The Goals and Objectives of the Seminary Pastoral Formation Program

Institutional Goal:

Founded on the Mission Statement, the institutional goal of theological pastoral formation is to provide for the personal engagement of seminarians in church ministry under the guidance of supervisors and to provide opportunities for theological learning and ministerial experience so as to prepare future priests to serve effectively in advancing the mission of the Church.

Goal 1: to acquaint seminarians with the work of the Church as it affects priestly ministry and to assist them in their recognition and development of ministerial skills (e.g., pastoral counseling, preaching, organizing, and catechizing).

Objectives:

a. to provide opportunities for observation and reflection upon priestly ministry which will promote the awareness of skills necessary for such a ministry;

b. to provide opportunities for seminarians’ own discovery and enhancement of ministerial skills;

c. to provide supervisory sessions which promote the learning of these skills as the seminarians experience both successes and failures in ministry.

Goal 2: to plan programs wherein seminarians are helped through a process of “experiential learning” to live a life of evangelical witness which is appropriate to the Catholic priest in contemporary society.

Objectives:

a. to select sites for the programs;

b. to develop criteria and a process for establishing and evaluating sites and programs in consultation with supervisors, faculty, and students;

c. to select supervisors who will exemplify good ministry and assist seminarians in the exercise of ministry;

d. to develop criteria and a process for selecting and evaluating supervisors in consultation with supervisors, faculty, and students.

Goal 3: to structure ministerial programs in such a way that seminarians are given the opportunity to assume responsibility and to be accountable.

Objectives:

a. to help supervisors structure programs in which the acceptance of such responsibility and accountability becomes the priority and which allow students latitude to exercise initiative and to be creatively engaged;

b. to assist the students to develop an ability to plan and manage time.

Goal 4: to provide one of the means that may assist seminarians in the discernment of their vocation and aid faculty in their task of recommendation.

Objective: to provide continuing education for supervisors in order that they may be able to assist seminarians in the discernment of that call and serve as a resource to faculty in making a recommendation.

Goal 5: to support the development and continuing integration of ecclesial faith, priestly charity, and personal maturity.

Objectives:

a. to provide continuing education in theological reflection for theological resource persons, supervisors, and seminarians in order to support the development and continuing integration of ecclesial faith, priestly charity, and personal maturity;

b. to have seminarians engage in theological reflection;

c. to promote reflection on the ecclesial context of pastoral ministry, including the specific responsibilities of the priest, skills of collaborative leadership, and promotion of the gifts and charismata of others in the Church community.