Propaedeutic Stage

“All priestly formation must have its foundation in an adherence to the truths of faith about the nature and mission of the ministerial priesthood” (PPF, § 23).

In the fall semester of 2023, Conception implemented a new formation structure to the seminary called for by Program of Priestly Formation (PPF). The new initial stage of formation, called the propaedeutic stage, responds to the growing need for deliberate and intentional focus on human and spiritual formation. It provides men with the necessary groundwork to engage in quality and faithful priestly formation and future ministry in your diocese (PPF, § 119, 130).

Conception Seminary College is ideal for this critical ministry. Located in a rural environment and supported by a long-standing Benedictine tradition, we have a 140-year history of forming men for the priesthood. We have passionate and dedicated faculty and staff committed to seeing the Church grow in pastoral zeal, academic excellence, and holiness. And our program fosters trust in formation, the importance of community and service, and a love of one’s diocese and her people.

The propaedeutic stage is a contiguous twelve-month program of formation. The men in this program are a unique community within the wider seminary community, having their own schedule, dedicated formation director, living space, and formation sequence (PPF, § 128) in all dimensions: human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral.

A critical component of the propaedeutic stage is that the seminarian is to show growth in various benchmarks of formation (PPF, § 191):

The Seminary Formation program is centered around forming seminarians in the four dimensions:


The Human Formation Dimension focuses on:

  • Capacity for self-knowledge
  • Relational skills & communication
  • Self-discipline & capacity for hard work
  • Developing a trusting relationship with formators
  • Healthy habits of self-care

The Spiritual Formation Dimension focuses on:

  • Elementary discipline in public and private prayer
  • Cultivate and appreciate silence
  • Growth in understanding of the celibate life and of
  • the priestly vocation
  • Ability to articulate a relationship with Jesus Christ
  • Familiarity with Sacred Scripture

The Intellectual Formation Dimension focuses on:

  • General education courses
  • Catechetical and Scripture courses
  • Liberal arts courses
  • Classes assist in human and spiritual formation

The Pastoral Formation Dimension focuses on:

  • Encountering the local Church
  • Working with the poor and growing in a spirit of generosity
  • Showing genuine concern for others
  • Developing a habit of self-donation


Sample Schedule 

6:45 a.m.

Rosary and meditation period followed by Morning Prayer
8:30–11:30 a.m. Classes, Meetings, Study
11:45 a.m. Eucharist
1:40 – 3:30 p.m. Classes, Meetings, Study
3:45 – 4:45 p.m. Team Sports/Exercise
5:15–5:45 p.m. Group Reflection Period
5:50 p.m. Evening Prayer
6:45—7:45 p.m. Holy and Life-Giving Seminar (Wednesdays)
7:30–9:30 p.m. Optional Study Hall
[ 7:15–8:15 p.m. ] Holy & Life-Giving Seminar (Wednesdays)

9:15 p.m.

Night Prayer / Examen
(followed by night silence)
Select Saturdays or Thursdays Poverty Immersion, Campus Events, or Leisure


Contact us:

(660) 944-2886

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