Admission Requirements for the Ordination & M.Div. Programs

Kenrick School of Theology accepts for admission into the Ordination and Master of Divinity Credential Programs only those candidates who are sponsored by the Archdiocese of Saint Louis, by another Roman Catholic archdiocese or diocese, or by a Roman Catholic religious community. Kenrick School of Theology welcomes ecclesiastically-sponsored candidates of every race, ethnic identity, region, and culture.

The programs of Kenrick School of Theology are offered at the post-graduate level. Candidates seeking admission to the Ordination and Master of Divinity Credential Programs must hold a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the Council For Higher Education Accreditation or holding membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada. Alternatively, candidates may hold a baccalaureate degree from an institution recognized by the Congregation for Catholic Education, a dicastery of the Holy See. Candidates will also be considered for admission who do not hold a baccalaureate degree but who have done the educational equivalent of it, that is, eight semesters or 120 semester-hours of undergraduate work, even if in various institutions or fields of study.

Candidates for admission must give evidence of the following: good health in body and mind; an overall personal balance, moral character, and proper motivation; the commitments and qualities desired for priestly leadership in the Church (ATS A.4.1.1); and the academic ability to pursue education at the graduate level (ATS A.4.1.1).

Because an understanding of the cultural context in which the Gospel is lived and proclaimed forms part of an important goal of the Ordination and Master of Divinity Credential Programs at Kenrick, candidates for admission should normally possess some background, and preferably a major, in the liberal arts. At a minimum, they are required to have a background of at least 24 semester-hours of philosophy, as well as 12 semester-hours of undergraduate theology. Candidates who do not meet these requirements will be recommended to the Pre-Theology Program of Kenrick School of Theology, which is specifically designed to supply undergraduate requirements for admission to the Credential Programs.

Since health of mind and body is vital to the priestly ministry, candidates are required to undergo a physical examination and a psychological evaluation, using the forms and guidelines of the Seminary.

Kenrick School of Theology accepts for admission students who transfer from another graduate level theologate. Such students are required to supply a favorable recommendation from the administration and faculty of the sending institution. Kenrick School of Theology accepts up to 50% of the completed program of the sending institution, to satisfy no more than 50% of the requirements of its own program. The determination of transfer credit is made by the Academic Dean, in consultation with the student and, if necessary, with the officers of the sending institution. Ordinarily, Kenrick requires that transfer students be in residence at the Kenrick-Glennon campus for at least two years before the administration and faculty will recommend them to their sponsoring ordinary for ordination.

Applicants who have previously left another seminary may be admitted to Kenrick School of Theology after Kenrick has first consulted with that seminary. Each case is considered according to the circumstances and situation of the student at the time of his application. Kenrick reserves the right to consult former members of the administration or faculty of the other seminary, former ordinaries or vocation directors who have worked with the candidate, or any other persons the situation may suggest.

An Admissions File is kept for each candidate in the admissions process, subject to the terms of the seminary’s Policy on Files. Candidates are required to supply all of the following:

  • a completed application form as well as a criminal background check;*
  • a recent photograph (approximate size: 2" x 3");
  • recent baptismal and confirmation certificates;
  • an official transcript from any post-secondary educational institutions attended;*
  • a completed seminary health form;*
  • a written report from an ophthalmologist;
  • a written report from a dentist;
  • a complete psychological assessment and report, each carried out according to the stipulations of the seminary;*
  • an autobiography, following the format prescribed in the admissions packet;*
  • an admissions essay, or any recently completed 3-5 page academic written assignment;
  • letters of recommendation from the candidate’s pastor, the rector of any previously attended seminary, and two other people: e.g., employers, co-workers, priests, teachers (non-relatives).

All candidates are required to participate in an Admissions Interview on campus at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. This interview and the admissions file (or at least the materials marked with an asterisk above) must be completed by August 1st of the year of admission. The President-Rector may at his discretion admit a candidate on a provisional basis if these requirements have been only partially fulfilled; the candidate, however, is required to complete the admissions process within one semester of his provisional admission.

At the discretion of the Academic Dean, students who are not enrolled in the ordination or degree programs of Kenrick School of Theology may enroll in appropriate individual courses of these programs. Students of other theological institutes in the Saint Louis area may enroll in courses by cross-registration from their own schools. Admissions policies and procedures are further explained in the Kenrick School of Theology Admissions Handbook.

Admission Requirements for the Master of Arts Program

Only students already enrolled in the Ordination Program at Kenrick School of Theology may apply for admission to the Master of Arts program. Admission to the Master of Arts program requires a baccalaureate degree, a cumulative G.P.A. in the M.Div. Program of at least 2.75, and the recommendation of the faculty during the annual evaluation for first-year Ordination/ M.Div. Program students.

Ordinarily, students apply for formal admission at the time of registration for the fall semester of their second year in the Ordination Program. Those interested in the Master of Arts Program are encouraged to consult with the Academic Dean prior to a formal admission request. Students need not declare whether they are in the thesis or comprehensives track until the end of their second semester in the Master of Arts Program. While still in the Ordination Program, candidates may change summative evaluation tracks (thesis and comprehensives) with the approval of the Academic Dean and their advisor, as applicable. The Academic Dean and the advisor's formative roles include encouraging candidates capable of doing a thesis to choose this option.

Kenrick School of Theology encourages Ordination Program students to consider applying to the Master of Arts Program and to discuss this with their sponsoring Bishop or Ordinary and Vocation Director and, at Kenrick, with the Academic Dean. Additionally, as part of the annual evaluation, the Rector and faculty will review first-year Ordination Program students for recommendation for admission into the Master of Arts Program. A positive recommendation is required for admission into the program. The faculty recommendation will be shared with the student and sponsoring Bishop or Ordinary. Admission to the program, however, is solely a matter between Kenrick School of Theology and the candidate, based upon the candidate's successfully meeting all requirements.