Brief History


The San Carlos Seminary College began operating separately from the Seminario Mayor de San Carlos in the school year 1971-72 with a separate faculty and only with first and second-year students as enrollees. Its first Rector, Msgr. Alfeo Manalili, worked to expand the curriculum, and gained approval from the Ministry of Education (currently Commission on Higher Education) for the Seminary to grant an AB degree with double major – Philosophy and English. The College operated with an average of 120 students, producing its first batch of graduates in March 1975.

College seminarians from Cebu, Samar, Leyte, and Negros Oriental formed the bulk of the population, with a handful of students from Mindanao and Basilan.

Msgr. Felino Caballa, the second Rector who assumed his post in June 1975, called upon friends and benefactors to help with the construction of a chapel in a separate building, open to the public on Sundays and Holy Days, in keeping with the neighborhood pastoral work of seminarians.

In 1989, Msgr. Oscar Villamor took over as rector and designed strategies to enhance the pastoral and social consciousness of seminarians through regular sessions in Personality Development, Psychology, and the Arts. It was during his time that the Lay-companion Program was started.

In 1998, Fr. Isabelo Abarquez (now Bishop Abarquez) took over as rector of the seminary.

In 2002, Msgr. Roger Fuentes became the rector and it was during this time that the organizational structure of the seminary community was changed into the house by house set-up: House of Ignatius; House of Thomas; House of Francis; House of Augustine. Major renovations of the seminary building were also done at this time.

Fr. Nilo Igloria served as rector from 2011 until 2014. He was then followed by Fr. Benedicto P. Tao who served form 2014 to 2019. It was during this time that the seminary made big adjustments in its academic program – transitioning from the old to the new curriculum.

At present Msgr. Joseph Tan is the rector of the seminary and also serves as the media liaison of the Archdiocese of Cebu.