Do you agree seminary education should be free? (excluding living expenses)

For example, there are catholic who really wants to become a priest but can’t because he is too poor and cannot afford the seminary tuition fees. Do you think this is fair? Do you think this is terrible? Do you feel that it is morally wrong to pay for this type of education? To be fair, we must still pay for our daily expenses like food and accommodation. Nobody should be hindered by financial difficulties if they feel God’s calling. Do you agree?

But there are places like Catholic Extension, Seminary burses in our Diocese, other organizations that help for seminary education expenses. Our Pastor has told us MANY times that had our Diocese not been able to help him pay for his seminary education there is no way he would have been able to afford to become a Priest. He tells us that’s why when we have our annual Bishop’s Services Appeal we need to give because a part of that goes to funding Priest’s education in our Diocese.

I am seriously considering saving up a special amt. and making a good donation to our Seminary Burse fund. They need it.

4 Likes

Do you think it is morally wrong to charge money for seminary education? Architecture, civil engineering, medical doctors, I could understand but a seminary education? It’s like we are trying to “buy” our way to heaven.

“Do you think it is morally wrong to charge money for seminary education?”

No because to have good TRUE teachers of the Faith they must be paid a salary. Sure a Seminary education comes at GREAT costs but it also provides GREAT blessings. Look at what we lay Catholics and clergy as well receive for that hard earned money being given or used for a Seminarian’s education: We receive the Sacraments, we re able to have Mass daily, we receive Our Lord in the Eucharist, we are able to be a part of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic church because of our Priests. That to me is priceless.

Education is not free

2 Likes

I disagree, if the teacher is truly great he should feel the urge to spread the good news without expecting to be paid. Seminarians should receive God’s knowledge freely otherwise it becomes a pay-or-thou-shall-not-be-holy scheme. Seminarians should not be forced to pay like some sort of business transaction, they should be urged to donate to the teacher. I think religious education should not be something for you to “buy”.

It is not free. But a religious education in my opinion should be.

1 Like

I was under the impression that as long as you study at your diocese’s seminary they pick up the cost. Seminarians might have some small living expenses, but no tuition. Am I wrong?

2 Likes

Not sure about that. I am referring to seminary education outside your diocese.

What’s the context here? Why would the hypothetical seminarian in question not be studying at the diocese-approved seminary?

1 Like

Who do you feel should pay for the cost, and are you speaking through all levels? The dioceses , religious orders, and even the Church as a whole do not have unlimited budgets. What about those who discern out following undergraduate studies?

3 Likes

Most of the priests I know well are religious priests and their orders covered their educational costs. I was under the impression that bishops similarly covered the costs for their seminarians.

A seminary education isn’t a freelance thing. You go where your superior sends you.

7 Likes

They didn’t receive their education free as teachers so they must earn a living to support themselves.

1 Like

OK well that is different cause the seminarian is choosing where to go.

Yes it should be. But somehow the realities of economics get in the way.

The way I contribute in off setting it is a cash donation quarterly to my local Franciscan province for formations of new friars and donations to those friars in priestly formation to their schools.

It doesn’t have to be a large amount, but if enough of us do it, it can significant reduce the costs associated with education.

Another way is to earmark your donations to the Annual Catholic Appeal in your diocese for tuition of seminarians.

Pax et Bonum!

2 Likes

Seminarians don’t normally “choose” where they want to go. A seminarian is sent by his order or diocese, which typically picks up the cost. Someone doesn’t just “go” to seminary. A seminarian is by definition sponsored. So this whole debate about cost is moot. A seminarian is not his own boss; nor does he make these decisions independently.

Faculty at ANY institution of learning, but especially at an institution of higher learning (which a seminary is) have to support themselves. If they are religious, they work out a budget with their congregations, But how do you expect them to survive? It normally takes 6 years or more after college to earn a doctorate. That is 10 or more years after secondary school. Even with fellowships and assitantships, most people need to borrow or work to supplement. Are professors supposed to live without food or shelter? Come on, folks! Proper recompense is also a matter of social justice, which is a Catholic teaching, by the way (see, among other things, Rerum Novarum).

9 Likes

I attended a college and currently attend a parish associated with a monastery that also offers a seminary. There are several lay PhDs who teach in the seminary, as well as one or two rabbis. Who is going to pay their salaries if a seminary education is free. If a seminary education were free to the receiver, someone would have to pick up the tab. And guess who that someone is, … you, and me.
If you want seminary education to be free, make a generous donation to the Bishop’s appeal (usually at Lent) so the diocese can fund such educations.
And I know of several Catholic charitable organizations who also contribute; the Knights of Columbus immediately comes to mind.
nunsuch in the above post hit the nail right on the head with her post.

3 Likes

If one really want to become a priest he will find a way and God will provide; if not people who probably don’t have a vocation would go into the priesthood simply because it is free.

3 Likes

I agree, but as an institute of RELIGIOUS learning they should not force seminarians to pay fixed amount of $$$. Instead they should ask for donations to support themselves. It feels wrong.

That’s even better isn’t it? Get more people to spread the word of God.

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