Goals and Objectives of the Academic Program
The overall purpose and goals of the seminary's academic program flow from the institutional mission statement. Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary seeks to prepare the second-career seminarian for priestly service in the Roman Catholic Church. The academic program seeks to assist candidates in attaining the various competencies and skills necessary for pastoral ministry today which will enable them to articulate and communicate to others what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. In order to achieve this goal, students must come to know Jesus Christ, their Lord; the ways that Christians throughout the centuries have understood this reality; themselves as the earthen vessels who are called by God to proclaim the good news in our society; their brothers and sisters with whom they form the community of Christians.
The seminary students then enter into a process in which the full development of their talents is sought for the good of the Church. It is our belief that solid education in biblical, historical, pastoral, moral and systematic theological studies will nourish the spiritual life, deepen self-knowledge, foster a sense of community and enhance the development of well-integrated and committed candidates for priestly ministry. This is obviously an endeavor which is accomplished through hard work but also in cooperation with others, faculty and students, who strive to support each other's growth with mutual care and concern.
The ordination program is designed to prepare seminarians for priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church. Standards and criteria for this program are established by the Ration Fundamentalis of the Holy See, the Program of Priestly Formation of the NCCB, and the Post-Synodal Exhortation of John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis. Ordination candidates are required to complete the core curriculum of the Seminary and to demonstrate personal, spiritual and pastoral readiness for ordination. The student accepted into the ordination program of the Seminary is enrolled in the Master of Divinity program.
Goals and Objectives of the Ordination Program
The goal of the program is to provide students with opportunities to develop the identity and competency for pastoral ministry in the Church. It encompasses the goals and objectives of the various aspects of the Seminary ordination program. Specifically, that Master of Divinity program aims to develop in the students a personally interiorized integration of spiritual development, theological knowledge, and pastoral skills, and the formation of a lifelong habit of theological reflection by means of the following objectives:
- knowledge of the documents of the Christian tradition and the official teachings of the Catholic Church;
- understanding of traditional theological disciplines as well as their meaning and relevance in the Church and world;
- cultivation of pastoral identity, skills, and practice in the context of a theology of ministry;
- ability to communicate the Christian message through preaching, teaching, and the exercise of leadership in the community, in fulfilling the mission of the Church;
- development of a sound spiritual foundation based on a life-giving relationship with Jesus Christ, vocational discernment, and understanding of the human in its various dimensions;
- attainment of a theological education which recognizes and takes account of the global dimensions of priestly ministry in today's world.