What do semenarians learn?

Actually I’m mostly curious about Scripture requirements, but other studies as well. I am curious what a Priest must study of the Holy Scriptures in order to be an ordained Priest?


What kind of Seminary are you asking about?

Sorry, I misspelled:p

Seminary for Catholic Priests

I guess I wasn’t clear enough.

Do you mean college Seminary? Major Seminary? Junior Seminary? Novitiate?

The answers might vary due to the varying curriculum of different institutions.

Probably college Seminary and Major Seminary.

Sorry again my friend, Im not familiar with these varieties.
The reason I asked about scripture studies in the seminary of Catholic Priesthood is because I’ve heard Catholic accussations that priests do not know bible. I know that it is silly, but wanted to know what formal education they go through, regarding scripture.


Correction: protestant accussations

All seminarians are required to study theology, and in Major Seminary, a Master of Divinity degree is pursued. Because Scripture revolves around Catholic theology, I can’t see why these accusations are made.

Priests definitely have a good understanding of the Bible. However, I can see Protestants making these accusations because they, in general, disagree with Catholics on many things in the Bible. Just some quick examples - Virgin Mary, Sacraments, Transubstantiation.

So I don’t think it is a matter of the Catholic priest not knowing what the four Gospels are. I think it has to do with the Protestant’s understanding of the Bible, and their foundational doctrine of Sola Scriptura.

Historically scripture never really formed a significant part of Catholic seminary formation which is where such beliefs stem from. These days however, there is a significant amount of time devoted to scripture studies - both Old and New Testament. Have a look at the VII document Dei Verbum and BXVI’s encyclical Verbum Domini

Here is a link to the Program of Priestly Formation. It’s a interesting becasue it talks about the “4 pillars” of formation, with the ‘intellectual’ only being one part.

Most of the priests I know graduated from the Theolgical College at Catholic University of America. Here are their requirements.

For an S.T.B from Catholic University of America, this is the requirement for study of Sacred Scriptures

6.Scripture–15 credits: two courses from Old Testament offerings (6), two courses from New Testament offerings (6), one course chosen from either set of offerings (3). These courses are to be chosen from the following: Pentateuch; Prophets; Psalms; Synoptics; John; Pauline Letters.

The breakdown for a Master of Divinity is

…a minimum of 90 credit hours of graduate courses distributed as follows: systematic theology (18), moral theology (12), biblical studies (12), and one course each in canon law, church history, liturgical studies, and spirituality (12), academic electives (12), pastoral ministry (18), and the ministry seminars (6). All students are ordinarily required to take six credits of Basic Supervised Ministry. At least one course must be taken in a non-Catholic ecclesial tradition through the offerings of the Washington Theological Consortium


Does anyone know if the formation for the permanent diaconate differs in any meaningful way? I have heard deacons-to-be study most of the same things, although I do not know if there are less credit hours involved or not.

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