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Ordination Curriculum

The ordination curriculum integrates the human, pastoral, spiritual, and intellectual formation of future priests according to the demands of the USCCB’s Program of Priestly Formation (PPF).
Rule of Life (.pdf)
Seminarian Handbook (.pdf)

Required Courses

Participation in the Seminary's four-fold Formation Program is mandatory and by the end of the program all seminarians are expected to earn the Master of Divinity degree (PPF 232). Not including the pre-requisite courses outlined in the Pre-Theology program, the Ordination Curriculum comprises eight semesters of core and elective courses in addition to the other integrated aspects of formation.

First Theology

  • Fall Semester
    • CHUR 501  The First Millennium: Patrology (3)
    • LITY 501  Introduction to the Liturgy (3)
    • MORL 501  Fundamental Moral Theology (3)
    • SCRP 501  Introduction to Biblical Studies: Wisdom & Psalms (3)
    • SYST 501  Revelation, Faith, & Theology (3)
    • ORDN 501  1T Formation Seminar: Celibate Witness (0)
    • PAMU 501  Pastoral Music I (0.5)
    • PFED 502  1T Field Ed Placement: Catechetics & Teaching Ministry (1)
    • PFED 599   Pedagogy seminar (0)
  • Spring Semester
    • CHUR 502  Medieval & Renaissance Church History (3)
    • MORL 502  Fundamental Moral Theology II (3)
    • SCRP 502  Pentateuch & Historical Books (3)
    • SPIR 502  Christian Spirituality (3)
    • SYST 502  Theology of the Tri-Personal God (3)
    • ORDN 502  1T Formation Seminar: Public Speaking/Lector Workshop (0)
    • PAMU 502  Pastoral Music I (0.5)
    • PFED 502  1T Field Ed Placement: Catechetics & Teaching Ministry (1)

Second Theology

  • Fall Semester
    • CANL 601  Code of Canon Law (3)
    • CHUR 601  Modern & Contemporary Church History (3)
    • SCRP 601  The Prophets (3)
    • SYST 605  Protology & Anthropology (3)
    • ------   9xx  elective (2 or 3)
    • ORDN 601  2T Formation Seminar: Personal Conduct/Character of Priest (0)
    • PAMU 601  Pastoral Music II (0.5)
    • PFED 601  2T Field Ed Placement: Health Care or Social Justice Ministry (1)
  • Spring Semester  
    • MORL 602  Justice & Social Teaching of the Church (3)
    • SCRP 602  Matthew & Mark (3)
    • SYST 604  Sacraments: Baptism & Confirmation (3)
    • SYST 606  Grace & Theological Virtues (3)
    • ------   9xx  elective (2 or 3)
    • ORDN 602  2T Formation Seminar: Introduction to Parish Finances (0)
    • PAMU 602  Pastoral Music II (0.5)
    • PFED 602  2T Field Ed Placement: Health Care or Social Justice Ministry (1)

Third Theology

  • Fall Semester
    • HOML 701  Models of Preaching (3)
    • LITY 701  Deacon Practicum (1)
    • SCRP 701  Luke & Acts of the Apostles (3)
    • SYST 707  Ecclesiology (1)
    • SYST 709  Ecumenism (1)
    • SYST 711  Mariology (1) 
    • ------   9xx  elective (2 or 3)
    • ORDN 701  3T Formation Seminar: Parish Admin/Human Resources (0)
    • PAMU 701  Pastoral Music III (0.5)
    • PFED 701  3T Field Ed Placement: Evangelization or Parish Ministry (1)
  • Spring Semester
    • CANL 702  Marriage Law and Sanctifying Office (3)
    • HOML 702  Homiletics Practicum (3)
    • SCRP 702  Gospel of John, Letters..., Apocalypse (3)
    • SYST 704  Holy Orders (3) 
    • ------   9xx   elective (2 or 3)
    • ORDN 701  3T Formation Seminar: Pastoral Leadership (0)
    • PAMU 701  Pastoral Music III  (0.5)
    • PFED 701  3T Field Ed Placement: Evangelization or Parish Ministry (1)

Fourth Theology

  • Fall Semester
    • CHUR 801  History of the Church in the USA (3)
    • MORL 801  Medical & Sexual Morality (3)
    • SCRP 801  Pauline Letters & Pastoral Letters (3)
    • SYST 801  Sacraments of Healing: Penance & Anointing (3)
    • LITY 801  Penance/Anointing Practicum (1)
    • LITY 802  Mass Practicum (1)
    • ------   9xx   elective (2 or 3)
    • ORDN 801  4T Formation Seminar: Transition to the Priesthood (0)
    • PAMU 801  Pastoral Music IV (0.5)
    • PFED 801  4T Field Ed Placement: Parish Ministry (1)
  • Spring Semester
    • MORL 802  Sacrament of Marriage & Pastoral Care (3)
    • PATH 804  Pastoral Counseling (3)
    • SYST 802 Holy Eucharist (2)
    • SYST 804  Soteriology (2)
    • SYST 806 Eschatology (1)
    • ------   9xx   elective (2 or 3)
    • ORDN 802  4T Formation Seminar: Priesthood Assessment Integration (0)
    • PAMU 802  Pastoral Music IV (0.5)
    • PFED 802  4T Field Ed Placement: Parish Ministry (1)
Seminary Catalog (.pdf)

Formation Workshops and Conferences

Each year students in the ordination curriculum are required, according to their year in the cycle of seminary formation, to participate in various fall workshops, as well as various spring conferences or other presentations as needed.

P1's

  • Feedback as a Gift / Formation Goals
  • Time Management

P2's

  • Apologetics & Evangelization

1T's

  • Catechetics
  • Methodology of Teaching

2T's

  • Health Care Ministry
  • Prison Ministry
  • Youth Ministry

3T's & 4T's

  • Liturgical Celebration of the Triduum & the Liturgy of the Hours
  • Church Art & Architecture
  • Youth Adult Ministry and Courage

Spring Conferences

Conferences and other presentations are scheduled throughout the spring semester on topics such as:
  • Friendship
  • Boundaries
  • Celibacy & Sexuality
  • Substance Abuse
  • Development of Human Social Skills and Manners
  • Hispanic Ministry
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Crisis Management
  • Death & Dying
  • Presentations aimed at helping seminarians understanding current issues to foster intellectual leadership

Computer-aided courses are also required to develop financial literacy.

Learn More

Other Aspects of the Ordination Curriculum

Financial Literacy

Seminarians are required to participate in a program to foster financial literacy which was developed with a grant from The Lilly Foundation.  The "Pastors and Stewards" program has five phases. The first is a 40-hour on-line course in personal finance (undergraduate credit available through the University Bolte School of Business).  The remaining four phases consist of computer assisted modules (CAMS): two on parish finances, and one each on parish legal issues and on parish human resource skills.

Eucharistic Youth Retreat

Mount2000+ is a Eucharistic youth retreat for high school students sponsored by Mount St. Mary's Seminary. The retreat was started by the Mount seminarians over 20 years ago in preparation for the Jubilee Year 2000.
  • All levels from pre-theology to fourth participate in this weekend event in which the seminary annually hosts approximately 1500 teenagers.
  • Weekly executive meetings throughout the academic year to plan the event
  • Training seminars are given to the seminarians who participate in given roles
  • Administrative skills are gained as a result of this experience

New Evangelization

The New Evangelization Club started visiting college campuses on the east coast as a voluntary activity during the fall and spring semester breaks. This is now a mandatory event for all seminarians to participate in at least one such event during their time in the ordination formation program.

Assessment

  • The Priesthood Assessment Integration Seminar (P.A.I.S.) is designed as a synthesis seminar, a capstone to the formation program at Mount St. Mary's Seminary, integrating the intellectual, pastoral, human and spiritual dimensions of formation in anticipation of ordination to the priesthood.
Church of holy sepulcher

Fourth-year Theologians are expected to participate in a study-pilgrimage Holy Land Experience which includes an opportunity for their canonical (priesthood preparatory) retreat. A seminary professor guides the experience and provides on-site explanations at locations in Jerusalem, Nazareth and Galilee. Support for this program is always welcome.