The commitment to study, which takes up no small part of the time of those preparing for the priesthood, is not an external and secondary dimension of their human, spiritual, and vocational growth. The goal of intellectual formation is the conversion of mind and heart, which is the only sure foundation for a lifetime of teaching and preaching.
The academic dimension of the formation program for ordination consists of the following:
1. The Ordination Program requirements. This plan of studies includes 106 core credit hours; four electives (generally, eight credit hours); and eleven seminars. The courses cover the five fields of theological studies of Scripture (19 credit hours), Systematic Theology (31 credit hours), Moral Theology (18 credit hours), Church History (12 credit hours), and Pastoral Theology (26 credit hours and 11 non-credited seminars and language requirements to assure competencies in English and Spanish). Four electives complete this plan of studies.
2. The Master of Divinity requirements. The M. Div. Degree program is a graduate plan of studies of 90 credit hours included in the ordination program requirements. This program covers the five fields of theological studies of Scripture (17 credit hours), Systematic Theology (27 credit hours), Moral Theology (15 credit hours), Church History (12 credit hours), and Pastoral Theology (19 credit hours). Seminarians complete the academic requirements of the M.Div. Program at the end of IV Theology.
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).