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
Am I called?Determining if one is called to the priesthood can be confusing, but there are some things that help.
Who is a candidate to enter seminary?Every seminarian is different, and so are the paths that have led them there.
Seminary lifeFind out what it's like to be a seminarian, from class and prayer to sports and food.
Discernment QuizDo you have the signs and characteristics of a good candidate for the seminary?