Master of Divinity (M.Div.) - Admissions



Admissions | Coursework

Admission Process

1. The inquirer should submit his application to the appropriate person (Vocation Director of his Diocese for American students, the Rector in Krakow for Polish Students).

2. Once all documentation is received and interviews have been conducted, a decision is made by the appropriate admissions committee.

3. The admission committee makes a recommendation to the Rector

regarding the application.

4. The decision is communicated to the applicant.

5. All documentation is held in strict confidence.


Admissions Requirements

“The purpose of the admissions process is to determine whether candidates

have the requisite qualities to begin the process of formation and preparation

for priestly ordination and ministry.” (PPF #34)

Documentation required in the admissions process (PPF #39, 63 and 64)

1. Completed application form

2. Sacramental Records

3. Autobiography

4. Psychological Assessment

5. Medical Report

6. Academic Transcripts

7. Canonical investigation

8. Criminal background check (if available)

9. Immigration documentation

10. Pastor’s recommendation

11. Recommendation from rector of previous seminary

12. Recommendation from employer (if applicable)

13. Recommendation from Director of Recruitment

14. Admissions Committee Report


Criteria for Admission (PPF #43)

The following criteria serve as guidelines in the assessment process for


1. Personal History provides a framework for understanding significant

influences on the applicant’s life. It includes: family relationships, home

environment, persons, events, decisions, and the variety of situations in which

the applicant has lived. “Applicants must give evidence of an overall personal

balance, good moral character, love for the truth, and proper motivation.

This includes the requisite human, moral, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and

psychological qualities for priestly ministry.” (PPF #44)

2. Faith Formation and Discernment. Since priestly vocations are developed and

nurtured in good experiences of the local church and its expressions, the

applicant’s participation in the life of his parish and the larger diocesan church

is important. His knowledge and awareness of the church and education in

faith are foundations upon which he may continue to grow in ecclesial fidelity

and service to the People of God. According to the constant tradition of the

Church, the experience of a personal call to priesthood must be discerned

by the individual and submitted to the discernment of the Church. The

applicant’s desire to serve others does not necessarily mean that he is suitable

for the priestly ministry. He must discern his vocation within the context of

prayer, reflect seriously on the movement of God’s Spirit in his life, and enter

into dialogue with a spiritual advisor. Since vocational choices emerge in the

context of life experience, the applicant’s involvement in service to others in

ecclesial and extra-ecclesial settings is valuable. The applicant should also

have a proper motivation and understanding of the diocesan priesthood. (PPF


3. Ethnic and Cultural Background. The applicants to SS. Cyril & Methodius

Seminary are primarily from Poland. The Seminary may also accept applicants

from other countries. There should be sensitivity to the acculturation process.

Applicants to the level two of the ESL

program must have a sufficient TOEFL score as determined by the faculty.

Applicants to the Master of Divinity Degree program must demonstrate

a sufficient knowledge of the English Language (listening, speaking, reading

and writing.) A passing score on the TOEFL exam is required. (PPF #49)

4. Academic Background. Applicants to the Master of Divinity Degree program

are required to have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. “Sufficient

education in philosophy, which the Code of Canon Law states as a biennium,

is understood in the United States to be at least 30 semester credit hours,

plus the out-of-classroom work associated with each credit hour traditionally

expected in American higher education. A minimum of 12 semester credit

hours is required in appropriate courses of undergraduate theology. (PPF

#50).  The B.A. Equivalency includes all credits earned in the first

two years of seminary study (Philosophy), all credits earned after the first

two years which are not applicable to the theological degree program of the

Seminary, all credits earned in Pre-Theology courses and all courses from

the English as a Second language Program. Credits applied toward the B. A.

Equivalency may not be accepted as graduate transfer credits.

5. Psychological Assessment assists in identifying the applicant’s strengths and

areas of needed growth. It is a tool for evaluating the applicant’s capacity

for perception, cognition, emotional stability, self-esteem, and social/

interpersonal relationships. SS. Cyril & Methodius Seminary recognizes the

applicant’s right to privacy and confidentiality. (PPF# 52)

6. Emotional Health. “Special care and scrutiny should be given to those who

manifest dysfunction or come from dysfunctional families. It is possible

for some seminarians to address these issues in the course of a seminary

program through counseling and other means. Their willingness, however, to

confront these and other personal issues should be determined prior to the

decision about admission. If long-term therapeutic work is indicated, this is

best accomplished before the decision is made concerning entrance into the

seminary. At times, the gravity of family or personal issues is such that, if the

candidate has not yet adequately dealt with these issues, entrance into the

seminary program should be denied. (PPF #53)

7. Life Experience. A discussion of the applicant’s life experience should assess

the applicant’s “level of insight or self-knowledge and their willingness to

address important human issues, such as interpersonal abilities, evidence of

sound peer relationships, their manner of dealing with authority, and their

psychosexual development.” (PPF #54)

8. Sexuality plays a central role in defining who one is as a person, both in

relationship to one’s self and in relationship to others. Sexuality involves one’s

self-identity, intimacy with others, self-esteem, and growth in responsibility

toward others. “The applicant should give evidence of having lived in

continence for a sustained period of time, which would be for at least two

years before entering a priestly formation program.” (PPF # 54) “Any evidence

of criminal sexual activity with a minor or an inclination toward such activity

disqualifies the applicant from admission.” (PPF #55) “With regard to the

admission of candidates with same-sex experiences and/or inclinations, the

guidelines provided by the Holy See must be followed.” (PPF #56)

9. Lifestyle is that network of physical environment, relationships, and use

of time, which serve as the context in which one lives. It includes one’s

home, friends, ways of leisure, personal possessions, dress and modes of

transportation. It is a manifestation of an individual’s identity and values

and should be rooted in gospel values. Applicants “should demonstrate an

aptitude for learning principles of good stewardship, avoiding any attitudes

of entitlement.” (PPF #58) Applicants for the priesthood are expected to have

embraced a relatively simple life-style, to be open to a variety of people, to

use resources with wisdom and concern for others, and to appreciate and care

for themselves.

10. Documentation. “The seminary must verify the completion of all

documentation before a candidate is admitted.” (PPF #63)

11. Freedom from Canonical Impediments (PPF #64)

--Sufficient time has passed for a neophyte

--Applicant does not hold a position forbidden to clerics

-- Applicant does not labor under some form of insanity or psychic defect

--Applicant has not committed apostasy, heresy, or schism

--Applicant has not committed homicide or cooperated in an abortion

--Applicant has not mutilated himself or another or attempted suicide

--Applicant has not simulated an act reserved to priests or bishops

”If any of these conditions exist, then prior to admission,

appropriate dispensations or remedies must be obtained.”

12. Physical Health is a significant factor in priestly ministry. The applicant’s

general health and program of health maintenance are good indicators of his

capacity for effective ministry. (PPF #65)

13. Previous Marriage. A previously married candidate needs a declaration of

matrimonial nullity. “Care must be taken to certify the canonical declaration

of nullity by reviewing the Acta (official documentation and evidence for the

canonical decision).” (PPF #66)

14. Recent Converts. “It is advisable that at least two (2) years pass between

their entry into the Catholic Church and their acceptance into the seminary

program.” (PPF #67)