FAQs about Seminary Life
Here are some of our frequently asked questions by parents whose sons are interested in applying to seminary. Have additional questions? Feel free to contact us.
How much does it cost?
College Seminarians Studying for the Archdiocese of St. Louis
|St. Louis University Tuition||$43,160|
|CGC Room & Board||$11,600|
|CGC Formation Fee||$1,100|
|Graduation Fee for Seniors||$100|
How many years does it take until ordained?
It can take between six to nine years. All seminarians study four years of theology. Before entering the school of theology, a seminarian must have a bachelor’s degree and have completed required philosophical studies.
What kind of degree do you get? Where is it from?
Each seminarian will receive a Master of Divinity Degree (M.Div.) which prepares the seminarian with sufficient academic background for parish ministry. Seminarians who enter after high school receive a B.A. in Philosophy and Letters from St. Louis University.
What kind of items do we need to supply for his room?
Each room is furnished with a bed, a desk, a desk chair, a desk lamp, a lounge chair, and a bookshelf. Items to Bring:
- Bed sheets(extra-long twin bed), pillow, pillowcase, blanket
- Towels, washcloths, personal toiletries
- Mobile phone
- Clothing(see the enclosed policy for “Grooming and Attire”)—
each room has a built-in closet with limited space
- Health Insurance Card to be carried with you at all times (required for all seminarians in case of emergency)
- For health and sanitary reasons, no animals or pets (including fish) are to be brought or kept in your room at any time
- Because storage space is limited, all personal belongings need to be kept in your room.
- Kenrick-Glennon Seminary is a smoke-free building
Can he have a job while going to the seminary?
On campus work study jobs are available to all students. College seminarians are permitted to work during the summer. A college seminarian should be prudent concerning what type of work he chooses. The Office of Vocations can assist college seminarians with employment opportunities available in the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
Does he start wearing a collar immediately? If not what attire is needed?
Seminarians will not begin wearing a collar until after they graduate from Cardinal Glennon College and enter the Kenrick school of Theology, or once they complete pre-theology.
- Slacks or dress pants (black, blue or khaki)
- Dress shirt with collar, tie optional.
- Solid black or solid brown shoes and socks which cover the ankle
- Jeans, shorts, sweatshirts, T-shirts, athletic wear, shirts with messages or advertisements, athletic shoes, and other casual clothes may be worn during exercise, recreation, study or free time.
- Caps or hats should not be worn indoors
- Seminarians are not permitted to wear earring or facial jewelry of any kind.
When does he get to come home for visits?
Seminarians and priests continue to support and be supported by the members of their families. They are encouraged to visit family members and take part in family celebrations. Families often find an even stronger bond with children and siblings who have chosen a Church-related vocation. For ordained priests, the parish/community also becomes an extended family for them.
How long does the application process take?
(This is one of our favorite questions.)
It depends on the individual. Some young men are efficient and schedule doctors visits, exams, and turn in paperwork within a month’s time. Others find a nice drawer for their application and never complete it. A good sign of an applicant’s desire to seminary is the steady pace at which he turns in his application.
Does he come home during the summer or stay at a parish?
College seminarians will be allowed to go home for the summer. Theology students will be assigned to a summer formation program and will be allowed to make a home visit prior to beginning a new school year.
What will a typical day look like?
Seminary life is a life of community. It is a unique environment in which men who are thinking about the priesthood gather together to learn and discern more about their vocation. This discernment takes place through academic classes, daily Mass, prayer and service.
Is there a way for him to be involved in the seminary after acceptance?
Yes, the Office of Vocations sponsors several retreats during the school year and a summer camp for boys in June. There are also periodic events where new seminarians are able to meet their classmates and other seminarians. Accepted seminarians are encouraged to participate in all events.
Are meals provided all week long?
Yes, all meals are provided seven days a week.
How does he get to and from SLU for classes?
College students will travel together by a Kenrick-Seminary van to classes held at St. Louis University.
Can he bring his own car to the seminary?
Yes, seminarians are allowed to have a car on campus. While parking is free, seminarians are required to provide proof of insurance to the Director of Operations and Finance and will be assigned a parking space for the year.
Does he need a laptop?
Seminarians are allowed to bring a personal laptop to the seminary. Laptops are not provided, but there is a student computer and printing lab is available in the library.
Does he need to purchase any special books besides school books?
Seminarians will purchase school book from the Kenrick book store and are free to purchase other books from Catholic Supply, Pauline Bookstore, Amazon, etc. Seminarians are encouraged to take advantage of the books, DVDs and other resources available in the seminary library.
How much spending money do they need?
Personal spending money will be required for miscellaneous personal and hygiene items. All meal are provided, so extra spending money will depend on the individual student’s needs.