St Nicholas Institute, Santa School Michigan, Santa Claus Training, Santa Claus School

  About the Institute
  Typical Schedule Outline
  Areas of Study
  Fr. Joseph Marquis
  St. Nicholas of Myra
  A St. Nicholas Minute
  The Modern Santa
  St. Nicholas Center
  Basilica of St. Nicholas
  About Gala Awards Banquet
2015 Awards Banquet Reservations
  2014 Award Winners
  2013 Award Winners
  2012 Award Winners

Welcome to the St. Nicholas Institute!

"The St. Nicholas Institute is a multi-day seminar designed to empower candidates with the tools needed to convincingly portray both St. Nicholas and the "elfin" Santa Claus in a wide variety of venues; whether religious or secular."

St Nicholas Institute, Santa Claus Training Schools

Fr. Joseph Marquis is the founder and executive director of the newly established St. Nicholas Institute. He has over 40 years of professional Santa Claus and St. Nicholas experience, is an Emmy Award winning Santa, and member of the Santa Claus Hall of Fame - Class of 2011, Santa Claus, Indiana.

The St. Nicholas Institute is open to all Santas (whether traditionally bearded or real bearded) of all Christian faiths (Catholic, Eastern Orthodox or Protestant). Our program is uniquely designed for cross-training of individuals to effectively portray Santa Claus and St. Nicholas for a wide variety of venues (both secular and religious). Formation also encourages a prayerful openness to the very same Spirit that animated the life and actions of the original "jolly old St. Nicholas", whose heart was made glad by the Babe born in Bethlehem.

All proceeds realized from the St. Nicholas Institute to benefit the ministry of Sacred Heart Byzantine Catholic Church in Livonia, MI. We gratefully acknowledge the contributions being made by our professional instructors who are generously donating their time and talents to the St. Nicholas Institute.

Photo by Andy Greenwell

"Saint to Santa" DVD $19.95

The DVD, Saint to Santa: How Saint Nicholas Became Santa Claus (Pauline Books & Media, $19.95, 36 MINUTES, ISBN: 0-8198-9042-1) is available at Pauline Books & Media Book Centers, or by calling 1-800-876-4463. For more information visit

Saint to Santa DVD

Saint to Santa offers a unique behind the scenes view of a television show created by children accompanied by six original puppet characters created by puppeteer, Fr. Joseph Marquis. Discover how a beloved Christian saint became Santa Claus, as Saint Nicholas tells his own story!

The script is co-authored by the gifted six time Emmy Award winning director, producer and author, Chris Stepien (“Three Days: The Search for the Boy Messiah”), and Fr. Marquis, an Emmy Award winning Santa Claus and founder of the St. Nicholas Institute, is pastor of Sacred Heart Byzantine Catholic Church; Livonia, MI.

With children cueing the action, along with a host of zany puppets running the studio, Saint to Santa will prompt giggles and cheers for the kind saint whose joy reminds us that Christmas is the birthday of Christ our Savior.

As Chris Stepien playfully describes this one-of-a-kind DVD: “Saint to Santa is ‘The Muppets’ meet ‘Laugh-In’ for a sit down with St. Nick! It combines history, entertainment, humor, music and song, actors and puppets to tell the spiritual story behind the great saint we commonly know as Santa Claus. Saint to Santa is all about the joy that baby Jesus brings. Both kids and their parents will love this video.” 

Father Joseph Marquis noted. “St. Nicholas reminds us all that the same Holy Spirit that animated his life can make all of us ‘HO-HO-HOLY’, too.”

Bonus “Saint to Santa” DVD Extras include: 

  • Two original Saint Nicholas “follow the bouncing snow ball” songs for children to sing along
  • Program Outtakes
  • Activities and Coloring Pages
  • Fun ways to celebrate with St. Nicholas
  • More background on the saint
  • 10 catechetical activities for children ages 3-9 (for home or classroom) 

Saint to Santa is the perfect gift for that hard-to-buy-for child on your Christmas list, who “already has everything.” 

Retail price: $19.95 (per DVD). 

Purchase Options:

Pauline Books & Media Book Centers


Toll Free: 1-800-876-4463. 

For more information visit


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