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Seminary FAQ

What is the formation program like for seminarians at Saint John's?

  • Our formation program is built on the Rule of Benedict and the Program of Priestly Formation. Because of this, monks studying for the priesthood at Saint John's Seminary are able to prepare for priestly and pastoral ministry and develop their understanding of what it means to be a priest in a monastic community.
  • Monk seminarians live within Saint John's Abbey, participating fully in the prayer and community life of the monastery.
  • For seminarians, ministerial preparation addresses issues particular to priestly life, such as intimacy and celibacy. Specific pastoral formation is based on each student's program of study; students have flexibility in their choice of Clinical Pastoral Education and field education sites. In the process of admission and during the course of his studies, Saint John's aims to work with a monk's home abbey in his education and formation.

How does academic study fit into preparation for the priesthood?

  • We believe that strong academics are an essential part of preparation for ministry. The Master of Divinity for priesthood candidates is the most comprehensive single degree offered to seminarians. Based on the needs of a seminarian and his community and after consultation with the rector, this education can take other forms, always attending to the Program of Priestly Formation and the Rule of Benedict.
  • Seminarians take their classes with other graduate students: lay people, men and women religious, deacon candidates, and sabbatical students from five continents and a dozen countries. This rich experience prepares monk seminarians for ministry in a global Christianity, whether they go out to the world or the world comes to them through the monastery guesthouse.
  • A vital part of Saint John’s Seminary’s priestly formation program is the Holy Land Study Tour. The experience of traveling and studying in the land of the Bible has been a source of tremendous spiritual and intellectual growth for seminarians for over a quarter century. Participating students visit and study at the biblical and religious sites in Israel, Palestine, Sinai, and Jordan.
  • Students with particular interest and skill in Sacred Scripture, liturgy, early monasticism, patristics, or other theological disciplines with a historical emphasis are also able to study at the École Biblique in Jerusalem.

Are scholarships or financial assistance available?

  • Yes! Saint John's offers significant scholarships to monastic seminarians.

Where can I get more information?

  • Information about academic programs and admission requirements are available in our Academic Catalog (.pdf) and Student Handbook (.pdf) and throughout this Web site. To request more details, contact our director of admission at, 800-361-8318, or 320-363-2896.