Following Pastores dabo vobis and the Program for Priestly Formation, the seminary seeks to form candidates for the priesthood after the Heart of Jesus by integrating the four “pillars” or dimensions of formation: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral.
At the end of each year of seminary formation, the seminarian meets with the formation team to review their calling and suitability to ordained priesthood.
For men who have not earned a bachelor’s degree, the Archdiocese uses two college seminaries, The Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, OH and Bishop Simon Brute Seminary at Marian Universiy in Indianapolis, IN. Seminarians live in community while taking classes towards a bachelor’s degree in areas such as Philosophy, Catholic Studies, English, or other areas with the permission of the Vocation Director and formation team at the seminary.
Entering seminarians will vary in their academic background. Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West has a Pre-Theology Program that fills in the gaps for those seminarians who enter without the necessary background coursework. The Seminary evaluates the needs of such students case-by-case. Seminarians in these circumstances may take some Pre-Theology foundational courses at Mount St. Mary’s or at a local college (e.g. Thomas More College). 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.
MASTER OF DIVINITY, FIVE-YEAR PROGRAM
The program involves 4 years of academic study, with a year of internship in the middle. The requirements are a combination of the courses necessary to complete the Master of Divinity degree (M.Div), the Priestly Formation courses specified by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and a year of internship.
Master of Divinity Requirements: 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.
USCCB Program of Priestly Formation Requirements: For this, you will take an additional 9 courses (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.
Internship (Third Year): During this year, you will complete a Parish Internship and a Non-parish internship.
Overview of Process:
If needed, College Seminary or 2 years of Pre-Theology
First Year: I Theology
Second Year: II Theology
Third Year: Internship
Fourth Year: III Theology. Ordained a transitional deacon at the end of the Fourth Year.
Final Year: IV Theology. Ordained a Priest at the end of the Final Year.
After Ordination: Assigned as an Associate Pastor at a parish or high school for approximately 2-3 years.