At the present
time Scotland has three seminaries for the
dioceses of Scotland, two of which are currently
offering formation programmes.
Scotus College in Glasgow
Pontifical Scots College in Rome
Scotus College can trace its ancestry back to 1714 and the establishment of a secluded seminary on a small island in Loch Morar. This seminary was forced to close and the fleeing students found refuge at Scalan in Glenlivet. Scalan persevered through troubled times and eventually, after eighty years service, handed over its mantle to Aquhorties and then to Blairs College until its closure in 1986.
Senior seminaries were a much later creation, and initially the seminary planned for Glasgow had to be mothballed due the influx of Irish Catholics and their immediate needs. However, in 1874 Archbishop Eyre opened St Peter's College, Partickhill, which in 1892 moved to New Kilpatrick, Bearsden. Unfortunately, disaster struck in a fire of 1946 and the College was moved to Darleith to become St Peter's College, Cardross. Much later St. Peter's College was relocated at Newlands in Glasgow where it lived out its final four years.
On the east coast Archbishop Gray opened Drygrange College near Melrose in 1953, This seminary later moved to Gillis in Edinburgh.
On November 1, 1984 an interdiocesan seminary was opened on the current site of Scotus. The newly formed Chesters College was to be, along with Gillis College, the forerunner of Scotus. Scotus was officially opened on October 4 1993 and can be viewed as the coming together of East and West, resulting in the first ever national seminary in Scotland.
The Pontifical Scots College, Rome was founded on 5th December 1600 by Pope Clement VIII. It provided an education for young Scots Catholic men who, due to the laws against Catholics, could not receive a Catholic education at home. During the centuries that followed, the college sent a steady supply of priests to Scotland, being closed only when the French invaded Rome in 1798 and again during the Second World War. For two hundred years Jesuits and Italian secular clergy directed the College, but since 1800 the Rectors have all been Scots secular priests.
At first the college was sited in a little house in what is known today as Via del Tritone, opposite the church of S. Maria in Costantinopoli. In 1604 it was transferred to Via Felice, now called Via delle Quattro Fontane, and there it remained till 1962. The Church of St. Andrew of the Scots was built beside the college and, although no longer in the possession of the college, Mass is still regularly celebrated there. The present college building on the Via Cassia was opened in 1964 by Pope Paul VI and has since been visited by Pope John Paul II.
As well as a house for students for the priesthood, the Scots College has been a temporary home for many other Scots, such as the Bishops during the Second Vatican Council and other meetings, the several groups of priests who have taken part in theology refresher courses and, more recently, groups of pilgrims who come during the summer vacation. It has been at the centre of celebrations for the creation of three Scots Cardinals, Cardinal Gray, Cardinal Winning and Cardinal O'Brien, and it was visited by many pilgrims who came from Scotland for the Canonisation of St John Ogilvie.
This year there are around twenty five students studying for the dioceses of Scotland.