This paper deals with the development of a detailed Monte Carlo approach for the calculation of the absolute neutron sensitivity of SPNDs, which makes use of the MCNP code. We will explain the calculation approach, including the activation and beta emission steps, the gamma-electron interactions, the charge deposition in the various detector parts and the effect of the space charge field in the insulator. The model can also be applied for the calculation of the gamma sensitivity of self-powered detectors and for the radiation-induced currents in signal cables. The model yields detailed information on the various contributions to the sensor currents, with distinct response times. Results for the neutron sensitivity of various types of SPNDs are in excellent agreement with experimental data obtained at the BR2 research reactor. For typical neutron to gamma flux ratios, the calculated gamma induced SPND currents are significantly lower than the neutron induced currents. The gamma sensitivity depends very strongly upon the immediate detector surroundings and on the gamma spectrum. Our calculation method opens the way to a reliable on-line determination of the absolute in-pile thermal neutron flux.