Amount of time to Ordination


I am curious as to what the shortest and longest time frames are to Ordinations. For example I believe the seminary in Chicago is a 6 year program, while the Jesuits can take up to 12 years. Does anyone here know of any shorter or longer programs, and why such big differences? Thanks!!


You are correct,it cah take up to 12 years or more!!! Sacred Heart school of theology in Hales Corner Wis has a 6 year program. Like in my case I don’t have a 4 year degree. They use life experiences for some of your pre theology. and so they make it 2 years at Cardinal Stritch and 4 years theology while they use the whole 6 years for spiritual formation. Whereas some of the orders from what I am told can take as long as 14 to 16 years, The shortest would be 5 years if you have a 4 year degree. Scoob.


in very rare circumstances, a man can be ordained in 4 years. This mostly happens with much older priest probably in their 40s or 50s. Almost all priest will go through a 6 to 8 year program (diocesan priest) some priest will even take 9 years before they get ordained, many priest will take pastoral years.


What is great with delayed vocations is that 98 to 99 percent will be ordained and the attrition is only 1 percent. I am 41 and before I am 50 I will hopefully be ordained. With longevity in my family I hope to be able to serve as long as must priests. If not I don’t care as long as I am a priest even if ony a year.


As stated above, it usually takes six to eight years in the diocesan role. Six is typically the amount of time that you spend in seminary after college, and eight would be the time that you spend in seminary if you went in right after high school.


That seems about right. A friend who was ordained on Saturday took 7 total, 4 years of Theology and philosophy in college, then 3 years of pastoral training at several parishes around the diocese.


It is six to eight years for anyone becoming a secular priest. For religious priests it’s almost always at least eight years. For a few it’s nine, and for the really academic ones like the Jesuits it is twelve. Granted, you to get to at least take temporary vows if you are a religious, you get something while you wait.


Indeed, Jesuit formation takes about 12 years... 13 if you add the pre-novitiate discerning year.

2 years novitiate
1 year juniorate
3 years philosophy
2 years regency
4 years theology

If the scholastic came from a diocesan background or particularly advance in years, the formation may shorten.

However the studying doesn't stop there....


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit