Pre-Theology Formation Program
With the awareness that grace builds on nature, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary recognizes that each
student is a gifted human being. Formation in Pre-Theology seeks to prepare the good ground for an intimate relationship with the Lord. Pre-theologians are fully integrated into the Kenrick program of formation.
Some Aspects of Human Formation
The Formation Contract
In September, the student submits his formation goals using the formation contract outline. This is developed in consultation with the Director of Pre-Theology and is reviewed by the Dean of Students. It becomes a helpful tool of self-evaluation.
The entering pre-theologian faces many adjustments during his first year in a seminary. His classmates can be an immense help in this time. The Director of the program is responsible for facilitating the growth in interdependence of each man in the cohort.
Monthly Meeting with Formation Advisor
Each student meets individually with his formation advisor on monthly basis. Their conversation covers the full range of formational issues, including: time management; grades; family; adjustment to seminary life; rapport with spiritual director; relationships with classmates; recreation; adequate time for personal prayer; and full, conscious, and active participation in the Liturgy.
Days of Recollection
Each month the student participates in a Day of Recollection. The day, maintained in silence, includes the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacrament of Penance, Morning and Evening Prayer, two presentations, periods of time for prayer and relaxation, and concludes with dinner. Days of Recollection are dedicated to the five identities of diocesan priesthood: Beloved Son, Chaste Spouse, Spiritual Father, Spiritual Physician, and Good Shepherd.
In January, Pre-Theology students join the Theology students for a five-day preached retreat.
Other Components of Spiritual Formation
- The Sacrament of Penance is available daily.
- Quiet time for ongoing personal prayer is the order of each day.
- Pre-Theology men attend the conferences given by the Rector, the Dean of Students or the Spiritual Director.
The student, in his quest for an authentic relationship with God, is supported and challenged by this major component of the seminary’s program. The Spiritual Director is in the role of facilitator (animator) of this sacred relationship. Each student, during September, has a chance to meet with approved spiritual directors and then after prayer to choose one of them as his confidant (their conversations are privileged). They meet every two or three weeks.
In addition to the times scheduled for community prayer, there are ample opportunities for a student to nurture his personal prayer life. Groups gather throughout the year for optional devotions. These include the Rosary, Praise and Worship Prayer Group, and Eucharistic Adoration. Each student signs up for a weekly period of praying before the Blessed Sacrament as part of the Seminary’s daily period of Eucharistic Exposition. Students are welcome to set aside other times for Eucharistic Adoration as the schedule allows.
Kenrick’s program seeks to create an environment wherein these many programs of formation, with the Lord’s grace, may truly lead to an interior transformation in the heart of each pre-theologian.
Pastoral & Practical Formation
After a pre-theologian’s first semester, there are many opportunities for volunteer pastoral formation. Through student initiative and/or seminary organization, students are invited to assist different groups and charities, such as a soup kitchen, an after-school program with the Missionaries of Charity, a religion program at a parish school, or a weekend retreat for college students. Pre-Theology pastoral formation also concentrates on the ministry of the parish sacristan, taking care of all the details necessary for the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist and greeting the people before and after all the Sunday Masses.
Intellectual & Cultural
Pre-theologians are to accumulate 35 hours of philosophy and 12 hours of theology (PPF, nn. 178,179). Because of the importance of a strong grounding in philosophy, the Pre-Theology program extends for two years (PPF, n. 185). The philosophical curriculum must include the study of the history of philosophy (ancient, medieval, modern, and contemporary), logic, epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of nature, natural theology, anthropology, and ethics (PPF, n. 186). In addition, a minimum of 12 semester hours is required in theology and knowledge of Latin and biblical languages are foundational (PPF, nn. 187, 189).