How You Become A Seminarian
Discerning whether God is calling you to this challenging vocation will require of you prayer, courage, effort, careful reflection and humility. As a man inquiring about the diocesan priesthood in the Diocese of Davenport, you are obviously involving yourself in an important decision-making process. The following details the process:
MEET WITH THE VOCATION DIRECTOR:
You start the process by meeting with the Vocation Director. He will talk with you about your discernment to this point. He will get to know more about you, your background, education and family. He will also have suggestions for you to help with your prayer and discernment. To contact the vocation director, Fr. Ross Epping, call the Vocation Office at (563) 324-1911 or email at email@example.com.
APPLICATION AND ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES:
When you and the Vocation Director have discerned that you are ready to apply for a seminary program, the Vocation Director will send you an application packet. This application process includes:
a) Autobiography: This 3-5 page life history shares your background and faith journey that led you to discern the priesthood.
b) Recommendations: This list should include people with whom you have worked, friends, priests, pastor and other acquaintances. Also included should be professors or teachers (especially the guidance counselor) if you have been in school or college recently.
c) Psychological Testing: This testing is intended to confirm what I already know about you and to give you additional insights into yourself. The tests are administered by the psychologists who are familiar with working with applicants for dioceses and religious communities across the country.
d) Seminary Forms: Along with the application forms themselves, you will need a high school and/or college transcript, college board scores, (if a recent high school graduate), medical/physical form, and sacramental certificates (Baptism and Confirmation). The sacramental certificates should be dated within the last six months and carry the name and seal of the parish. All these materials are to be returned to the Vocation Office.
e) Background Check/Decree on Child Protection: All seminarians go through a background check and Virtus training following the Diocesan policies.
f) Review by Seminary Admissions committee: After all the application materials have been returned to the Vocation Office, the Vocation Director will send them into the seminary and you will be contacted for an interview.
At the conclusion of the formal application procedure, a decision will be made regarding your acceptance into the seminary.
May God bless you on your journey!
Below are listed some considerations for particular situations. These should not discourage your continued discernment process. Please reach out to our vocation directors to discuss your particular situation.
For older applicants, please consider this information from our admissions policy:
Applicants older than 55 years of age will generally not be considered for priestly formation. This is to allow for the necessary time of formation (usually a minimum of 5 years, depending on previous education) and to ensure that the applicant could be ordained by age 60 and serve the Diocese for a minimum of 10 years before optional retirement at age 70. Rare exceptions to this may be granted, based on how well the applicant is known to the Diocese, his particular qualifications and his record of previous lay ministry within his parish. Other exceptions to this would include permanent deacons who are widowed.
For applicants from outside the diocese, please consider this information from our admissions policy:
Applicants from outside the Diocese will not be considered until they have established a minimum of 18 months of actual residence within the Diocese. During this time, an applicant should also be registered in a parish and active in the life of his parish community. Rare exceptions to this may be granted if the applicant has a relationship to the Diocese through work, family, or education, or if someone from the Diocese (preferably a priest, deacon or parish life coordinator) can testify to his suitability for priestly formation.