SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary was founded in 1885 in Detroit, Michigan, to prepare candidates for the Roman Catholic priesthood primarily to serve Polish American immigrant communities. Approval for founding such a seminary was granted on January 14, 1879, by Pope Leo XIII upon the petition of Father Leopold Moczygemba, O.F.M. Conv., founder of the Polish settlement in Panna Maria, Texas, in 1854.
The establishment of the Seminary was realized by Father Joseph Dabrowski, the first rector, who obtained approval from Bishop Caspar Borgess of Detroit for constructing a building on
St. Aubin Avenue between Forest Avenue and Garfield Street and organizing the Seminary program.
Increasing enrollment and the need for additional space led the second rector, Father Witold Buhaczkowski, to transfer the seminary in 1909 from Detroit to the site of the former Michigan Military Academy in the rural village of Orchard Lake, northwest of Detroit.
The original academic program of the Seminary consisted of ten years of studies: five in the preparatory classical department and five in the upper division, namely, two in philosophy and three in theology. In 1927 three four-year administratively independent schools were established: SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary, St. Mary’s College, and St. Mary’s Preparatory, known collectively at present as the Orchard Lake Schools.
In 1968, the Seminary began to provide a training program for permanent deacons, field education for seminarians, and continuing education for adults. In the ensuing years, the following degree programs were introduced: Master of Divinity (1973) for priesthood candidates, religious, and lay women and men; Master of Religious Education (1977), later designated as Master of Arts in Religious Education (1989); and now called the Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry with a concentration in Catechetics (2002); Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry (1989), an upgrading of the Certificate in Pastoral Ministry, which had been in existence since 1975.
In 1971, SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary became an associate member of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS). In 1992 the seminary was granted candidacy for accredited status in the association and undertook a two-year self-study as part of the process leading toward accreditation.
SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary was granted initial accreditation by ATS in January 1995. It was reaffirmed for five-year terms in 2000 and 2005. The most recent accreditation visit was in 2010. From this visit, the Seminary received a full ten-year accreditation.