How much will it cost to go to the seminary?
For guys going to Mount Saint Mary’s seminary, there is no out of pocket expense. Room, board and tuition are provided for by the great generosity of the people of the Archdiocese of the Cincinnati. However, seminarians are asked to sign a promissory note of $2500.00 per year (as of 2015). If they do not become ordained, they are asked to pay back the notes. While at Mount Saint Mary seminary, you receive $2000.00 per year for personal expenses and $750.00 a year to help you with your book bill.
As of 2010, for guys at the college seminary, the archdiocese covers the cost of room, board and formation fees. The seminarian is responsible for the full cost of tuition (minus whatever grants and scholarships the seminarian is eligible for and receives). If loans are required in order to attend and the student is ordained, the archdiocese takes on the initial principal of the loans. The student remains responsible for any interest accrued throughout his seminary formation.
What do I do if I have previous student loans that are not fully paid off yet?
The archdiocese, while it provides for much of your training as a seminarian, cannot offer assistance in paying off previous college loans. However, many loans can be deferred, some without accruing extra interest, until the time you finish seminary training and are ordained a priest, at which time you receive a salary and can pay off your loans.
Will I need savings?
In the seminary, during the academic year, you are not allowed to work outside of the seminary. You may have jobs on campus that provide some income as well as work in the summertime. So, it never hurts to have a little extra cash of your own from prior savings, but it is not necessary.
Can I get student loans?
If you are considering college seminary, and your grants and scholarships do not cover the cost of college seminary, you may want to consider applying for a student loan. If, after exploring all these options, the seminarian still finds himself unable to cover the cost of tuition, talk to the Vocation Director about other options.
Where will I live during seminary training?
For most of seminary training, you live at the seminary. It is where you have your classes, where you study and where you eat and sleep. For guys in the theology program, they live in a parish during their internship year. It is encouraged, in the summers, for men to live in parishes if possible. College seminarians may want to find summer employment to help cover tuition costs.
What are the required courses at the Seminary?
You will complete 45 academic courses (141 quarter credit hours) in Scripture, Dogmatic Theology, Moral/Spiritual Theology, Church History, Liturgy, Music, Sacramental Theology, Canon Law, Religious Education, Evangelization, Pastoral Counseling & Leadership and Homiletics. You will also complete an additional 9 courses as part of the USCCB Program of Priestly Formation (27 quarter hours) with 3 classes in Biblical Studies, 2 courses in Moral/Spiritual Theology, 3 courses in Dogmatic-Liturgical Theology and 1 open elective.
What education background is needed?
To enter major seminary, a man must either graduate with a bachelor’s degree from a college seminary or must complete the pre-theology program offered at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West. The Seminary evaluates the needs of such students case-by-case. Fulfilling these pre-requisites can take from 1 to 2 years. Once the pre-requisites are done, the seminarian begins the formal ‘I Theology’ year at Mount St. Mary’s.
How long does the seminary take?
The short answer is 5 to 9 years. For men beginning college seminary as freshman, the formation process takes 9 years (4 years at the college seminary and another 5 at the major seminary). For others who have a bachelors degree and no Philosophy background, the time at Mount St. Mary’s can be as many as 7 years (2 years of Pre-Theology and 5 in Theology studies). Those who qualify to enter directly into I Theology, the program takes 5 years (4 years of academic formation and 1 year on pastoral internship in the third year of formation).
What are the steps to admittance?
The process typically begins with some conversations with the Vocations Director. Some feel the pull to enter the seminary right away, while others spend more time in this part of discernment. When you make the decision that you would like to enter the seminary, the formal process begins. Naturally, you would then let the Vocations Director of the Archdiocese know you desire to enter the seminary. You will then have a series of meetings with the Vocations Director and will visit the seminary to meet people out there as well. You will go through several in-depth interviews and will write your life history. You will be asked to get recommendation letters from priests, pastors, friends, co-workers, teachers and guidance counselors. You will complete a series of psychological tests. You will fill in a set of academic application forms and supply the vocations office with high school and college transcripts, as well as baptismal and confirmation certificates, college board tests (ACT or SAT) and a medical/physical form. The archdiocese performs a background check and the seminary admissions committee reviews your application and determines if you will be accepted or not.
Can I enter if I didn’t go to a seminary college?
Yes. You may require some “Pre-Theology” courses to fill in any gaps in your college background, but many of our seminarians have come from a variety of previous occupations and directions.