How hard is the permanent diaconate program?


Some questions:

Is it the same amount of time in all dioceses?

Are classes online.?

Does it matter how much college education you have?

What kind of testing is involved?



The program that I was in lasted for five years. The first year was Aspirancy, followed by 4 years of actual formation. That formation was academic as well as spiritual. We did not have any online classes although I believe some Dioceses do offer that option. The formation for me required one weekend per month. I would have to travel 2 1/2 hours to another city on a Friday evening and the weekend would go from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. The testing that we had was generally some kind of essay on a pre-determined topic. There were some actual written tests (multiple choice, etc.) but mostly 5-10 page essays. Some classes were more difficult than others. I do not have a college degree and the program overall was not too hard. I also had a lot of support from my brothers in the program. We did have to do a lot of reading and it does take a lot of time. I have five young children at home as I completed the program so I had to be very disciplined with my time in order that I stayed true to my first vocation of being a husband and father. I hope this helped.


Yes, it does. I have also found an old thread with a lot of the information I needed. Your help is much appreciated.

Thank You Marty


In our diocese most of the formation classes are graduate level work, but not everyone is able to get graduate credit. If you want the credit you have to do extra work. Most of the men today have college degrees but they will take somone withou as long as they can keep up with the readings and assignments.


In our diocese it is also 5 years, 1 discernment and 4 formation. Classes are 2 nights a week, 3 hours each, during the academic year, plus Summer reading and practicum assignments. Probably 5-6 hours a week of homework also.


I am an aspirant in our Diocese. We had two years to get our pre formation requirements completed, these courses could either be taken on-line or through Saturday courses. Once accepted into the program, it takes five years to ordination. We have Saturday all-day classes, most of which are done through distance learning. Each course is four weeks, we meet every other Saturday and we do not have classes in the summer. We also have formation days and attend an annual retreat.

One thing to keep in mind is that the time I spend on studying and homework is the same amount of time that I was spending learning and studying on my own. Now there is more structure to my learning and I have nine brothers who are on the same journey, a journey that I am enjoying. Not to mention that I am answering the call of the Lord.



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