Seminarian Major

I am going to begin my first year at seminary in 10 days and I just realized I need to do this now. So here in Cleveland we take our philosophy classes at the seminary itself, but we attend John Carroll University for a liberal arts major, and if we want, any minor of our choosing. I'm a bad person who accidentally put this off, so I have around a week to decide on one of the following approved majors :o and I'm wondering if anyone can help. (I've removed some I know I'm not interested at all in) The choices are:

Classical Languages
Communications
Economics (B.A. track only)
History
Modern Languages
Sociology
Psychology (Human Development)
Humanities

This boils down to a few specific questions. If I discern that I am certainly called to the priesthood, which would help me the most with fulfilling that vocation? If I discern that I am not being called to the priesthood, which is the most useful, for lack of better term, in the real world. Should I follow a path towards what would help me as a priest the most or help me in the world the most. I don't mean how to make the most money, but what could lead me to a good career with actual job prospects. Or should I just pick the one which interests me most and just use the minor as the "just in case" I discern out of seminary in the next few years? Finally if you're experienced in any of these fields I would be very interested in hearing your take on what you actually do so I don't have the wrong idea. A lot of questions, but any help with any of them is very much appreciated.

If I was in your situation, I would take Spanish. The latino community in America makes up a good percentage of the Church in America and it would be good to learn some Spanish! :thumbsup:

First of all, consider your interests, aptitudes and what you liked and did well in in in high school.

Economics--were you good in math? Does this interest you? If you weren't going to seminary, were you interested in business?

Classical languages won't go far without grad school. Do you want to join the FSSP and pray the Latin mass? Do you want to become a Benedictine and teach Latin and Greek?

"Humanities" as a major sounds awfully vague--what does it include?

Psych might be good for a priest--but is that human psych or experimental psych with a lot of lab rat experiments?

Talk to the students--what are the strongest departments? Which have the most majors and offerings? Any other seminarians there--what are they taking? What do most of the graduates of the college major in?

Do you have to declare right away? In the real world there are distribution requirements, and you don't have to declare a major until your junior year.

I agree about the Spanish, if it's available exclusively without your having to study other modern languages. It would make a great minor.

[quote="1234, post:3, topic:209375"]
First of all, consider your interests, aptitudes and what you liked and did well in in in high school.

Economics--were you good in math? Does this interest you? If you weren't going to seminary, were you interested in business?

Classical languages won't go far without grad school. Do you want to join the FSSP and pray the Latin mass? Do you want to become a Benedictine and teach Latin and Greek?

"Humanities" as a major sounds awfully vague--what does it include?

Psych might be good for a priest--but is that human psych or experimental psych with a lot of lab rat experiments?

Talk to the students--what are the strongest departments? Which have the most majors and offerings? Any other seminarians there--what are they taking? What do most of the graduates of the college major in?

Do you have to declare right away? In the real world there are distribution requirements, and you don't have to declare a major until your junior year.

I agree about the Spanish, if it's available exclusively without your having to study other modern languages. It would make a great minor.

[/quote]

I'll definitely look into what the other seminarians usually take and why. I should note that I'm most likely not deciding my whole future with this. It's unlikely that I'll follow any of these to a specific career. Just in case I discern that I am not called to the priesthood, I'll probably use my intended minor to build toward the degree that I had planned before becoming a seminarian. I'm just need some diverse input so I don't miss anything. Thanks for your help :) And Spanish does sound like a good idea if I can take that without losing too much, very useful regardless of what my future becomes.

[quote="1234, post:3, topic:209375"]
Classical languages won't go far without grad school. Do you want to join the FSSP and pray the Latin mass? Do you want to become a Benedictine and teach Latin and Greek?

[/quote]

What does FSSP have to do with it? Lots of regular diocesan priests say Mass in Latin. Also, if you are interested in theology, it will help you a lot to be able to read people like Thomas Aquinas in the original Latin, and Athanasius in the original Greek--not to mention the Scriptures. I think if you actually have a vocation to the priesthood, this will probably be the most helpful.

I think you will find that most, if not all, Psychology study is pretty aggressively secular. Freud may be dead, but he is not gone. Most universtities have different concentrations in Psychology (e.g. clinical, research, development/education, industrial, etc.), but all of them will require some research.

I have had some sociology classes, and they tend to treat people like units rather than individals. I think you would probably have to unlearn a lot about how to think about people if you took that.

And as for Spanish, unless your university is different from mine, you can't graduate with any BA degree without taking at least one modern language. There's no need to major or even minor in it. Usually a minor goes beyond learning the language to studying literature and so forth, which is fine if you are interested in it, but totally unnecessary for pastoral purposes.

Communications, economics, and history might all be fine, depending on what you are interested in. Have you looked at the descriptions of the required courses?

I agree with the other poster in not knowing what a "humanities" major would consist of.

As far as what will help the most in getting a job later, none of them are going to help a whole lot. Psychology, history, sociology (unless you go into criminal justice areas), and classical languages all require graduate study if you are not going to be a priest. Economics, modern languages and communications might get you somewhere, but that is only helpful if you want to do the things those degrees lead to.

Doesn't the school have counselors to help you make that decision? They should at least be able to tell you what jobs those degrees lead to and what people would do in those jobs.

Good luck!

--Jen

[quote="revert_jen, post:5, topic:209375"]
What does FSSP have to do with it? Lots of regular diocesan priests say Mass in Latin. Also, if you are interested in theology, it will help you a lot to be able to read people like Thomas Aquinas in the original Latin, and Athanasius in the original Greek--not to mention the Scriptures. I think if you actually have a vocation to the priesthood, this will probably be the most helpful.

[/quote]

That's what I was thinking too

I think you will find that most, if not all, Psychology study is pretty aggressively secular. Freud may be dead, but he is not gone. Most universtities have different concentrations in Psychology (e.g. clinical, research, development/education, industrial, etc.), but all of them will require some research.

I have had some sociology classes, and they tend to treat people like units rather than individals. I think you would probably have to unlearn a lot about how to think about people if you took that.

yeah I was pretty shocked at what they taught us when I took a general psychology class for post-secondary last year, and looking at sociology it probably might fall into the same vein. Granted, John Carroll is a Catholic College so I would hope they're better at it.

And as for Spanish, unless your university is different from mine, you can't graduate with any BA degree without taking at least one modern language. There's no need to major or even minor in it. Usually a minor goes beyond learning the language to studying literature and so forth, which is fine if you are interested in it, but totally unnecessary for pastoral purposes.

ok, didn't think of that, thanks.

Communications, economics, and history might all be fine, depending on what you are interested in. Have you looked at the descriptions of the required courses?

I agree with the other poster in not knowing what a "humanities" major would consist of.

As far as what will help the most in getting a job later, none of them are going to help a whole lot. Psychology, history, sociology (unless you go into criminal justice areas), and classical languages all require graduate study if you are not going to be a priest. Economics, modern languages and communications might get you somewhere, but that is only helpful if you want to do the things those degrees lead to.

Yeah I was thinking that, just wanted to make sure I wasn't totally clueless :whacky: I'm probably going to go with classical languages since I love linguistics and like you said it will probably be the best if I am ordained, and as far as I'm aware I'm not interested enough in the other degrees to get the necessary Ph.D to actually go anywhere with them.

Doesn't the school have counselors to help you make that decision? They should at least be able to tell you what jobs those degrees lead to and what people would do in those jobs.

oh definitely, and I'm meeting with an academic advisor in a week who'll (hopefully) guide me through all this with minimal hassle

Good luck!

--Jen

Thank you! :thumbsup:

I would probably encourage a minor in psychology and a major in classical languages or vice versa. I myself would like to become a priest. I am attending a public university and have recently changed my major to psychology. I wish that my university offered a classical languages track. They offer Latin but not Greek and only have majors and minors in French and Spanish.

Be aware that to take classes at the major seminary you will need 30 credits in philosophy.

So the major should not be a BA in liberal arts, it should be in philosophy.

[quote="ByzCath, post:8, topic:209375"]
Be aware that to take classes at the major seminary you will need 30 credits in philosophy.

So the major should not be a BA in liberal arts, it should be in philosophy.

[/quote]

Yes, we take those philosophy classes at the seminary itself.

[quote="1234, post:3, topic:209375"]

Classical languages won't go far without grad school. Do you want to join the FSSP and pray the Latin mass? .

[/quote]

Seminarians are required to know sufficent Latin to say the OF Mass in Latin.

I would go either Psych major and Classical Lang minor, or vice versa.

[quote="addictedkoala, post:9, topic:209375"]
Yes, we take those philosophy classes at the seminary itself.

[/quote]

Then the advice you are seeking here is what minor you should take, or are you planning a double major?

[quote="Brendan, post:10, topic:209375"]
Seminarians are required to know sufficent Latin to say the OF Mass in Latin.

[/quote]

Not true.

[quote="ByzCath, post:11, topic:209375"]
Then the advice you are seeking here is what minor you should take, or are you planning a double major?

[/quote]

"The Academic program of Borromeo Seminary is offered in conjunction with John Carroll University, the Jesuit University in Cleveland. Borromeo students are registered at the university as full-time students. Upon graduation, students receive a bachelor of arts degree from John Carroll University. Borromeo Seminary offers the Philosophy and Religious Studies courses required by the Program for Priestly Formation on the campus of the seminary."

Essentially, the John Carroll liberal arts courses are to help us in the long run in formation, the minor provide us with a base for another major should we leave the seminary, and all this puts us in a "real world" situation with our non seminarian peers. At least that is my understanding of it. What I was asking for help on was just input on the approved majors. I know we do formation differently than most diocese, and to be perfectly honest I have trouble wrapping my head around it myself, but I feel I very well might be called so I'm willing to do whatever the diocese has determined is fit for discernment.

In the end I think I know what I'm going to do now, but I'm talking with the seminary director one last time tomorrow to make sure I get it. :cool:

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