Frequently Asked Questions about Seminary
What is the age limit to entering the seminary?
The age of seminarians ranges from 18 - 45. There is is no age limit; it is defined case by case with reasonable limitations.
What does a seminarian study?
There are four main areas of study and development in preparing for the priesthood: human, spiritual, the ability to minister (to serve and work with people) and academics. Spirituality, the study of prayer and the development of one's relationship with God, is covered mostly on an individual basis, with each man meeting with a priest-advisor. Ability to minister is developed in supervised programs. If a man goes to a college seminary, he has the same classes as a regular liberal arts college with the addition of classes on philosophy, the Church and God. After college, he enters theology, where his time is spent studying the Bible, the teachings of the Church, and the skills he will need to be a priest.
Do you have to be an "A" student in the seminary?
A seminarian should be an average or above average student. A priest need not be a "brain," but on the other hand a priest must have the ability to pass the courses the seminary requires in order to serve the Catholic community well.
Is seminary life hard?
Seminary life is not any harder than college or graduate work at another university but it is different. Seminarians have the added responsibilities of developing as men of prayer, and as a bearer of the Good News. Friendships are encouraged with both men and women, but dating is not part of the seminarian's life since he is preparing for celibacy, not marriage, They have the responsibility like any student, to fulfill the responsibilities that are part of their preparation for the life they've chosen.
Are you taught to write homilies?
Seminarians are required to take courses on writing and giving homilies. Once a seminarian is ordained a deacon (about 6 months before ordination to priesthood), he will preach periodically at Mass in the Seminary and in parishes. During this diaconate period, he will receive constructive criticism on his homilies from the people at Mass and the priests he serves with.