The academic program provides structured opportunities to develop a comprehensive and discriminating understanding of the Roman Catholic religious heritage. Its primary goal is to enable seminarians to develop and demonstrate:
The theological formation of candidates for the ministerial priesthood is based on faith, animated by the Holy Spirit, guided by the Word of God, and faithful to the tradition and the Magisterium of the Church. In a significant way, intellectual formation for priesthood means a theological education in which a thorough and comprehensive grounding in the Catholic faith is conveyed. While priesthood is a response to the call from God to live as an ordained minister in the community, it is also a profession that demands appropriate academic preparation. St. Vincent de Paul is a graduate institution.
The commitment to study, which takes up no small part of the time of those preparing for priesthood, is not in fact an external and secondary dimension of their human, Christian, spiritual and vocational growth. In reality, through study, especially the study of theology, the future priest assents to the word of God, grows in his spiritual life and prepares himself to fulfill his pastoral ministry (PDV #51).
The academic dimension of the formation program for ordination consists of the following:
Qualified candidates admitted into the formation program are enrolled in the M. Div. plan of studies. Transfer candidates from other seminaries may enter the M. Div. degree program if they had been in the M. Div. or an equivalent program at the seminary from which they transferred. To qualify for this degree, transfer candidates must enroll for a minimum of four full semesters of academic work and a Pastoral Year at St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary. (For full details of the M. Div. Degree academic requirements, transfer credits, etc., cf. the section on General Academic Information).