From its establishment as a free-standing seminary in 1923 by the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Notre Dame Seminary has as its primary mission the preparation of men for the ministerial priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church. The seminary, through an integrated and balanced program of priestly formation, seeks to prepare competent pastors for the Church in the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. Additionally, in order to foster a broader outreach in service to the needs of the local Church, the seminary offers educational and formational opportunities to the lay faithful.
As a graduate school of theology, the seminary offers those preparing for the priesthood a Master of Divinity degree program of study. A pre-theology program is also offered to prepare seminarians for entry into this graduate theology program. Additional degree and formation programs are offered for those who aim to deepen their understanding of the Catholic intellectual tradition while preparing for leadership in the Church.
While primarily preparing men to serve as priests in the southern region of the United States, Notre Dame Seminary participates in the missionary activity of the Church by promoting a spirit of mission among its candidates for priesthood and lay leadership and by assisting certain missionary dioceses in other areas of the world.