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pax

College Before Seminary

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pax
This may seem like a stupid question, but I'm not real familiar with how this works. It's my current understanding that seminarians do extensive undergrad work in philosophy and then go on to Theology in grad school.

If I were to go to a Catholic college, get a degree with a masters in English and a double minor in Spanish and philosophy, would my philosophy credits transfer over to a seminary and either cut down on the amount of time spent in undergrad or totally cut it out? I'm asking this because I'm not so sure I should enter seminary right away and it seems quite expensive. In the long run I hope doing it this way would be less financially burdensome and provide me with more time to discern before making a commitment to seminary (if that makes any sense).

Pax

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Raphael
The general standard is:

You still need to have to have a strong basis in philosophy (24-30 credits, depending on where you are). If you went to get a major in something else, whatever philosophy credits could transfer would (that would depend on the school) and you would be entered into a pre-theology program, which usually takes one or two years and has intense study of philosophy. On the whole, it would be a longer course to take, likely ten years instead of eight.

As for the cost of seminary, it usually is high, but many dioceses help with the bills or pay off the whole thing. The Archdiocese of Omaha, for instance, pays the whole bill, tuition, room and board, books, and gives you a stipend.

Taking a lot of Spanish is a good idea, too. Many dioceses are now requiring at least two years of Spanish.

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Iacobus
In the Diocese of Rockford, it would transfer over and you would start just before Seminary Major with like 1 or 2 years of study and than you are in Seminary Major. You need, I think it was at least, 34 credit hours of theo and philosophy. To get a good understanding of how it works where you are call your parish priest, they normaly know.

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Raphael
[quote name='Iacobus' date='Jul 3 2004, 05:12 PM'] In the Diocese of Rockford, it would transfer over and you would start just before Seminary Major with like 1 or 2 years of study and than you are in Seminary Major. You need, I think it was at least, 34 credit hours of theo and philosophy. To get a good understanding of how it works where you are call your parish priest, they normaly know. [/quote]
That one or two years of study is the pre-theology phase.

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pax
Thanks a lot for the replies! Just another quick question. As a seminarian do you think it would be more beneficial to go to college and get a degree first, would it be better to just enter after High School or maybe 1 year of college, or would it just depend heavily on the situation?

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ThyWillBeDone
Well I went to one year of college and I am enter the seminary this fall. I think the year in college helped me alot. Not really in an acedemic way but just being in college help me mature in many ways, I feel I am much more prepared to enter the seminary now then I was last year, even thought last year I thought I was ready to enter then. So it really a personal thing, maybe a year or two of college would help you, maybe not, only you can determine. I will keep you in my prayers
God Bless,
Chris

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dlz7486
I think it's a good idea to have an undergraduate education before entering the seminary. College not only matures you but makes you more worldly and knowledgeable. You shouldn't sacrifice an undergrad education to enter the seminary earlier. Plus, after a few years of college, you may feel more passionate about another area, or you may be more grounded in your decision to become a priest. Whatever the case may be, I think college helps you greatly.

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Pio Nono
JMJ
7/3 - St. Thomas the Apostle

Coming from a guy who attends an undergraduate college seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota...

My extended family wanted me to go to "real college" before entering seminary so that I would know more about the world and its ways, be a bit more mature, see things from different angles...in effect, get the "real college experience."

Personally, if you go to an undergraduate college seminary and don't get the "real college experience", you're either a recluse or a weirdo. Each man needs to make his own decision regarding college seminary, but don't pass it up just because you think you need a real college experience first. Don't sacrifice four years of living in an environment urged on by holiness for something which can be rather pagan most of the time.

My two cents, for what it's worth.

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BurkeFan
I'd say that undergrad college, not in the seminary, is often a good idea. One of my best friends actually was a freshman last year at SLU. He came there after spending a few years in the seminary for an order. He was encouraged to get "the college experience," and so, he's on academic leave. I know that the Eastern Province Dominicans (Province of St Joseph) require that you have completed undergraduate work and have been out for at least one year.
I personally am currently planning on even going through grad school before applying... I'm not sure though, still up in the air. Depends on where my discernment (and the Holy Spirit) leads me in terms of orders and such.
In Christ,
Dave

Edit: Re: Pio Nono's post: if you decide to get the undergrad experience, choose your college carefully. I was lucky that I came to SLU and fell into the kind of conservative (meaning orthodox, JPII fans) Catholic crowd, which has been very spiritually beneficial for me. It's alot easier to pray with a group (ie, having people encouraging / shoving you into the chapel to pray) in a friendly environment than on your own in a hostile environment. Edited by BurkeFan

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ThyWillBeDone
I agree with BurkeFan, it very important to find a good group of Catholic friends at college. I just got done my freshman year and it took me a while to find a good group of friends, my spirtual life suffered badly until I found out about our Newman Club and meet all the great people in it. Then with there help I grew a whole lot spirtually. I am glad I spent the year in college before applying to the seminary.
God Bless
Chris

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Iacobus
[quote name='Pio Nono' date='Jul 3 2004, 06:30 PM'] JMJ
7/3 - St. Thomas the Apostle

Coming from a guy who attends an undergraduate college seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota... [/quote]
Whats the name of it... I know it St. Johns Vinnary or something... I can't rember, I saw somewhere that you or someone said you go there. I knew a guy that went there (I think he still does but I don't see him, he was a small group retreat leader) and he gave me some plaments on it.

I would say try a few years at a good Catholic school (Ave Maria, Catholic U, etc).

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Pio Nono
JMJ
7/3 - St. Thomas the Apostle

Yeah, I go to St. John Vianney in St. Paul.

If you're a faithful member of the Church before you go to college, and you're thinking about going to seminary, [i]go to seminary[/i]. That's where I stand. It's not right for some people, but it's what was right for me.

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PaxVobis
Pax,

I personally would say go straight into Seminary but it is really totally up to you. I had decided to enter the seminary in 8th grade so i took extra classes in High school and graduated as a junior.

What are your reasons for wanting to go to college before starting seminary? If you start right away you will start your formation at an earlier point in your life and will be going through all that the seminary has to offer begenning with your freshman year. If you decide that seminary isn't for you then most of your classes will transfer.. Especially if you decide in the first year or so.

If you can really think of a good reason why you should go to college first then go for it. If not why not start now?

God bless!
Tony Edited by PaxVobis

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PaxVobis
Also... It depends on how many years you go to college and what transfers on your length of school. If you do 4 years and get your degree then you go pre theo for 6 more years so that's a total of 10 as opposed to 8. If you just go one year it will most likely transfer and will do 7 years of seminary. But that just depends on if enough hours (Approx 32) transfer over. God bless!

Pax,
Tony

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