Admissions

I. INTRODUCTION

Kenrick School of Theology is a graduate-level community of faith and learning that prepares men for the Roman Catholic priesthood in the Church of St. Louis and other dioceses and religious communities. With the help of the Holy Spirit it seeks “each seminarian’s configuration to the Heart of Jesus Christ.” (Mission Statement)

To achieve this mission, Kenrick School of Theology operates three overlapping programs. All students, candidates for the priesthood, enroll in a four-year Ordination Program, which is based on the norms of the document, Program of Priestly Formation (5th edition, 2005) of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops; simultaneously these students also enroll in a Master of Divinity Degree Program, which is based on accreditation association standards. Together, these two programs prepare seminarians for ordination to the priesthood and for pastoral and religious leadership in parishes and other settings. After consultation with their bishops, students in these two programs may also enroll in a Master of Arts Program (see Section III), which again is based on accreditation association standards. The M.A. Program offers students the opportunity for a more focused graduate-level study in the theological and pastoral sciences. The three programs together are designed to be completed by students within their four years of residency at Kenrick, prior to ordination. Students who have completed an undergraduate degree but who have not completed the minimum hours of Philosophy and Theology called for in the PPF, will ordinarily apply for admission to the Pre-Theology Program (see Section IV).

II. ADMISSION REQUREMENTS FOR THE ORDINATION AND MASTER OF DIVINITY PROGRAMS

Kenrick School of Theology accepts for admission into the Ordination and Master of Divinity Programs only those candidates for the priesthood who are sponsored by the Archdiocese of St. Louis, by another Roman Catholic archdiocese or diocese, or by a Roman Catholic religious community. All candidates seeking admission to these programs must first arrange this sponsorship through the procedures of one of these agencies. Kenrick School of Theology welcomes ecclesiastically-sponsored candidates for the priesthood of every race, ethnic identity, region and culture.

The programs of Kenrick School of Theology are offered at the post-graduate level.

Candidates seeking admission to the Ordination and Master of Divinity Credential Programs must hold a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation or holding membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada. Alternatively, candidates may hold a baccalaureate degree from an institution recognized by the Congregation for Catholic Education, a dicastery of the Holy See. Candidates will also be considered for admission who do not hold a baccalaureate degree but who have done the educational equivalent of it, that is, eight semesters or 120 semester-hours of undergraduate work, even if in various institutions or fields of study.

Candidates for admission must give evidence of the following: good health in body and mind, an overall personal balance, moral character, and proper motivation; the commitments and qualities desired for priestly leadership in the Church; and the academic ability to pursue education at the graduate level (PPF 44).

Undergraduate Degree Requirement

Because an understanding of the cultural context in which the Gospel is lived and proclaimed forms part of an important goal of the Ordination and Master of Divinity Program at Kenrick, candidates for admission should normally possess some background, and preferably a major, in the liberal arts. At a minimum, they are required to have a background of at least 30 semester-hours of philosophy, as well as 12 semester-hours of undergraduate theology (PPF 50). Candidates who do not meet these requirements will be recommended to the Pre-Theology Program of Kenrick School of Theology, a program specifically designed to supply undergraduate requirements for admission. (Section IV)

Because health of mind and body is vital to the priestly ministry, candidates are required to undergo a physical examination and a psychological evaluation, using the forms and guidelines which the seminary has drawn up for this purpose.

Applicants from Cardinal Glennon College

Early in the second semester of their senior year, students from Cardinal Glennon College are invited by the Rector to make application to Kenrick School of Theology (for non-St. Louis students, with the approval of their Vocation Director). This application is fulfilled by means of a letter expressing the desire to continue seminary formation in the Kenrick School of Theology.

Transfer/Readmission Applicants

Kenrick School of Theology accepts for admission students who transfer from another graduate-level theologate. Such students are required to supply a favorable recommendation from the administration and faculty of the sending institution. The determination of transfer credit is made by the Academic Dean, in consultation with the student and, if necessary, with the officers of the sending institution. Ordinarily Kenrick requires that transfer students be in residence at the Kenrick-Glennon campus for at least two years before the administration and faculty will recommend them to their sponsoring ordinary for ordination.

Applicants who have previously left another seminary and after a period of time are making application to this seminary may be admitted to Kenrick School of Theology after Kenrick has first consulted with members of the staff of the former seminary. Each case is considered according to the circumstances and situation of the student at the time of his application. Kenrick reserves the right to consult former members of the administration or faculty of the other seminary, former ordinaries or vocation directors who have worked with the candidates, or any other persons the situation may suggest.

The admission process of an applicant who has previously been in the Kenrick-Glennon program is the same as for those who are seeking admission for the first time. Kenrick-Glennon Seminary does not have a “sabbatical” or “on-leave” designation for students who leave the program.

For more information on the transfer of credit or special situations, refer to Appendix A, “Policy for the Transfer of Credit and for the Granting of Advanced Standing”.

Applicants who are recent converts to the Catholic faith

Those who have recently become members of the Church are encouraged to spend time becoming familiar with the Catholic tradition and practices before making application to the seminary. “It is advisable that at least two years pass between their entry into the Church and their acceptance into a seminary program.” (PPF 67) This same recommendation is offered to those who have recently resumed the practice of the faith.

Applicants whose marriages have been annulled

Careful consideration should be given to those applicants who have previously been married and have been granted an annulment (PPF 66).   The applicant should provide information concerning his family background, marital history and instances which demonstrate his ability to enter into relationships since the annulment, and the ability to live celibately for at least two years since the annulment.

Non-Seminarian Students and Cross Registration

At the discretion of the Academic Dean, students who are not enrolled in the ordination or degree programs of Kenrick School of Theology may enroll in appropriate individual courses of these programs. Students of other theological institutes in the St. Louis area may enroll in courses by cross-registration from their own schools.

Competence in English Language

Students who do not speak English as a native language are required to demonstrate an acceptable, graduate-level competence in the English language by taking the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). (PPF 49)

III. ADMISSION TO THE MASTER OF ARTS PROGRAM

Only students already enrolled in the Ordination Program at Kenrick School of Theology may apply for admission to the Master of Arts Program. Admission to the Master of Arts Program requires a baccalaureate degree, a cumulative G.P.A. in the M.Div. Program of at least 3.00, and the approval of the seminarian’s bishop.

Ordinarily, students apply for formal admission at the time of registration for the fall semester of their second year in the Ordination Program. Those interested in the Master of Arts program are encouraged to consult with the Academic Dean prior to a formal admission request. The Master of Arts program requires the writing of a thesis.

Kenrick School of Theology encourages Ordination Program students to consider applying to the Master of Arts program and to discuss this with their sponsoring Bishop/Ordinary and Vocation Director and at Kenrick with the Academic Dean.

 IV. ADMISSION TO THE PRE-THEOLOGY PROGRAM

The Pre-Theology Program of Kenrick School of Theology responds to the need of students to prepare for theological study while adapting to a seminary environment (Pastores Dabo Vobis, #62). As a preparatory component to the seminary program, the Pre-Theology Program integrates the seminary’s goals into its formation program. Ordinarily, those students who have not completed thirty (30) hours of philosophy and twelve (12) hours of theology are admitted to the Pre-Theology Program.

Classes in philosophy and theology are taken through Cardinal Glennon College which is fully accredited. In the event that a reasonable amount of this requirement has been met, students may be admitted provisionally to the Theology I program, with the understanding that entrance requirements will be met within three semesters.

The admissions process for the Pre-Theology Program is the same as for the Theology Program. Two years of Pre-Theology are normally recommended for students who enter the program with no philosophy or theology credits.

V. ADMISSIONS FILE

An Admissions File is kept for each candidate in the admissions process, subject to the terms of the seminary’s Policy on Files. Candidates are required to supply all of the following:

  • a completed application form;*
  • a recent photograph (approximate size: 2×3”);
  • recent baptismal and confirmation certificates;
  • an official transcript from any post-secondary educational institutions attended;*
  • completed seminary health forms;*
  • a written report from an ophthalmologist;
  • a written report from a dentist;
  • a complete psychological assessment and report, each carried out according to the stipulations of the seminary (see Appendix B);*
  • an autobiography, following the format prescribed in the admissions packet;*
  • letters of recommendation from:

-the candidate’s pastor,

-the rector of any previously attended seminary;

-two other people: e.g., employers, co-workers, priests, teachers (non-relatives).

*These materials are of particular importance in the admissions process.

Health

In accord with Canon 241, which states that a candidate must be of good physical and psychological health, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary requires that each applicant to Kenrick School of Theology provide a professional report of his health before being admitted to the Theology or Pre-Theology Programs. To insure that appropriate care of the individual’s physical and mental health is ongoing, each applicant must provide proof of enrollment in an adequate Health Insurance program.

If at any time during a student’s course of studies at Kenrick School of Theology he contracts a serious illness or disease which would require ongoing medical attention, then the seminary, in consultation with the student’s Ordinary, reserves the right to terminate the student from the program. Although regrettable, this action might be necessary because the seminary is unable to provide proper medical care for the individual on the seminary campus.   Should the medical situation of the student change radically, then he may reapply for admission to the seminary.

Debt

Kenrick School of Theology recommends that the indebtedness of a candidate entering the seminary not exceed $10,000.00. It is the presumption of the seminary that any such indebtedness is primarily for educational expenses. High indebtedness for other reasons could indicate questions or issues of responsibility on the part of the student. The seminary recommends that the Vocation Director explore the area of indebtedness with the candidate before his application is forwarded to the seminary. (PPF 58)

Psychological Testing

Again, in accord with Canon 241, students applying to Kenrick School of Theology are to submit a recent psychological evaluation (administered within two (2) years of applying to the seminary) completed according to the guidelines of the seminary. This evaluation should be written in the narrative style and provide a three-dimensional profile of the student. More information regarding the psychological tests and report may be found in Appendix B.

VI. ADMISSIONS INTERVIEW

The Admissions Committee may recommend that a candidate be personally interviewed before he is accepted into the Kenrick School of Theology. This interview and the admissions file must be completed by August 1st of the year of admission. The President-Rector may at his discretion admit a candidate on a provisional basis if these requirements have been only partially fulfilled; the candidate, however, is required to complete the admissions process within one semester of his provisional admission.

VII. THE ADMISSIONS COMMITTEE AND THEIR PROCEDURES

 The Admissions Committee is a standing committee of Kenrick School of Theology. The members of this committee are the Rector, Vice-Rector, Dean of Students, Academic Dean and the Coordinator for Human Formation. The Vice-Rector is the Chair of the Committee.

The Chair of the Committee will schedule meetings of the Committee as needed to review a candidate’s application. The Assistant to the Vice-Rector will gather all the elements which make up the application packet and make copies for the members of the Committee. The entire application packet is made available to the Admissions Committee prior to the scheduled meeting. The members of the Committee fill out the recommendation form and return the form to the Assistant to the Vice-Rector. At the meeting the Committee members discuss the candidate and each member makes a recommendation in one of four ways:

  1. Recommend without Reservation
  2. Recommend with Reservation
  3. Recommend not to accept the candidate
  4. Recommend that a personal interview take place

The recommendations for a particular candidate are consultative to the Rector. The Rector is the sole admitting authority. In an extraordinary case, the Rector may admit a candidate to the seminary program on a provisional basis.

If the candidate is accepted, the Vice-Rector will have the Assistant send the letter of acceptance to the Bishop, the Vocation Director and the applicant. The letter will include an invitation to the applicant to visit Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. He will be hosted by a diocesan brother and have an opportunity to visit with key Administrators.

The Assistant to the Vice-Rector will also let the Registrar know that the applicant has been accepted and will forward to the Registrar the appropriate documentation.

If there is a need for a personal interview, the Rector will indicate this and the Assistant to the Vice-Rector will make arrangements for the appointment.

If the candidate is not accepted, the Rector will communicate with the Bishop, the Vocation Director and the candidate.

APPENDIX A Transfer of Credits on Admission to Kenrick School of Theology