James Miller was born in Akron in 1963 and is the youngest of six children. After graduating from Stow High School in 1981, Mr. Miller worked full-time for a number of years and attended the University of Akron as a part-time business major in the evenings. Although he had thought about the priesthood in high school, Mr. Miller decided to apply to the seminary in 2007 after hearing a presentation at St. Mary Parish in Akron given by a seminarian who emphasized that it is never too late to answer God’s call to the priesthood. Mr. Miller is now a parishioner at St. Sebastian. After being accepted into the seminary in August 2008, Mr. Miller completed one semester at Lakeland Community College and then entered John Carroll University in the spring of 2009. Mr. Miller is currently an undergraduate philosophy major enrolled in a program called the “Borromeo Institute Philosophy Major.” He also is pursuing minors in history and Catholic studies. Although the Diocese permits an undergraduate seminarian to complete as many as 60 credit hours at Lakeland Community College, other coursework must be completed at John Carroll University so that the student obtains the necessary philosophy and religion credits. After obtaining his undergraduate degree from John Carroll University, therefore, Mr. Miller will enter St. Mary’s Seminary and will not be required to complete any transitional course work that is often required of men who have obtained other college degrees and then decide to enter the seminary. As is the case with other seminarians, entry into St. Mary’s Seminary is preceded by faculty interviews, annual self-evaluations, peer self-evaluations and a medical examination conducted by a physician.
For the last two summers, Mr. Miller has worked for a flooring company and has roomed with another seminarian. During the summer, an undergraduate seminarian must attend daily Mass and pray the Liturgy of the Hours, as well as comply with conduct rules applicable to seminarians at Borromeo. During the school year, Mr. Miller resides with other seminarians at the Center for Pastoral Leadership in Wickliffe, Ohio. Seminarians enrolled at John Carroll University receive financial assistance from both the University (called the “Borromeo Tuition Remission”) and the Diocese to help offset some tuition and room/board costs. Mr. Miller emphasizes that financial concerns should not deter a man considering the priesthood from attending the seminary.
Mr. Miller’s experience at John Carroll University has reinforced and expanded his Catholic beliefs; he looks forward to focusing even more on theology and liturgy courses at St. Mary’s Seminary.
Mr. Miller advises that if a man wishes to contact the Diocese about a vocation to the priesthood, he may contact the Diocesan Vocation Office at 440-943-7660.