The application process may seem lengthy at first glance, but it is not undertaken alone: one of the functions of the diocesan Vocations Office is to guide candidates through the steps of the application process. Candidates are encouraged to look at the various requirements as an ongoing act of discernment.

If a man becomes a priest, he will bring all of himself into his ministry: his history, interests, gifts, and weaknesses. The admissions process is thorough in order to identify these areas, giving both the Bishop and the man in question an honest assessment of the candidate’s qualities and suitability for the priesthood.

Personal Discernment Potential candidates generally spend a substantial amount of time discerning their calling, and at some point during this process initiate contact with the Vocations Office.
Meeting with the Vocation Director The first meeting serves as an initial assessment and allows for discussion of general topics and suitability of the candidate. Future meetings with the Vocation Director are offered throughout the discernment process.
Spiritual Direction & Formal Discernment The Vocation Director will arrange spiritual direction to ensure prudent discernment. A meeting with the Bishop may be arranged.
Written Application General information of the candidate is collected, including a biography and religious and family history. Six references, including the candidate’s current pastor, are requested and contacted by the Vocations Office. A complete medical examination and history are also required.
Psychological Evaluation If the application is satisfactory, the candidate undergoes a psychological exam to evaluate his cognitive ability, personality traits, and to detect any psychopathologies. Results are reviewed in person with the Vocation Director and candidate. The written report is given only to the candidate, Bishop and Vocation Director.
Background Check The diocese will conduct a criminal background check for criminal activity including those involving children.
Interview with the Admissions Committee A committee made up of priests, religious, and laity will review the above information and interview the candidate. Each member of the committee will submit a recommendation for each candidate.
Decision by the Bishop The Vocation Director and the Bishop will meet to review the candidate’s entire admissions process and the recommendations of the Admissions Committee. The final decision rests with the Bishop.
Seminary Admission Process If a candidate is admitted, the Vocation Office will work with him to determine the best seminary to attend (in consultation with the Bishop) and begin completing that specific admissions process.

From Church Documents

“These candidates should…have certain qualities: a right intention, a sufficient degree of human maturity, a sufficiently broad knowledge of the doctrine of the faith, some introduction into the methods of prayer and behavior in conformity with Christian tradition.” (Pastores dabo vobis, no. 62)
Applicants must give evidence of an overall personal balance, good moral character, a love for the truth, and proper motivation. This includes the requisite human, moral, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and psychological qualities for priestly ministry.” (Program of Priestly Formation, no. 43)

Seminarian Application

Psychological Consent Release Form

Medical Form

Criminal Background Check


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