I feel the call to serve God. Actually, I have felt this way from a very young age. I remember telling my parents that I wanted to be a priest when I was only 5 or 6, they recall me saying such things at an even younger age. I have always believed in God and have always tried my best to serve him. The only thing I want to do with my life is serve God, anything else would feel unfulfilling. I have a problem though, I am now 18 years old and I am in the process of writing my GED. I do not have a highschool diploma. This is due to some stupid choices I made when I was in my early highschool years. I was going through a rough time then and I didn’t earn my credits. I messed up my entire highschool career and now I have to write my GED instead because it would take me another year or two to earn enough credits to graduate. Can someone with a GED go to seminary school? If not, is there any way I can take some kind of course in college and then go to the seminary? I guess what I am saying is that I have screwed up my secular education thus far and am asking if there is any way I can still become a priest?
A Catholic seminary is a graduate school, meaning that you must have a Bachelors degree to enter. Once you are in college, nobody cares about your high school career. Talk to your pastor and your diocese’ vocations director.
Thank you very much. I will wait a year and apply for the Religious Studies course at my local university as a mature student.
This is not true. You do not need to have gone to college to enter seminary.
PossiblePadre, please disregard this advice and speak with the vocations director for your diocese. There is no such requirement, there is nothing preventing you from joining the seminary. I know many a seminarian who joined after high school.
That’s the problem though, I did not graduate from high school. I could try to go to university first as a mature student but I looked into it and I would have to wait two (possibly three, depending on the school) years before I can even apply and even then I probably won’t get in. Is there anything I can do? I doubt a seminary would take a GED seriously. I also heard that if a seminary turns you down once you can never apply again, it’s a one time shot, is this true?
Sorry, I misspoke - not being American I forget that a GED and graduating high school are different things. My point is that it does not exclude you. I know someone who was discerning the priesthood and he was getting a GED and there seemed to be no problem. He is on here actually, ATeutonicKnight if you wanted to speak to him about it. You could also consider the religious priesthood, if you feel called to that.
That is also not strictly true. A seminary could potentially decide you are too young and recommend you come back in a few years, for example. I also believe could apply in a different diocese, though you would have to disclose your previous application.
I do not think it is a one time shot.
About your HS diploma, the best advice is to call the diocesan vocations director and have a talk with him.
You can go directly to seminary. But that is up to the seminary director and the advice of your diocesan vocations director.
I can’t speak for Canada, but there is not a respectable seminary in America that would deny you because you have a GED. It’s a high school equivalent. I don’t know how Canada works, but here you also have to do the ACT/SAT test (Which is a college scoring test) as well. In America we have what are called Minor Seminaries where men out of high school can go to to get their bachelor’s degrees in philosophy. After that they go on to Major Seminary to get a degree in theology and get ordained. A friend from Canada told me you do not have Minor Seminaries, but this may not be the case, and if it is and you cannot go to University, I bet you could get a student visa here and study for four years. The best thing to do is contact your vocations director at the diocese and speak with him. He will have more information than us.
I do not know where the OP is, and in the UK this may be true, but in the US, in order to enter seminary, a man must have a Bachelor’s degree.
From the Program of Priestly Formation
- Theologates must require a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent
from an accredited institution. Sufficient education in philosophy, which
the Code of Canon Law states as a biennium,37 is understood in the United
States to be at least 30 semester credit hours, plus the out-of-classroom
work associated with each credit hour traditionally expected in American
higher education. A minimum of 12 semester credit hours is required
in appropriate courses of undergraduate theology. (The content of such
courses is outlined in norms 178 and 179 under “Intellectual Formation—
College Seminaries: Norms.”)
I suggest you contact a few seminaries and speak to admin people. They will give you all the information you need and can suggest how to proceed.
Good luck! I hope things work out and you get to enter.
He lives in Canada. But there is a distinction: You must have a bachelor’s degree to enter MAJOR seminary. MINOR seminary is for those without a bachelor’s degree. This is something people always get confused on.
As Knight has mentioned, you’re citing a section on the study of theology and applying it to the broader category of seminaries in general.
Take a look at the section in the PPF entitled “Stages in Preparation for Theology”, beginning at paragraph 141, which says:
- There are four possible preparatory stages of seminary formation prior to the study of theology and immediate preparation for priestly ordination and ministry. They include high school seminary, college seminary, cultural preparation programs, and pre-theology.
You’ll be especially interested in paragraph 146 and following, which discusses college seminary.
To the OP: since a GED will qualify you to apply to an undergraduate program of studies, you haven’t “screwed up” the potential to enter seminary. Talk to your vocations director and get his advice!
Padre, while your at it, set your sights on the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter(fssp.org/en/index.htm).
More and more the Church as come to realize the loss of traditional liturgy. Evidence is showing a resurgence of the traditional Church, with the demand for it growing in leaps. I believe the Church will come to realize the *grand experiment * of V2 did not work, and what the Community unconsciously desired was stability and firm adherence to sound tradition in this era of instability and the draw to the unsatisfying new and empirical forms of religion oriented to comforts and desires of men.
You won’t be making a mistake.
There is nothing wrong with Vatican II. The way it was taught and implemented is when problems arose. But this thread isn’t about Vatican II, so please do not change that.
Ok, couldn’t resist. To unseen eyes, my tongue was firmly planted in cheek.! Actually, I admire the attempt. But we could lighten up a bit being members of the same family and all.