The seminary’s two-year Pre-Theology Program is designed for priesthood candidates who have an undergraduate degree but did not attend college seminary. They receive thorough formation specifically oriented to priestly ministry.
The Pre-Theology curricula (2019-2020 and 2020-2021) include broad foundations in philosophy, as outlined in the Program of Priestly Formation (PPF). Seminarians examine the contributions of philosophy in areas such as metaphysics, the nature of the human person, epistemology and ethics. The program also offers an introduction to the Old and New Testaments and a solid foundation in Church documents and teaching.
Pre-Theologians participate in the seminary’s prayer and community life while also benefiting from strong fraternity among themselves. As part of the discipleship stage of formation, the seminarians work with their formation and spiritual directors who accompany them in human and spiritual growth while attending classes at The Saint Paul Seminary and the University of St. Thomas.
A component of the 2016 Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis is the addition of a propaedeutic stage for aspirants. This would require that a man participates in a period of formation before he begins Pre-Theology, allowing him to prepare for full participation in seminary life. The Saint Paul Seminary is exploring options to host such a program in St. Paul, off site of the seminary.