Why Tom Cruise Was Kicked Out Of The Priesthood Before Becoming An Actor

Things could have gone very differently.

Tom Cruise Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Before becoming an actor, Tom Cruise spent some time trying to become a Catholic priest, but it was short-lived as he was kicked out soon after his attempt.

Cruise expressed his interest to attend the seminary after hearing a speech from Father Ric Schneider, who had been recruiting students for the seminary.

Cruise would go on to attend St. Francis Seminary School in Cincinnati, Ohio when he was a teenager.


Tom Cruise's path to becoming a priest was cut short after he left his seminary.

According to Cruise's friend, Shane Dempler, who spoke about the actor's Catholic priest training with NY Daily News, the two got into some trouble as students.

Dempler claimed that the two would often sneak out of the school to smoke cigarettes but decided to steal alcohol one day.

RELATED: Tom Cruise's Marriages (And Divorces) All Follow The Same Strange Pattern That May Tie Back To Scientology

One night, Dempler broke into the room where alcohol was stored and threw a couple of bottles outside the window to Cruise who was standing below the room. 


"[I] tossed about six, most broke, but we managed to get a couple and hide them in the nearby woods," said Dempler.

"The priests didn't even realize until some of the other boys found out about our plan and snuck into the woods and got drunk. They were caught staggering down the road to the seminary and forced to confess.”

RELATED: Inside Tom Cruise’s Relationship With The Woman Scientology Auditioned To Be His Wife Before Katie Holmes


After that incident, the school wrote letters to the boys’ parents stating that they liked the boys but would prefer it if they didn’t come back to school. 

Tom Cruise’s friend mentioned that he was sincere about becoming a priest.

"He had a very strong Catholic faith. We went to Mass, spent time in the chapel and enjoyed hearing stories from the priests," Dempler said. "We thought the priests had a great lifestyle and we were really interested in [the] priesthood.”

Dempler continued, saying that they were too young to be making a decision about joining the seminary.

Contrary to Dempler’s thoughts, the teachers of the school didn’t think Cruise would make it as a student there. Several described Cruise as a mediocre student and someone who had trouble communicating. 


Schneider said, "He [was] a typical teenager, trying to find his way in life. We would give them an IQ test, and he just about made the cut. The cutoff is 110, and he scored exactly 110.”

Some people suggested that Cruise was there to escape his father.

People who had known Cruise assumed that he was attending the seminary school to escape from his problems as he had an abusive father and his parents were going through a divorce.

One of Cruise’s classmates said, "He never elaborated, but I think he was there to run away from his dad. He had a good personality, but he was closed about his family, even back then."

Schneider also had similar thoughts and felt Cruise was dealing with some personal issues


He said, “I think he wanted a good education. With his parents going through a divorce, it was tough on him, that's maybe one of the reasons why he came here.”

RELATED: How Scientology Turned Tom Cruise & Nicole Kidman's Children Against Her

Sanika Nalgirkar is a news and entertainment writer for YourTango. She has a master's degree in Creative Writing. See more of her writing on her website.