Being denied for seminary in a diocese


I am reading a book that brought this question to mind.

If an individual applies for seminary in his diocese, and is denied, can he just apply for another one? Does he have to move to that diocese before he can apply? How would all this work? What if he’s denied by multiple dioceses should he keep applying?


St. John Vianney the Patron Saint of Parish Priests tried again and again and again to get through his formation but he, God rest him, lacked the academic prowess of most priests. Most people even. He was turned away several times but his perseverance and humility earned him his ordination as well as led him to a holy life we all should aspire too. He certainly earned his prestige as the patron of parish priests. As for applying at another diocese I believe all you need is your Bishops permission. But I'm not 100% sure on that or if you need anything else.


You most certainly can apply to other dioceses if rejected from your own. The only thing is that the home diocese will always be referred to. So if there is a serious impediment then that will become known.

If one feels a great calling it may be worth the trouble to try elsewhere if you are rejected. For instance there are different policies as to the age of a candidate for admittance from diocese to diocese.


Why were they denied?


It depends on why you were denied.

If you feel very strongly that you have a vocation then you should try either another diocese or possibly a religious order. Or you could try the seminary again at a later time, perhaps when there is a change of guard (Rector)

My friend was denied twice but then applied to another diocese is now a very happy priest.

So don’t give up!


It depends. Most seminary applications have a section asking you to list any past times you applied in any diocese. If you applied and were rejected, it generally puts up a red flag for the Vocations Director or Bishop to look at.


Correct it does present a Red Flag for the next seminary. But if you explain the reason why you were denied and it isn’t a really bad reason, like you have a mental problem for example, then you might be able to present a good argument as to why they should consider you. Also you could address the issue that the last seminary brought up and let the next seminary know that you have both addressed and overcome the issue which you previously had.

Where there is a will there is a way especially when the will is from God.

The object of the exercise should be the fulfilment of God’s will and not our own.

God Bless.

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