A fundamental premise of this Certificate Program in Pre-Theology Studies for Seminarians is that Catholic University has special and unique resources for educating seminarians according to the mind and spirit of the fifth edition of the Program of Priestly Formation and that seminarians who pursue the two year program outlined in the Program of Priestly Formation at Catholic University deserve to be honored and recognized for their pre-theology studies at this university. The certificate is a credential for and a recognition of studies conducted at The Catholic University of America.

Seminarians from dioceses and religious orders would be eligible for admission to the certificate program. Candidates for the certificate program would hold a bachelor's degree and possess a good academic record.

Students admitted to the certificate program are matriculated in the School of Philosophy. The Associate Dean of the School of Philosophy administers the program, provides academic advising, and determines the program of study for each candidate according to the provisions of the certificate program outlined in this document.

Certificate Program

The Certificate in Pre-Theology Studies is awarded upon the completion of 16 to 20 courses for a total of 48 to 60 credits over the two-year period of the program. Seminarians would take a minimum of 4 courses each semester but the program allows students and would encourage them to take full advantage of the richness of the offerings of the university for pre-theology studies by additional study.

The certificate program requires the following distribution of courses in order to reach 16 courses for 48 credits:

  • 10 philosophy courses (30 credits)
  • 4 theology courses (12 credits)
  • 2 courses in Latin or other appropriate course work as specified in the Program of Priestly Formation, Fifth Edition (6 credits)

Certificate Program with the Licentiate or Master of Arts in Philosophy

For qualified candidates the certificate program offers the option of earning the Licentiate or Master of Arts degree in the School of Philosophy in the course of earning the certificate itself. The Licentiate or M.A. degree requires 8 graduate courses in philosophy and a thesis, which carries 6 credits, as well as an oral comprehensive examination and a foreign language requirement. The Licentiate or M.A. course and thesis work would stand in the place of the 10 philosophy courses in the certificate program. Admission to the Licentiate or M.A. program requires a minimum of 8 undergraduate philosophy courses. The normal application requirements for admission to the M.A. or Licentiate degree program would obtain. Selection of course work of seminarians in the certificate program studying for the Licentiate or M.A. in philosophy would be guided by the vision and norms of the Program of Priestly Formation, taking into account previous undergraduate work in philosophy.

To earn the certificate with the Licentiate or M.A. degree all philosophy courses must be passed according to the normal standards for the graduate degree program. All other courses must be passed with a grade of C or better.