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  #1  
Old May 29, '07, 7:41 pm
Epsilon Omega Epsilon Omega is offline
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Default How many years just it take to become a priest?

This is probably a redundant thread, but i couldn't find a good thread through the search option.

How many years normally does it take in the seminary before becoming a priest? I used google and it brought me 4 years after college or 7-9 years if out of secondary school. Currently I am planning to attend Franciscan University of Steubenville for 4 years, and I am gonna be studying theology and maybe minor in philosophy? Will it take 4 years after college if all goes well?

Thanks for any and all responses
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  #2  
Old May 29, '07, 8:32 pm
RevDrNorth RevDrNorth is offline
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Default Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epsilon Omega View Post
This is probably a redundant thread, but i couldn't find a good thread through the search option.

How many years normally does it take in the seminary before becoming a priest? I used google and it brought me 4 years after college or 7-9 years if out of secondary school. Currently I am planning to attend Franciscan University of Steubenville for 4 years, and I am gonna be studying theology and maybe minor in philosophy? Will it take 4 years after college if all goes well?

Thanks for any and all responses
Caveat....I am not a Roman Catholic Priest ("but I play one on TV" or "but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night").

I can tell you as a Protestant clergyman that as a general rule you need 4 years of undergraduate and 3 years (or 4) of full time seminary training. Mainline Protestant/RCC clergy undergo one of the longest Masters programs around at between 72 and more commonly 90 credit hours. Often there is also an internship attached. Requires learning at a minimum Greek and often Hebrew (latin?). Others do that much work and come out with a PhD...clergy a Masters of Divinity.

But you do it to be prepared (able to give an answer for the hope that is within)...and "study to show yourself a workman approved" knowing that it is to give God your best (even though the pay and hours do not add up to what the secular world would expect) and to be of service to others in your calling as a clergyman.

If God is calling you it is well worth the effort!

Good luck!

Rev North
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  #3  
Old May 29, '07, 8:54 pm
Epsilon Omega Epsilon Omega is offline
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Default Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

Thank you, Rev North.

Currently I am planning to major in theology and then also do the Pre-theologate program if it is possible, to get my philosophy credits done. I guess it won't truely be the pre-theologate program, but for all of my electives, I plan to take philosophy and stuff.

Thanks for the info
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You know how to you make God laugh?

Tell him your plans.

God's calling me to the Priesthood and I will answer, but how am I worthy?
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  #4  
Old May 29, '07, 10:26 pm
orgel_maestro orgel_maestro is offline
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Default Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

It might be different depending on whether u enter your regular diocesan seminary or a traditionalist seminary like the FSSP or the Institute of Christ the King (both of which are in communion with Rome btw). In the latter case, it maybe longer (?), because there is a lot of other stuff that you take like gregorian chant, latin etc. I guess the best way is to contact the vocations director, I'm sure you won't have to retake classes if u're a philoso/theo major.
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  #5  
Old May 30, '07, 6:39 am
Friar David, O.Carm Friar David, O.Carm is offline
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Default Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Epsilon Omega View Post
Thank you, Rev North.

Currently I am planning to major in theology and then also do the Pre-theologate program if it is possible, to get my philosophy credits done. I guess it won't truely be the pre-theologate program, but for all of my electives, I plan to take philosophy and stuff.

Thanks for the info
How long does it take? It all depends on the individual and what their educational background is.

With the release of the Fifth Edition of the Program of Priestly Formation, it appears that the bishops are looking for men who have majored in philosophy.

I say this becuase the new requirements are 30 credits in philosophy and 12 credits in theology.

The easiest way to do this would be to major in philosophy and minor in theology (which would get you 18 credits, I believe).

If you major in theology then you will almost have to do a double major to get the required philosophy credits.

Ideally it takes 8 years to become a secular priest. Four years for your bachelors and four years for the Masters of Divinity.
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  #6  
Old May 30, '07, 8:49 am
augieboo augieboo is offline
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Default Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

Quote:
How many years normally does it take in the seminary before becoming a priest? I used google and it brought me 4 years after college or 7-9 years if out of secondary school. Currently I am planning to attend Franciscan University of Steubenville for 4 years, and I am gonna be studying theology and maybe minor in philosophy? Will it take 4 years after college if all goes well?
ByzCath is right about the 30 units philosophy and 12 units of theology, so if you're serious about preparing for the priesthood, you definitely want to major in philosophy and minor in theology. It might not seem to make sense to you now, because it is natural to assume that undergraduate theology is the best preparation for graduate theology. This is the case in, say, physics, literature, or history.

But this is not the case in theology.

In a certain sense, studying for the priesthood is like studying medicine. Pre-med students don't take undergraduate courses in infectious diseases, they take undergraduate courses in biology, anatomy, physiology, and the like, because knowledge of those fields is necessary to understand the actual med school course-work.

In much the same way, theology requires a very strong grounding in philosophy.

So, buckle down and do the philosophy major.

*********************

So, how long will it take?

Assuming you major in philosophy, it will depend on whether you join a diocese or an order. Most diocesan programs will be very similar, but those of the religious orders can vary quite a bit.

DIOSESAN

The Program of Priestly Formation requires four years of theology study above and beyond the undergraduate requirements. It also requires a great deal of what is called "Pastoral Formation".

Paragrah 243 states that
Quote:
The pastoral formation program should be an integral part of the seminary curriculum and accredited as such, but none of its elements should compromise the two years of full-time pre-Theology studies or the four years of full-time theological studies.
In practice, this seems to be taken care of by inserting a full "Pastoral Year" into the program, so that the course of study looks like this:

Year 1 = Theology 1
Year 2 = Theology 2
Year 3 = Pastoral Year
Year 4 = Theology 3
Year 5 = Theology 4

(This example it taken from my home diocese, whichi is St. Petersburg, Fl.)

During the pastoral year you will be assigned to live and work in a parish or other ministry situation.


RELIGIOUS ORDERS:

Most orders seem to have a year of so of "postulancy", followed by a couple years of "Novitiate". After this they send you off to a seminary for four years. Some orders add all kinds of other stuff on top of this. For example:

Legionaries of Christ require Latin & Greek, plus training in fighting with medieval weapons. (Kidding on that last part)

Jesuits send everybody for advanced degrees, plus extra training in how to subvert the doctrine of the Church. (Hah hah! Just kidding on that last part too!

Anyhow, I hope this is helpful to you.

FINAL POINT

In closing let me reiterate the most important part:

MAJOR IN PHILOSOPHY!

I didn't.
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  #7  
Old Dec 22, '07, 11:28 pm
SereneOne SereneOne is offline
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Default Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

Can anyone shed light on how many years in seminary it took Jesus before he was allowed to preach? How about Peter or James?

Thank you and Merry Christmas.
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  #8  
Old Dec 23, '07, 1:58 am
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SereneOne View Post
Can anyone shed light on how many years in seminary it took Jesus before he was allowed to preach? How about Peter or James?

Thank you and Merry Christmas.
Jesus was lecturing to the rabbis in the Temple at age 12 so clearly the Father and the Holy Spirit oversaw his training, which took about 30 years.

Peter, James and the other apostles were already mature men and as observent Jews were instructed in sacred scripture and tradition, the Torah, the Law and the Prophets, their whole lives, and spent at least 3 years in direct preparation for their ministry with Jesus Himself. Since even the best seminary is not Jesus, preparation under the direction of humans takes more time.
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  #9  
Old Dec 23, '07, 4:42 am
Joannm Joannm is offline
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Default Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by augieboo View Post
In practice, this seems to be taken care of by inserting a full "Pastoral Year" into the program, so that the course of study looks like this:

Year 1 = Theology 1
Year 2 = Theology 2
Year 3 = Pastoral Year
Year 4 = Theology 3
Year 5 = Theology 4

(This example it taken from my home diocese, whichi is St. Petersburg, Fl.)

During the pastoral year you will be assigned to live and work in a parish or other ministry situation.


:
This is what is required in my diocese as well. The only way to actually cut some time off this schedule is if a man has an MA in Theology before entering the seminary, but then I think they might only accept a certain amount of credits.
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  #10  
Old Dec 23, '07, 6:47 am
ChadS ChadS is offline
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Default Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

I just wanted to mention though that the formation of a priest is more than just a numbers game. Many of the replies seem to focus on how many credits does a person need or how long a person needs to be in school. While that is very true the time taken in pre-theology and theology training is also a time where the diocese and candidate take time to develop the candidate's spirituality and prayer life. A properly formed and molded prayer and spiritual life can be of an even greater benefit and more practical use in the daily ministry of a priest than say reading and knowing all the intricacies of medieval theological disputes (although this can be important also).

ChadS
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  #11  
Old Dec 23, '07, 2:39 pm
SereneOne SereneOne is offline
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Default Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post
Jesus was lecturing to the rabbis in the Temple at age 12 so clearly the Father and the Holy Spirit oversaw his training, which took about 30 years.

Peter, James and the other apostles were already mature men and as observent Jews were instructed in sacred scripture and tradition, the Torah, the Law and the Prophets, their whole lives, and spent at least 3 years in direct preparation for their ministry with Jesus Himself. Since even the best seminary is not Jesus, preparation under the direction of humans takes more time.
Thanks, p.a. You re-enforced the point I was making several times in your reply. Blessings be on you!
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  #12  
Old Dec 23, '07, 5:33 pm
FrCorey FrCorey is offline
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Default Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

It's faster to become a doctor.
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  #13  
Old Dec 24, '07, 1:20 pm
Friar David, O.Carm Friar David, O.Carm is offline
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Default Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by augieboo View Post
RELIGIOUS ORDERS:

Most orders seem to have a year of so of "postulancy", followed by a couple years of "Novitiate". After this they send you off to a seminary for four years. Some orders add all kinds of other stuff on top of this.
Not all religious orders have a postulancy, some admit you right into the novitiate.

Also some orders, like mine, add a year or two of internship in one of their ministries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joannm View Post
This is what is required in my diocese as well. The only way to actually cut some time off this schedule is if a man has an MA in Theology before entering the seminary, but then I think they might only accept a certain amount of credits.
I am not so sure an MA will cut all that much time off and even if you can get out of the Seminary any earlier as there is formation within the Seminary besides the credited classes one must take.
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  #14  
Old Dec 25, '07, 10:20 am
Joannm Joannm is offline
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Default Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ByzCath View Post
Not all religious orders have a postulancy, some admit you right into the novitiate.

Also some orders, like mine, add a year or two of internship in one of their ministries.



I am not so sure an MA will cut all that much time off and even if you can get out of the Seminary any earlier as there is formation within the Seminary besides the credited classes one must take.
YOu are probably correct. We had a decon serving in our parish the last 6 month of the seminary before ordination because he had an MA and didn't need to take any more courses so he had the time to spend the last semester in a parish full time.
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  #15  
Old Jun 27, '10, 2:52 pm
Gianania Gianania is offline
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Smile Re: How many years just it take to become a priest?

Hi, I am Gianania,

Do priest have a doctorate in divinity when they become priests?
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