Kenrick School of Theology is a graduate‐level community of faith and learning that prepares men for the Roman Catholic priesthood in the archdiocese of St. Louis and other (arch)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 its mission, Kenrick School of Theology operates three overlapping programs. All students, candidates preparing 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 through the writing of a thesis. 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: Admission to the Pre-Theology Program).
II. ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ORDINATION AND MASTER OF DIVINITY PROGRAMS
Kenrick School of Theology accepts for admission into the Ordination and Master of Divinity Credential 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, 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
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: Admission to the Pre-Theology Program).
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.
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 VIII: 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 or three 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 annulments, 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
Kenrick‐Glennon Seminary welcomes Catholic seminarians from other countries who have been invited to the seminary by the Archbishop. The seminary follows the document Program for Priestly Formation (5th edition) which states, “Applicants must have an adequate command of the English language to begin intellectual formation in a seminary in which English is the language of instruction.” (PPF 49). In accord with this directive, Kenrick‐Glennon Seminary requires a minimum score in the range of 75 to 80 on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination. The TOEFL examination must have been taken within the last two years prior to the time of application. At the discretion of the Rector/President and the Academic Dean, there can be some flexibility in this requirement.
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 Ordination Program of at least 3.5 through the first four semesters of Theology, and the approval of the seminarian’s Bishop and/or Vocation Director.
Students must apply for formal admission to the M.A. Program in the second semester of Theology II by April 1st. The Master of Arts program requires the writing of a thesis. The admission application requires a thesis proposal form signed by the seminarian’s thesis advisor. See Application to the M.A. Program.
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
- 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.
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 ensure 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.
Kenrick School of Theology recommends that the indebtedness of a candidate entering the seminary not exceed ten thousand ($10,000) dollars. 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).
Again, in accord with Canon 241, students applying to Kenrick School of Theology are to submit a psychological evaluation which has been administered within the last two years. At the discretion of the Rector, a more recent psychological evaluation may be requested. 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. Students transitioning from Cardinal Glennon College to Kenrick School of Theology do not need a new psychological evaluation.
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 arrangements for this interview are handled by the Chair of the Admissions Committee upon the receipt of the completed admissions packet. 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 faculty committee of Kenrick School of Theology. The members of this committee are the President‐Rector, Vice‐Rector for Formation, Dean of Seminarians, Academic Dean, and the Director of Psychological and Counseling Services. The Vice‐Rector for Formation is the Chair of the Committee.
The Assistant to the Vice-Rector will schedule meetings of the Committee as needed to review a candidate’s application. The Assistant to the Vice‐Rector for Formation 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 recommendations 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:
- Recommend without reservation
- Recommend with reservation
- Recommend that a personal interview take place
- Recommend not to accept the candidate
The recommendations for a particular candidate are consultative to the President-Rector. The President-Rector is the sole admitting authority. In an extraordinary case, the President-Rector may admit a candidate to the seminary program on a provisional basis. After the admissions committee has met and conveyed its decision to the President-Rector, the temporary admissions files are destroyed by the committee members with the exception of the Dean of Seminarians and the Director of Psychological and Counseling Services, who incorporate the admissions files into their seminarian’s personal files.
If the candidate is accepted, the Vice‐Rector for Formation will have his 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 for Formation will also let the Registrar know that the applicant has been accepted and will forward to the Registrar the appropriate documentation according to the Policy on Files.
If there is a need for a personal interview, the President‐Rector will indicate this and the Assistant to the Vice‐Rector for Formation will make arrangements for the appointment. If the candidate is not accepted, the President‐Rector will communicate with the Bishop, the Vocation Director and the candidate.
VIII. POLICY FOR TRANSFER OF CREDIT AND FOR THE GRANTING OF ADVANCED STANDING
From time to time, Kenrick School of Theology is asked to admit a student who has completed a certain amount of graduate‐level theological study in another institution, and who seeks to have that work recognized by Kenrick in partial fulfillment of its own requirements. The following policy considerations will serve to guide the Admissions Committee and the Academic Office in determining the transfer of credit and the subsequent adaptation of the Kenrick program for such candidates. This statement will also serve to inform such students, and their ecclesiastical sponsors, of the procedures for the transfer of credit into the Kenrick program. Kenrick indeed wishes to work with such students, and the administration of Kenrick pledges to be flexible to the extent that professional standards allow.
Institutional Authority for Transfer Credit Policy
Kenrick School of Theology is a not‐for‐profit corporation recognized as a degree‐granting institution by the State of Missouri. It is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and the Higher Learning Commission. It is solely responsible for determining its policies and practices with respect to the transfer and award of credit. In setting forth the following considerations, it is guided by the recommendations of the Joint Statement on the Transfer and Award of Credit, developed by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the American Council on Education (ACE), and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
Credit Accepted For Transfer
Kenrick School of Theology accepts credit in transfer from the graduate‐level theology programs of institutions of higher learning. Such work must have been completed within the seven years previous to application to Kenrick, subject to review by the Academic Dean.
Regardless of the amount of field education or supervised ministry course work that may have been completed beforehand, Kenrick always requires that transfer students complete at least one such course in the Kenrick program itself.
In accordance with the accreditation standards of ATS, Kenrick accepts in transfer an amount of credit not to exceed two‐thirds (2/3) of the total credit required in the degree program at Kenrick.
Fifty percent (50%) of the credits earned as part of a previously-awarded graduate degree can be applied toward the Kenrick degree.
The determination of credit in transfer is made by the Academic Dean, in consultation with such instructors as may be necessary. A written record of this determination is kept in the student’s academic file, subject to the terms of Kenrick’s policy on files.
Institutions from which Transfer Credit Is Accepted
Kenrick School of Theology accepts credit from the member schools of ATS, and from schools accredited by those agencies recognized by the Commission on Recognition of Postsecondary Accreditation. Kenrick also accepts credit from schools accredited by the Congregation for Catholic Education, a dicastery of the Holy See.
Under certain circumstances, Kenrick will accept credit from an unaccredited institution, but only after investigating the institution. This investigation will be conducted by the President‐Rector or the Academic Dean, and will seek both a direct knowledge of the unaccredited institution and some sort of third‐party testimony to the institution’s standards and procedures. The investigation will not relieve the student of his responsibility for documentation, as described below.
Credit Earned in Institutions Outside the U.S.
Kenrick School of Theology accepts credit earned in institutions outside of the U.S. under two conditions: (1) such credit must be comparable in nature and content to its counterpart(s) in the Kenrick program; and (2) the sending institution must operate a graduate‐level theology program recognized in some fashion by the Holy See or by the Roman Catholic episcopal conference of the country or region.
In those situations in which Kenrick School of Theology is unable to accept credit in transfer, it will consider the granting of advanced standing to a candidate. Advanced standing, in distinction to the transfer of credit, refers to decisions about a student’s competence when no transcript of credit is available or when there are otherwise insufficient data to document the student’s competence. In such a case, Kenrick determines by appropriate written and oral examination that the student possesses the knowledge, competence, or skills that would normally be provided by the specific courses for which he has been admitted with advanced standing. Note that advanced standing is not granted on the basis of ministerial or life experience, nor on the content of undergraduate study. In accordance with ATS standards, Kenrick awards advanced standing for an amount of credit not to exceed one‐fourth (¼) of the total credits required for a Kenrick degree program.
In some situations, a student may ask consideration for seemingly applicable credit earned in a graduate‐level program not specialized in theology, e.g., counseling. In such cases, the Academic Dean may request the student to interview with the appropriate Kenrick instructor, and, after receiving a written report of the interview, may transfer the credit. This interview may be required in addition to the documentation specified below.
The formation of candidates for the priesthood involves a spiritual component and a pastoral component beyond the academic program, and each of these components is the subject of a discrete program at Kenrick. In general, each year of graduate‐level seminary experience in another institution is considered the equivalent of one unit of Kenrick’s human and spiritual formation program. In the case of pastoral formation, transferring students must document that their experience in the field was supervised.
Qualifications, Requirements, and Limitations Related to Transfer of Credit
The qualifications for requesting the transfer of credit or for requesting advanced standing are the same as those for admission to Kenrick School of Theology.
In every case of such a request, the responsibility for providing the appropriate documentation rests with the student. At a minimum, such documentation includes the forwarding of an official transcript of studies, communicated directly from the sending institution to the Kenrick Academic Dean, as well as a catalogue description of the courses that were taken and the program of which they were part. In the absence of such documentation, Kenrick reserves the right to deny the student admission into its programs. The student may consider (or be requested to supply) additional documentation, such as syllabi, examinations, written work, etc.
As stated above, Kenrick accepts in transfer an amount of credit not to exceed two‐thirds (2/3) of the total required in the degree program at Kenrick (or ½ in the case of credits applied toward a previously earned graduate degree). In the instance of advanced standing, Kenrick awards advanced standing for an amount of credit not to exceed one‐fourth (¼) of the total credits required for a Kenrick degree program.
The decisions of the Academic Dean in matters of credit in transfer or advanced standing may be appealed to the full Admissions Committee. The decisions of the Committee are final.