To Build the Sacred

Aedificare Sacra has been created to prepare priests for the monumental responsibility of creating and protecting the House of God.

In building and renovating a church, a priest takes on a tremendous responsibility. Not only because of the great expenditure of the resources of the church, but because the church building is one of the most potent means for people to experience the faith. As a powerful “sign and symbol of heavenly realities,” the form of a church can dramatically affect the understanding of the faithful.

Thus it is with great care that priests are entrusted with building or renovating a church. The Aedificare Sacra program is designed to equip priests with the necessary tools to undertake this responsibility.

Sacrosanctum Concilium

 Priests, as part of their responsibility of the care of souls and curating the goods of the parish, are called upon to exercise leadership in the building process for new and renovated church buildings. These are highly technical and often complicated processes, for which the future priests should be at least equipped with a foundational understanding to work with his design team and parish committees.

Recognizing that there are not many programs in place to address this need, we have developed the Aedificare Sacra for seminarians and priests seeking a theological and practical education.

This program addresses the theological, and canonical aspects of sacred architecture. Firmly rooted in the teachings of the Church, the course is taught by architects who are experts in the history and theology of sacred architecture, the decrees of Vatican II, canon law, and the other relevant magisterial documents on sacred architecture in service of the liturgy.

The program will also focus on the practical aspects of church building: master planning, the building process, architectural contracts, and parish dynamics. With practical experience throughout the country in both new church construction as well as renovations, the architects leading the program can offer best practices for taking on projects of various sizes—from simple church renovations to planning and building a new parish complex.

Upon the completion of this program, attendees will have a solid foundation of the principles sacred architecture in order to be an informed client, and better able to guide the parish community through the complexities of  building sacred, beautiful, and well-constructed churches.

While the program is designed to complement seminary formation, it is also intended to be useful for current priests and building committee members involved in architectural projects, diocesan building officials and liturgists, and local artists and architects working in sacred architecture for the Church.

Areas of Study

Concentrating on three broad areas of study, Aedificare Sacra provides a foundation in the principles of sacred architecture.


Our instructors are experts in the field of sacred architecture. 

Their experience in the building and renovating of dozens of Catholic churches around the country, is an invaluable resource

Our instructors are not only licensed architects, but also experts in history, theology and philsophy, 

Erik Bootsma


Church Architect and Liturgical Design Consultant

Steven Schloeder, PhD, AIA, NCARB

Architect, Theologian, Author