodical titles; 35 national Catholic publications and diocesan newspapers; online indexes, abstracts, and databases required for research in philosophy, theological disciplines, and humanities; more than 5,000 audio-visual items; archival material; and rare books and manuscripts. The library’s extensive collections support studies in philosophy, scripture, patristics, moral theology, dogma, liturgy, Church history, and Catholic life and teachings. Moreover, the library is a member of OhioLINK, the statewide consortium of 86 college and university libraries and the State Library of Ohio.
Completed in 1958, the College of Liberal Arts building contains undergraduate classrooms and residential halls. It is adjacent to the Recreation Building, which features a full-sized basketball court, regulation-sized heated swimming pool, bowling alley, and fitness room. It also houses the Msgr. Leonard Fick Auditorium that has a seating capacity for 500 people.
The Jessing Conference Center offers state-of-the-art technology for professional meetings, lectures and conferences. Also used for wedding receptions and social events, its terrazzo flooring and wood and art motifs mirror those found in the main building.
The Chapels of the Josephinum
St. Turibius Chapel, the seminary’s largest chapel, honors the first canonized male saint of the New World and the first bishop to establish a seminary in the New World. The windows tell the stories of saints who are important in the lives of priests and seminarians. The 60-foot high wood vaulted ceiling provides outstanding acoustics. Donated in 2008, the magnificent Wacek Family Memorial Organ graces the chapel’s choir loft.
St. Rose of Lima Chapel, located behind the sacristy of St. Turibius Chapel, honors the first canonized female saint of the New World. At one time, this intimate chapel was used by the Sisters whose primary function was to meet the domestic needs of the Josephinum faculty and students. It is now used for retreats, personal prayer, and Masses for small groups.
St. Joseph Oratory in the School of Theology is used for the Liturgy of the Hours, daily Mass, and devotional exercises. The windows on the north and south sides portray the life of Christ, and the four windows at the front of the chapel symbolize the four cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance, and Fortitude. The paintings on the walls interpret verses from the Prologue of St. John’s Gospel.
St. Pius X Chapel is used by College students for daily prayer and Mass. The stained-glass windows highlight the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Other artwork in the windows honors saints important to priestly formation and whose faith was enlivened by natural learning.
The Josephinum’s tower is nearly 200 feet tall. It was originally constructed to house a 22,000-gallon water tank, necessary for the operation of the facility prior to the seminary’s incorporation into the Columbus water system. Serving as the Josephinum’s key landmark in the community, the tower is lighted on all sides and can be seen from miles away.
A statue of founder Msgr. Joseph Jessing, a gift of the Class of 1938, stands in front of the Administration Building and serves as a reminder of his concern for the poor and orphaned, as well as for his missionary zeal, a tradition still fostered today. Msgr. Jessing is buried on this site. Nearby, a small cemetery, with Stations of the Cross and a monument of the crucifixion, is the resting place of former faculty members and three former rectors.