Men interested in discerning their call to the priesthood by undertaking some of the academic work required of seminarians may enroll in the Affiliate Program. Affiliates may take the Tuesday night class offered at the seminary alongside the seminarians. (Classes are accredited through Duquesne University and count for college credit.) The in-house classes being offered for the 2016–2017 school year are:
- Catechism I (Fall Semester: Tuesday, 7–9 p.m.)
- Catechism II (Spring Semester: Tuesday, 7–9 p.m.)
For more information about the program, please contact the diocesan vocations director, Father Joe Freedy.
Men, who have only a high school diploma or have completed some college courses but do not yet have a bachelor's degree, apply at the collegiate level to Saint Paul Seminary. Collegians are asked to complete a course of liberal arts studies at the undergraduate level. For a man entering Saint Paul Seminary without any college experience, the collegiate program is a four-year course of study. Circumstances vary for those with prior college experience, and details such as the transfer of credits from other institutions will be worked out between the Academic Dean of the seminary and advisors at Duquesne University.
Seminarians at the collegiate level receive a sound liberal arts education at Duquesne University. It is expected that every collegian earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, although a student may also major in another area of studies within the School of Liberal Arts. In addition to the liberal arts studies and philosophical training, collegians are required to complete twelve credit hours of undergraduate theology or religious study courses and a course in Ecclesiastical Latin, all of which are offered at Saint Paul Seminary and accredited through Duquesne University.
For more details on the coursework recommended for seminarians at Duquesne University, download Philosophical Study at Duquesne University, an academic guide for newly-accepted seminarians by Dr. Thérèse Bonin.
If an applicant already has a bachelor's degree or higher, he will be asked to enroll in the pre-theology program in preparation for the study of theology at the graduate level. Depending on circumstances—such as the nature of the applicant's prior college degree and the length of time since his college graduation—the applicant may be asked either to apply for special study at Duquesne or to pursue the M.A. in philosophy. The pre-theology program is typically a two-year course of study.
Men pursuing the pre-theology course of studies are, like collegians, required to complete twelve credit hours of undergraduate theology or religious study courses and a course in Ecclesiastical Latin, all of which are offered at Saint Paul Seminary and accredited through Duquesne University.
At the end of his course of studies at Duquesne University, a seminarian makes an application to study theology at a major seminary, or theologate. The seminarian makes this application with the approval of the seminary formation board and the bishop, not just as the culmination of a course of studies at Duquesne University, but also as a reflection of his willingness to discern even more deeply the call to the priesthood and as a reflection of trust and confidence from those in charge of his formation as a future priest.
The Diocese of Pittsburgh currently hosts seminarians at four major seminaries: the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy; Theological College of the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.; Saint Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland; and Saint Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Seminarians considering their application to theology are asked to express a preference, but the final decision rests in the hands of the seminary board and the bishop.
It is during the end of the third year of his theological studies that a seminarian is ordained to the transitional deaconate. At the end of his fourth year, he is ordained to the priesthood.
Saint Vincent Seminary
Saint Mary Seminary
The North American College