Formation in the Pre-Theology Program

The School of Theology is responsible for the structure and overall supervision of the Pre-Theology Program, and it administers the human, spiritual, and pastoral components.

Human Formation

The human formation component of the Pre-Theology Program assists seminarians with the transition from secular to seminary life and fosters the seminarians’ growth toward a commitment to priestly life. The Pre-Theology seminarian further develops the Christian virtues he brought to the program: unselfish love, mature obedience, celibate chastity, pastoral poverty, and a commitment to social justice.

Spiritual Formation

Spiritual formation in the Pre-Theology Program is intended to help the seminarian grow in his spiritual life, providing a solid foundation as he advances toward priesthood and transitions from an undergraduate school or life experience as a layman. Graduates of the program will understand the Catholic spiritual tradition, appropriate the Liturgy of the Hours as the Church’s own prayer, and begin the practices of a priestly spirituality.

Intellectual Formation

The Josephinum’s Pre-Theology Program is designed to serve college graduates and second-career candidates who need further academic preparation and formation in order to undertake priestly studies in the School of Theology. The program is normally two years long, but there is flexibility depending on each seminarian’s academic background and personal needs. Academic coursework is managed by the faculty of the College of Liberal Arts.

Degrees & Certificates

The Pre-Theology course program is centered primarily on philosophy and theological study, with additional required coursework in languages and other disciplines helpful to the cultural formation of future priests. A Certificate of Achievement in Philosophical and Theological Studies is awarded to those students who successfully complete at least one full year in the Josephinum Pre-Theology Program and have earned the undergraduate theology credits required by the Program of Priestly Formation. Others may strive to earn a Bachelor of Philosophy degree, which is awarded to students who already possess a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent and successfully complete the required courses.

Pastoral Formation

Pastoral formation in Pre-Theology centers on placement in a religious education setting during the second year of study. Activities involve a variety of experiences in diverse pastoral settings that develop:
• pastoral background for future study in the theologate
• understanding of the Church’s pastoral mission as it is practiced in a pastoral setting
• theological reflection skills, which mediate the experiential base with the academic studies pertaining to the Catholic practice of ministry
• discernment of the seminarian’s aptitude for future ministry.