SJS Pre-Theology Program

Saint John’s Seminary offers a two-year program of initial formation for those candidates who have no prior experience of formal preparation for the sacrament of Holy Orders. The purpose of the program is to introduce candidates to priestly formation in such a way as to enable them to participate fruitfully in subsequent years of formation at the theologate level. The candidates live and work in a community in which vocational discernment is pursued in the context of an integrated process of human maturation, spiritual development, academic learning (particularly in philosophy, catechesis, and the humanities), and pastoral service. In this first period of formation, the Seminary seeks to assist candidates in strengthening their commitment to respond generously to the Lord’s call, thus preparing them to engage successfully in the priestly formation program at a school of theology.

This program fosters the human, spiritual, and academic formation of candidates to the ministerial priesthood of the Roman Catholic Church. Those completing the program should evidence an appropriate sense of self, the ability to exercise a healthy degree of self-control, and a pattern of self-giving for the good of others. Spiritually, they should demonstrate a deep appreciation of and commitment to their own baptismal call and an initial grasp of the spirituality of the diocesan priesthood, a participation in and mature love for the Church and its sacraments, a commitment to personal prayer, a basic knowledge of the tradition of Catholic spirituality, and an understanding of ways of praying with the Bible. Academically, they should demonstrate the historical and thematic understanding of the western philosophical tradition and its relation to the Catholic faith.

Those desiring a detailed account of the Pre-Theology Program of Saint John’s Seminary may request information from the Director of the Pre-Theology Program, Saint John’s Seminary, 127 Lake Street, Brighton, MA 02135-3898.

The Pre-Theology program of Saint John’s Seminary offers the Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.) degree to those students who already have completed a bachelor degree at an accredited institution. It also offers the Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Philosophy (B.A., Phil) to students who have completed at least two years of post-secondary education at an accredited institution and who meet the other requirements of the B.A. program. Consult the Academic Policies on page 10 for additional information on the Pre-Theology degree programs.

A typical 60-credit program would be as follows:

Year One- Fall Semester

PH 301 Intro to Philosophy (3)
PH 321 Ancient Philosophy (3)
PH 302 Logic (3)
OT401 Intro to Old Testament (3)
TH 207 History of Christian Spirituality (3)


Year One- Spring Semester

PH303 Philosophy of Nature (3)
PH322 Medieval Philosophy (3)
NT401 Intro to New Testament (3)
LT401 Elementary Latin I (3)
TH205 Catechism Parts I and II (3)


Year Two- Fall Semester

PH402 Metaphysics (3)
PH423 Modern Philosophy (3)
PH405 Ethics (3)
TH206 Catechism Parts III & IV (3)
LT402 Elementary Latin II (3)

Year Two- Spring Semester

PH404 Faith and Reason (3)
PH401 Philosophical Anthropology (3)
PH424 Contemporary Philosophy (3)
PH403 Epistemology (3)
LT406 Latin Reading (3)