The Pre-Theology Program of Conception Seminary College was established in 1982 in response to growing numbers of college graduates seeking candidacy for the priesthood. This program prepares men for successful completion of graduate theological study.

The Pre-Theology Program consists of an academic course of studies in philosophy and theology, spiritual formation for priestly ministry, and character formation for personal growth.

Eligibility: Men who hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, but who lack sufficient academic credit in philosophy and theology, are eligible for admission to the Pre-Theology Program. Students entering the Pre-Theology Program must be sponsored by a diocese or a religious order.

Academic Formation: The Pre-Theology Program provides each student a solid formation in philosophy and theology as preparation for formal theological study required of priestly candidates. Requirements for the Pre-Theology Certificate include completion of 30 credit hours of philosophy and 15 hours of theology. The specific courses that comprise the 45-hour requirement are listed in the General Education Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree. Each student is assigned an academic advisor who directs his academic program. The Academic Dean determines whether previous undergraduate course work may fulfill any of the philosophy and theology course requirements. Pre-Theology students may elect to earn a second bachelor’s degree instead of a certificate. Requirements for the second degree program are explained under the Degree Requirement section of this catalog.•

Spiritual Formation: Pre-Theology students participate in all communal spiritual exercises of the seminary. These include daily celebration of the Eucharist, Morning and Evening Prayer, spiritual conferences, monthly days of recollection and an annual retreat. In addition each student chooses a spiritual director and meets with him regularly, focusing his meetings on progress in prayer, spiritual reading and personal faith development.Character Formation: Pre-Theology students take charge of their own personal growth by participating in the seminary’s Character Formation Program. This program promotes self-knowledge, development of personal character, apostolic involvement, and wellness, all within the context of a supportive community. Each student is expected to establish realistic goals for personal growth and, by working closely with his chaplain and fellow Pre-Theology students, realize the fulfillment of these goals by the end of his residence at Conception Seminary.

Length of Residence: Pre-Theological formation carries a residency requirement of two full years or four semesters, as stipulated in the Program for Priestly Formation, Fifth Edition.