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Propaedeutic Year

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Propaedeutic Year – Online


This initial phase serves as the bedrock of their formational path, placing a significant focus on both human and spiritual growth. Our online program provides the intellectual formation for the propaedeutic year required by the PPF 6. This allows your community or diocese to continue providing human, spiritual, and pastoral formation locally.

propaedeutic year online seminarian students

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Take your next step toward your success and your future!

“Vocations aren’t the result of planning. But an encounter with God that changes your life. “

– Pope Francis –

Your Seminarians Will:

  • Participate in a full-time academic program
  • Receive spiritual direction
  • Receive personalized attention from our excellent faculty
  • Experience a quality education from a Cardinal Newman Guide Recommended College

Coursework for Propaedeutic Year – Online

In accordance with the above guidance, the following courses are recommended for propaedeutic year seminarians. Note that only three courses for a total of nine credit hours, in general education or non-general education (such as introduction to scripture, spirituality, and the Catechism) are permitted each semester. Course selections are flexible to accommodate the needs of each student.

Year I Fall Semester
PAS 161 Catechism I – Online
ENG 115 Writing and Composition – Online
SAS 101 Sacred Scripture – Online

ENG 300 Great Christian Literature – Online
HIS 101 Western Civilization – Online
SCM 101 Mathematics among the Liberal Arts – Online

Year 1 Spring Semester
PAS 162 Catechism II – Online
LLT 300 Introduction to Liturgy – Online
DTH 512 Spiritual Life in the Classics – Online

CHH 300 Church History – Online
HIS 102 Western Civilization II – Online
ENG 221 Novels, Short Stories, Literary Research – Online

At the Conclusion of Propaedeutic Year
“The propaedeutic stage should conclude with the seminarian’s making a firm resolution to dedicate himself to the work of priestly formation or, alternatively, ‘to follow a different path in life’ as a faithful lay Catholic. A decision to proceed to priestly formation must always be confirmed by the Church.” (PPF6, 122)

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Propaedeutic Year Benchmarks

Human Benchmarks
“Self-knowledge and awareness are key themes in the area of human formation during the propaedeutic stage. Before he begins the discipleship stage, it is important that the seminarian, with the help of formators, be able to reflect upon his personal history (e.g., family of origin, use of technology, personal habits) and his needed areas of growth. Other aspects of the human dimension necessary for beginning the discipleship stage include relational skills (e.g., capacity for healthy and deep friendships, basic social skills and good manners, flexibility, adaptability, a basic capacity for empathy); self-discipline (e.g., capacity for hard work, awareness of the appropriate use of time, basic self-control); a trusting relationship with formators (e.g., openness to correction, awareness of the importance of transparency in formation, growing sense of accountability); and healthy habits of self-care (e.g., beginning an exercise regimen, good personal hygiene, beginning to address any health concerns or unhealthy habits).” (PPF6, 191)

Spiritual Benchmarks
“One of the primary objectives of the propaedeutic stage is to provide an introduction to the spiritual life and to develop a solid foundation in the seminarian’s life of prayer. Those elements in the spiritual dimension to be achieved prior to beginning the discipleship stage include growth in prayer and the spiritual life (e.g., elementary discipline in public and private prayer, interest in and attention to spiritual direction, understanding of the importance of silence, and a growing habit of silence), growth in an understanding of the celibate life (e.g., ability to articulate the Church’s understanding of the promise of celibacy and the spiritual motivation for celibacy, growth in the virtue of chastity, and growth in the habit of healthy solitude), growth in the understanding of the priestly vocation, the ability to articulate a relationship with Jesus Christ, and growth in reading and meditating on Sacred Scripture.” (PPF6, 235)

Intellectual Benchmarks
“Gaining an initial understanding of Christian doctrine and anthropology as well as an initial familiarity of the Bible in its various parts are benchmarks that should be reached prior to embarking on philosophical studies in the discipleship stage. Benchmarks related to intellectual formation in preparation for the study of philosophy and theology include basic habits of study, signs of intellectual curiosity, and love of learning. Finally, if necessary, the propaedeutic stage can help to make up for anything that is missing in a seminarian’s general education.” (PPF6, 271)

Pastoral Benchmarks
“Seminarians in the propaedeutic stage should develop ‘the dynamic of self-giving through experiences in the parish setting and charitable works.’ Hands-on experiences that include contact with the poor are appropriate at this stage. Benchmarks in the pastoral dimension include an awareness of the pastoral situation of the local community or ecclesiastical entity, as well as an awareness of the multicultural reality of the Church in the United States and the nature of the Universal Church. Priests serving in the United States, regardless of their cultural background, often serve in a multicultural setting. Working toward cultural competency, including language competency, to meet pastoral needs in his diocese should be part of the formation a seminarian receives during the propaedeutic stage, so as to lay a solid foundation for continued formation in cultural competency in later stages. Pastoral charity is at the heart of the Church and the priesthood; so demonstrating a genuine concern for others, a spirit of generosity, and a developing habit of self-donation are also necessary benchmarks to be achieved prior to the seminarian’s acceptance into the discipleship stage.” (PPF6, 373)

Pricing and Cost

Our affordability is a gift to the church. Our undergraduate tuition is $395 per credit hour. A 9 credit hour semester including fees is $3605.

Students can apply for federal aid (Pell Grants and Stafford Loans) by completing the FAFSA at StudentAid.gov.

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