Program of Priestly Formation 2016-11-11T18:20:23+00:00
Rembrandt van Rijn, The Footwashing

Rembrandt van Rijn, The Footwashing

PROGRAM OF PRIESTLY FORMATION

FIFTH EDITION

UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS

2006

137. At the same time, this knowledge is not simply for personal possession but is destined to be shared in the community of faith. And that is why it is “for the salvation of their brothers and sisters.”Intellectual formation has an apostolic and missionary purpose and finality.

 

138. In the seminary program, intellectual formation culminates in a deepened understanding of the mysteries of faith that is pastorally oriented toward effective priestly ministry, especially preaching. This understanding, however, requires previous intellectual formation and academic integrity as foundational. The overall goal of every stage of seminary formation is to prepare a candidate who is widely knowledgeable about the human condition, deeply engaged in a process of understanding divine revelation, and adequately skilled in communicating his knowledge to as many people as possible.

140. Many candidates approach the seminary with significant educational background. They are, however, often narrowly educated, that is, they may have great expertise in a particular area and have a high level of technical training, but lack a wide background. Often lacking is education in the humanities, which would enable them to study theology effectively and make pastoral connections with the lives of the people whom they will serve.

 

From the same document:

 

PROGRAM OF PRIESTLY FORMATION

FIFTH EDITION

UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF BISHOPS

2006

 

College Seminary

146. In the college seminary, students follow a double course of intellectual formation. They first pursue the liberal arts, through which they acquire a sense of the great human questions contained in the arts and sciences. They synthesize and organize their study of the liberal arts through the study of philosophy, which also serves as a preparation for the study of theology. This two-fold college program also initiates students to the study of theology that will, of course, be pursued in greater depth in the theologate. A good college seminary program promotes excellence and takes necessary steps for students to achieve it.

147. A sound liberal arts education for candidates preparing for the priesthood provides multiple benefits. The study of the natural world and of humanity in all its historical and cultural diversity represents a significant value in its own right. Such an education encourages intellectual curiosity, promotes critical thought, and fosters disciplined habits of study. A liberal arts education also teaches students to communicate with others in a clear and effective way.

156. The philosophy program must include the study of logic, epistemology, philosophy of nature, metaphysics, natural theology, anthropology, and ethics:

The study of the philosophy of nature, which treats fundamental principles like substance, form, matter, causality, motion, and the soul, provides seminarians a foundation for the study of metaphysics, natural theology, anthropology, and ethics.

Graduate Theology

163.

  • When theology is studied in the context of priestly formation, it cannot be detached from other human knowledge. In fact, it is to be integrated with other elements of human understanding, especially philosophy and the human sciences. 107

107 See Pastores dabo vobis, no. 53.

  • Theology’s theoretical and practical dimensions in priestly mission and ministry mean that it must be rigorous both academically and pastorally in its orientation. 113