Artboard 1 apply Artboard 1 copy 2 Mount_Logo_Primary_RGB Mount_Logo_Primary_RGB give Artboard 1 copy 3 info link Mount_Logo_Primary_RGB Artboard 1 Artboard 2 Artboard 1 visit
Seminarians in Class

Intellectual Formation Program

We expect academic excellence from candidates with the view that they must thoroughly grasp the Church’s teaching as taught by the Magisterium. Our intellectual tradition is rigorous and guided by the goal of the pastoral life. The Mount takes a personalized approach to academic mentoring, providing an array of resources for both advanced students and those who may struggle to meet academic expectations.

Purpose of Intellectual Formation

The purpose of the intellectual formation program is that seminarians grasp the Catholic intellectual and liturgical tradition, are able to proclaim and teach the Gospel of Christ and to communicate the mystery of God to people today, and are equipped for the continuing pursuit of truth, PPF, 136-139.

Intellectual Formation Components

This program embraces both degree and non-degree programs, all of which are supported by our Ordination Formation curriculum which serves as a base for intellectual priestly formation (PPF 191). Seminarians are expected to earn the Master of Divinity degree at the completion of the eight-semester formation program, and may also attempt one of our dual-degree options. A two-year Pre-Theology Formation certificate program is offered for those lacking the prerequisites for the graduate study of theology, during which students may earn the M.A.P.S. degree.

Goals / Objectives

Intellectual Formation is directed toward enabling and fostering the seminarian’s competence in philosophy and theology, that he might articulate credibly and intelligibly the Church’s faith, and proclaim and defend it in a way that reveals its inherent goodness, truth, and beauty. (Ratio Fundamentalis, 116). Intellectual Formation aims to form a man who:

1. Demonstrates a firm knowledge of the Person of Jesus Christ and the teaching of the Church by successful completion of the required coursework for the ordination program


  1. Possesses a familiarity with the Scriptures and understands biblical theology in accord with the mind of the Church
  2. Knows and accepts the normative function of the Magisterium
  3. Gives evidence of the knowledge of the distinction between the truths revealed by God and contained in the deposit of faith and their theological mode of expression
  4. Grasps the rich history of the Church from the apostolic age to the present day

2. Illustrates that he is an able minister of the sacraments


  1. Demonstrates knowledge of liturgical and sacramental theology, Canon Law, and pastoral practice
  2. Exhibits the ability to celebrate faithfully and well the Church’s liturgical rites, especially in the Mass and Penance practica
  3. Shows that he has integrated the theological and pastoral curricula, especially in his participation in the capstone seminar (PAIS)

3. Communicates the Church’s moral and spiritual tradition as a spiritual father and moral guide


  1. Demonstrates the ability to preach, teach, and defend the Catholic faith, particularly in homilies and classroom presentations
  2. Understands, promotes, and explains faithfully the Church’s moral teaching, especially by successfully completing the Moral Theology coursework
  3. Fosters the moral and spiritual life of the faithful and helps form their consciences by preaching, teaching, and evangelizing

4. Shows a love for learning and a commitment to ongoing intellectual formation


  1. Demonstrates a habit of reading, particularly through the completion of assigned readings and dedication to further theological and non-theological reading
  2. Practices critical thinking as evidenced in class participation, exams and/or papers
  3. Shows a habit of reading and study during breaks and vacations
seminarians in class

Academic Resources

To ensure academic achievement we offer an advanced technology infrastructure, writing specialists, student-to student tutoring, and a Learning Skills Department that can help identify and address learning challenges.

  • Download the Seminarian Handbook (.pdf)

    The Seminarian Handbook gives detailed information about Formation Advising, Academic Norms, MAPS procedures, Pastoral Formation, the SGA Constitution, etc.

  • Download the Rule of Life (.pdf)

    The Rule of Life contains information regarding Spiritual and Liturgical life in the Seminary, as well as details on various Practices within the Seminary Community.

  • English for Theology

    Learn more about this support program for our international seminarians.

  • Shared Resources

    Seminarians can make use of various resources offered by the University: Library, Learning Services, Information Technology

  • Academic Policies

    Learn more about such policies as Academic Integrity, Grading, and Transcripts/Grade Reports.

  • Academic Excellence

    Find out how seminarian achievement is recognized through Academic Honors, as well as Memorial Awards and Prizes.