The Pre-Theology Program at St. John’s Seminary is designed exclusively for seminarians who have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university other than a seminary college and who do not have sufficient background in philosophy and cognate disciplines requisite for the study of theology as outlined in the Program of Priestly Formation, 5th ed.


The Pre-Theology Program is an integral part of St. John’s Seminary and its overall formation strategy. It is directed by a member of the St. John’s Seminary faculty, who is assisted by spiritual, pastoral, and academic formation coordinators.

Program Goal

St. John’s Pre-Theology Program enables candidates to reach appropriate levels of spiritual, academic, and pastoral readiness so as to participate fruitfully and successfully in priestly formation at the theologate level.

Objectives of the Program

       1.    Seminarians defend preambles of the faith regarding fundamental philosophical questions in writing assignments in topical philosophy courses.

        2.    Seminarians discern the significance of the philosophical arguments of thinkers in the major historical eras of Western civilization in summative examinations in history of philosophy courses.

        3.    Seminarians describe and explain the foundations of Church teaching as expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church through summative examinations in theology courses.

        4.    Seminarians recount the overall narrative of salvation history in Scriptural courses.

        5.    Seminarians read Biblical and ecclesiastical languages as required for a basic comprehension of the Greek New Testament and Latin Church documents.

        6.    Seminarians write following the conventions of standard English and reference source material in accord with the Turabian manual of style in research papers and other assignments.

        7.    Seminarians identify major achievements in Catholic art, architecture, music, and literature in relation to Church teaching and history in summative examinations.

        8.    Seminarians provide evidence of missionary discipleship and devotion to Christ through theological reflection on pastoral experience and interactions with peers, faculty, collaborators in apostolic work, and other members of the seminary community.