Academic formation initiates a lifelong search for a deeper
understanding of divine mysteries, an understanding that enriches
the faith not only of the priest, but of the community he
A critical knowledge of Catholic teaching and tradition is the
foundation upon which all theological study and pastoral ministry
are based. In addition, priests must be able to relate the
intellectual heritage of Catholic teaching and tradition to the
concrete situations of the people they are serving.
This requires that seminarians study systematic theology to
grasp the meaning of faith, dogmatic theology to connect with the
tradition's theological sources, and moral theology to wrestle with
the complexities of conscience formation and decision-making.
Priests represent the Church Universal to the particular
communities they are called to serve. Thus, they must be effective
preachers and teachers, understand the laws and regulations that
bind the community together, be skilled in the various techniques
and theories of pastoral care and counseling, possess an
understanding of leadership theory and practice, and be sensitive
to the catechetical concerns present in their communities.
Two Programs for Priesthood
Saint Meinrad offers two graduate degree programs for
The two-year Pre-Theology
Program/Master of Arts (Catholic Philosophical
Studies) offers a solid grounding in philosophy
and basic theological thought to prepare students for entrance into
a Master of Divinity program. Entrance to the program requires a
The four-year Master of
Divinity Program, the final academic requirement for
ordination, offers graduate study in theology to students who have
completed the Pre-Theology Program or have already undertaken
significant undergraduate study in philosophy (30 hours) and
theology (12 hours) while completing a bachelor's degree.