From Ohio History Central
In 1888, Reverend John Joseph Jessing established a theology school, which eventually became known as the Pontifical College Josephinum, in Columbus, Ohio. Initially, Jessing intended to accept only two students, but when the institution opened on September 1, 1888, twenty-three men enrolled. Jessing offered students six years of primary education, four years of high school, two years of college, and finally six years of theological training. In 1899, the first six students graduated with theology degrees.
In 1892, Pope Leo XIII formally made the Pontifical College Josephinum a pontifical seminary. The institution remains the only pontifical seminary located outside of Italy to this day. In 1931, the Pontifical College Josephinum relocated eleven miles north of Columbus, where the institution remains today on a one hundred-acre campus. Beginning in the 1940s and 1950s, the college began to offer a program consisting of four years of high school, four years of college, and four years of theology. Over the course of its history, over 1,500 priests have received their education at the Pontifical College Josephinum.