Are religious priests educated differently?


#1

Is there a difference in the seminary education for a religious priest, either in terms of theology or practical matters? Would a Franciscan seminarian concentrate more on Bonaventure, for instance, whereas a Dominican would concentrate more on Aquinas, and a diocesan would get a “dose” of everyone? Do the religious get more training in living in community and according to their charism, while diocesan have more exposure to life in the parish?

Also, would there be a difference between the training of a priest from one order to the next? Would a Franciscan seminary experience be different from that of a Dominican?

Thanks!


#2

[quote="AlwaysCurious, post:1, topic:276252"]
Is there a difference in the seminary education for a religious priest, either in terms of theology or practical matters? Would a Franciscan seminarian concentrate more on Bonaventure, for instance, whereas a Dominican would concentrate more on Aquinas, and a diocesan would get a "dose" of everyone? Do the religious get more training in living in community and according to their charism, while diocesan have more exposure to life in the parish?

Also, would there be a difference between the training of a priest from one order to the next? Would a Franciscan seminary experience be different from that of a Dominican?

Thanks!

[/quote]

It depends on the seminary they are sent to.

Not all seminary programs are the same.

For example, I am currently attending the Washington Theological Union (which will be closing down all programs except for its doctorate this May and fully closing next May) requires 102 credits for its Masters of Divinity program. I am transferring to the program at Catholic University which only requires 90 or so credits for its program. Both programs have additional courses that are required for ordination.

The WTU program actually has more scripture and more pastoral studies courses required as well as having a course entitled the Religious Presbyter. CUA has less scripture but more theology. WTU's focus is on pastoral ministry, CUA's focus is more on academics.

Also religious have a lot of inhouse education in the charism and saints of their community and have the novitiate year (or two year depending on the community).

Not to get to technical but some religious do not even attend seminaries. That is a seminary is a place where seminarians live and do formation along with taking classes at a graduate school. Some religious just take classes at a graduate school while doing their formation work in a house of studies of their community.

This is the group I fall in. We do not attend a seminary but take classes at a graduate school of theology. We do formation work in house and some in common with other religious who also live in houses of study. A man who lives at a seminary is called a seminarian. A religious who lives at a seminary is also called a seminarian. A religious who lives within a house of studies for his community and attends classes at a graduate school of theology is rightly called a theologian as such a school is called a theologate.


#3

Thanks! :thumbsup:


#4

When I was in formation with the Franciscans I lived in a Friary, and studied theology at a Theology College that was attached to a seminary for diocescan students.

I took some courses at St. Bonaventure University, New York. However, most of our Franciscan studies were in house.


#5

As a future seminarian this coming fall I would say yes each seminary is a bit different in their focus, However the study of theology is quite similar.

As a future diocesan seminarian they focus on the four pillars of formation:

  1. Spiritual (prayer)
  2. Academic (intellect)
  3. Pastoral (delegation)
  4. Human Formation (able to connect with many different people)

Each diocesan seminary use those 4 pillars of formation some put more emphasis on a certain pillar.

For religious orders they are all different. Each of them have their own Charism (acts of charity to the people through God). So each of their seminary program is different in their focus. Most Religious Orders have the vow of poverty in common.

Few examples:
Franciscans focus on poverty and doing missionary work to the poor.
Norbertines are more focused on community, cloister, Latin language, and the Liturgy.
Jesuits are more focused on academic and teaching.

So yes each priest is educated different, but all share a common foundation of strive towards Holiness, doing God’s work, and theology.

Think of it this ways.
A General Doctor focus on general illness that most people need help and healing
Specialty Doctors focus on a specific field (brian surgions, cardio, bones and etc.)

We still need all of these doctors for society to live


#6

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