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:
1. The Ordination Program requirements. This plan of studies includes 138 core credit hours. The courses cover the following fields of theological studies: Scripture, Systematic Theology, Moral Theology, Church History, Canon Law, Pastoral Theology, (Pastoral Language and electives. Details may be found in the Plan of Studies.
2. The Master of Divinity requirements. The M. Div. Degree program is a graduate plan of studies of 91 credit hours in the Ordination Program requirements. The program requirements cover the following fields of theological studies: Scripture (15 credit hours), Systematic Theology (27 credit hours), Moral Theology (12 credit hours), Church History (6 credit hours), Canon Law (3 credit hours), Pastoral Theology (28 credit hours).
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).