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Programs of Study

Program for Priestly Formation

The Seminary brings together candidates for the priesthood with lay students in integrated study geared toward the exercise of collaborative ministry that will guide our Church into the future.  This collaborative model offers the candidates a rich and diverse learning experience.

Recent studies show a higher retention of priests among those who completed a pastoral practicum and who studied side by side with laity, underscoring these positive dimensions of priestly formation at Christ the King Seminary.  The post-ordination ministry retention for graduates of our program is 92%, among the highest in the country.

To further ensure the integrity of their training, priestly candidates receive distinct training in Church doctrine, suitable pastoral experience and special spiritual and psychological education.  Classes unique to the priesthood, such as the various Sacramental Practicums, are open only to seminarians.

Candidates are admitted to the program under the sponsorship of a bishop.  The program provides the candidate with personal and spiritual formation, pastoral ministry experience and an education in the theological disciplines, so that he will be well equipped for that particular integrity of life and service that the Roman Catholic Church expects of its ministerial priests.  Theological study itself comprises at least four years, includes two field practicums and concludes with a Master of Divinity degree.

Seminarians are immersed in the four main areas of priestly formation outlined by Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Exhortation, Pastores dabo vobis, and highlighted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in their Program of Priestly Formation, namely human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral.

View the diocesan vocations page at