Programs and Degrees
Mundelein Seminary is the graduate school of theology offering degrees under the civil charter of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake. As the major seminary of the Archdiocese of Chicago, it offers the master of divinity (M.Div.) degree to candidates who successfully complete its program for priestly formation.
Additionally, the Graduate School of Theology offers the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) and advanced ministerial degree for all those in ministry.
The M.Div. and D.Min. degrees are approved by the Association of Theological Schools.
Please use the navigation buttons at the right to explore the various offerings of the Seminary and Graduate School.
Mundelein Seminary offers a two-year Pre-Theology program. It is designed for those college graduates who need to make the transition into seminary life and to acquire the necessary academic courses in philosophy and religious studies.
Students in the Pre-Theology program are full-time members of the Mundelein Seminary community. They have separate academic and formation programs to help them get ready for the study of theology and the immediate preparation for ordained ministry. Individual rooms provide space for study, reflection and prayer. Their group living provides the base for mutual support and interaction. Gradually, they will become accustomed to the elements of seminary life and priestly formation.
THE PRE-THEOLOGY ACADEMIC PROGRAM
The study of Philosophy is important not only as a preparation for Theology but also as a needed element in the life of those who would accept leadership in the Church of the twenty-first century. Critical reflection helps focus the issues of a complex world and sharpen the wisdom of the preceding ages. An understanding of the culture and ideas of the world today strengthen the priest’s ability to preach the gospel and to clear the path for God’s invitation to faith.
The Pre-Theology program provides forty-three quarter hours of philosophy and twenty-six quarter hours in religious studies. In addition, the Pre-Theologians will study Latin and Greek (two quarters each) as well as offerings in the humanities (two courses). There will also be opportunities for the study of Spanish, both language and cultural. Some limited selection of electives, depending on the student’s interest and available time, is available.
THE PRE-THEOLOGY FORMATION PROGRAM
Equally important is the Pre-Theology formation program. The future priests must “make his own” the gospel values he preaches. He must be committed to the mission of the Church, and he must be a man of spiritual insight and prayerful faith. To achieve this, the student will be in regular spiritual direction; he will also have a formation advisor. He will join the whole community for daily Mass, daily prayer (especially the Liturgy of the Hours), for retreats, evenings of prayer, class formation sessions, devotions and Eucharistic adoration. The first and fifth quarters of the program will spend more concentrated time on human and spiritual formation. He will also have a weekly pastoral experience along with time for reflection on his ministry. All these create the atmosphere in which the students can develop as men of faith and hear more clearly the call to ministry.
THE PRE-THEOLOGY MISSION TRIP
Pre-Theology II Field Education focuses on social justice. Provisions are made to ensure prolonged and meaningful contact with the poor, the marginalized, the sick, and the suffering so as to better understand not only their immediate needs but also the social contexts and cultural structures that contribute to injustice in our world. The weekly field education experiences of the first and second quarter prepare the students for work with the poor and marginalized. But participation in one of the two extended mission trips is essential to the realization of this goal for the individual students. Students will choose to participate in one of two mission trip options: an international Catholic Relief Services Global Fellows Trip or a mission trip within the U.S. Both trips occur at the beginning of the final week of the winter quarter and last for 10-14 days. The trips are designed to provide effective mission experiences for the men that will illuminate for them the Church’s call to justice and their own responsibilities to others based on the dignity of the human person and the role of servants to Christ and His Church. From within the experiences shared with poor and marginalized, the men will be called to live the love of Christ expressed in their prayer and theology..
THE GOALS OF THE PRE-THEOLOGY PROGRAM
The goals of the 2 year Pre-Theology program are to introduce the students into seminary life and to provide the foundations for their development in priestly formation.
- To assist the students to enter into seminary life and to adjust themselves to a new lifestyle;
- To take the required academic courses that will prepare them to start theological study;
- To encourage a realistic appreciation of the mission of the Church today and to help them understand the role of “priest and pastor”;
- To teach them methods of prayer and devotion, meditation and spiritual reading as well as opportunities to engage in faith sharing;
- To provide an opportunity for further vocational discernment;
- To set the groundwork for ongoing human, academic, spiritual and priestly formation in the years ahead.
Applicants seeking admission to the Pre Theology program of the Graduate School of Theology must:
a. Be graduates of an accredited college or university where they earned a minimum GPA of 2.5;
b. Possess an accredited bachelor's degree;
Men with the necessary criteria who are interested in applying to study for the diocesan priesthood are asked to write: The Rector, University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary, 1000 East Maple, Mundelein, Illinois 60060-1174. Phone: 847-566-6401.
In applying for admission, the following documentation must be submitted to the Office of the Rector:
a. A completed Mundelein application form, permission forms, Canonical forms, Certificates of baptism and confirmation;
b. Certificates of baptism and confirmation;
c. Letter of recommendation from the pastor of the applicant;
d. An official transcript from each college attended including the final semester with degree posted;
e. [For students from a college seminary, including St. Joseph Seminary, or from a Pre-Theology program] a letter of recommendation from the Rector;
f. Recent psychological testing, complete with interview and written report;
g. [For students for whom English is a second language] scores from the TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language;
h. Completed recent medical forms (supplied by the seminary).
This school is authorized under Federal law to enroll non-permanent immigrant students (F-1 student Visas). Dioceses are responsible for maintaining their foreign student’s immigration status. Mundelein Seminary will cooperate in any way that is necessary.
Once all documents have been submitted the candidate will be interviewed by the Admissions Committee.
Other documentation such as letter of recommendation from an employer, personal reference, military discharge papers, etc., may be required of the applicant.
Students for dioceses other than Chicago must have the sponsorship of their Ordinary and are expected to fulfill the above criteria and procedures.
Doctor of Ministry Program
The D.Min. program is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.
Mundelein Seminary offers the terminal degree of Doctor of Ministry. The goal of the program is to develop the ministerial skill of transformative theological reflection in and through projects concerned with ministry. In order to achieve this goal, the program interrelates three elements: theological reflection, other formal course work, and resource supervision. This interrelating takes place primarily within the peer group of candidates.
The candidates meet every Tuesday from 9:15 am - 2:45 pm for four semesters - two academic years. On these Tuesdays, three courses are conducted. Each of the three sessions lasts for one and one-half hours. In addition to the Tuesdays, there are four three-day intensive courses spread over two years.
Only those who fulfill these prerequisites will be considered for admission as candidates for the D.Min.:
full-time involvement in a form of pastoral ministry;
the M.Div. degree or its equivalent;
the completion of at least three years of full-time pastoral ministry.
From the applicants who have met the prerequisites, candidates will be chosen according to their manifest capability for advanced theological and ministerial education, personal capacity for cooperation in a group-oriented program, willingness and ability to give this enterprise a high priority in terms of time and attention, and the potential value of their contribution in improving ministerial life.
DM500 Intensive: Introduction of Theological Reflection
The two-year Doctor of Ministry program is described in detail. Students then are acquainted by an overview of pastoral/practical theology. A basic model of theological reflection as transformative is introduced. Students outline their personal learning experiences.
DM507 Theological Reflection I
The basic model of theological reflection as transformative (from DM500) is studied in depth. Each student addresses a pastoral situation using the model and aided by group critique and suggestions. By the end of the curse, the student should be able to analyze the transformational possibilities in any pastoral situation.
DM516 Spanish Mystics
Theological Reflection divorced from prayer is simply impossible. From the earliest times of the Church, the theologian was also a pastor and to try to do theology without the firm foundation of ministry, prayer and discernment leads directly to problems. To help make this connection, and to further theological reflection prayer and discernment, the Spanish Mystics: Ignatius of Loyola, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross.
DM522 Theological Reflection II
This course builds upon the previous course on the process of theological reflection in the life and ministry of ministers. Focus will be placed on the continued development of theological reflection skills. The primary objective of the course will be they prayerful discernment and integration of ministerial experience with the wisdom of Scripture, Church writings, and modern cultures. Models of theological reflection by Lonergan, Killen, and De Beer, and Kinast will be explored and employed.
DM530 Intensive: Conflict Resolution
Students learn the basic steps in conflict resolution following the Fisher model, as well as the qualities to be maintained in any relationship in which thee is conflict. Individual situations brought by each student are analyzed.
DM531 Theological Reflection III
This course builds upon the previous courses on the process of theological reflection in the life and ministry of ministers. Focus will be placed on the continued development of theological reflection skills and their employment in various ministerial situations beyond personal reflection. The primary objective of the course will be the prayerful discernment and integration of ministerial experience with the wisdom of Scripture, Church writings, and modern cultures leading to transformative action.
DM535 Practical Theology and Social Science
A basic understanding of the philosophy assumptions, and methods of social science is presented. Particular attentions paid to the gathering and analysis of data. The interface between data and theological norms is explored.
DM569 Systems: Thinking for Pastoral Ministry
Parish life is made up of complex and dynamic systems. Too often constrained by ingrained practices, rigid ministerial scripts, and structured workflow, ministers can become overwhelmed with the tasks of managing ministry rather than leading the community of faith. This course provides an overview of systems thinking and offers strategies and models to enhance organizational effectiveness.
DM570 Homiletics as Theological Reflection
The homily suggests a useful method of theological reflection. This course will consider the special questions the homily asks of the lections, in preparing to preach them as “a part of the liturgy itself.”
DM589 Paul as Pastor
Paul is often called the first Christian theologian. However, Paul was just as much a pastor as a theologian. It’s always challenging to try to summarize Paul’s theology because he was moved to write in response to specific problems in various churches. Paul’s “churches” were no bigger in terms of population than our moderately sized parishes. When Paul was no longer on site, he exercised pastoral leadership using a common medium of communication—the letter or epistle—in a new, creative way. To discover Paul’s pastoral strategies, we will pay attention to the intended effects upon the audience of hearing Paul’s letters. For this purpose, we will read and study three letters in which Paul seems to be most “pastoral”: 1 Thessalonians; 1 & 2 Corinthians. We want to ask, among other questions: “What strategies is Paul employing in his pastoral ministry to these churches?” “What implications might Paul’s strategies have for our own ministries?”
DM594 Ruth, Esther and Judith
This course will be a study of these three books in their historical and cultural settings, looking at the role of women in Israelite society, and their portrayal in the biblical literature. In addition to Ruth, Esther and Judith, passages concerning Miriam and Deborah and the personification of Wisdom in Proverbs will be studied.
DM803 Leadership in the Pastoral Setting
This course examines contemporary leadership and its theories and practices with a special emphasis on leadership in ministry. Leadership styles, the tasks of leadership, and the influence that the context has on leadership efforts will be discussed in depth. Attention will be given to leadership development and the implementation of growth initiatives for pastoral performance.
DM806 Perspective on Church Leadership - Intensive
In this course students will be introduced to a variety of forms of Christian leadership drawn from the long history of the Church. Students will be presented the manner in which various individuals guided the Church. The student will then seek to apply how that particular form/style of leadership might be used in their own pastoral context.
DM827 Johannine Literature
This course will examine the Johannine Literature, namely, the three Letters of John, and the Gospels, with an interest in the community to and for whom they were written. The Apocalypse of John will also be studied as an introduction to apocalyptic thought.
DM835 Context of Pastoral Theology
Following appropriate models of contextual theology this course examines a variety of issues including; interpretation of data, ecclesiology, ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.
DM836 Spiritual Direction
This course is designed to theologically reflect on the experiences of professional ministers through the perspective of Spiritual Direction with the hope of enhancing our understanding of those experiences as well as developing and refining skills to help us become better ministers. We will cover the basic concepts of spiritual direction and the theology of prayer, building on the work done previously in the course on the Spanish Mystics. This course is not designed to create spiritual directors as much as helping ministers of the church guide and teach others how to grow in holiness.
DM867 Theological Reflection III
This course builds upon the previous courses on the process of theological reflection in the life and ministry of ministers. The Kinast method of theological reflection will be explored. Focus will be placed on the continued development of theological reflection skills and their employment to various ministerial situations that involve leadership. The primary objective of the course will be the prayerful discernment and integration of ministerial experience with the wisdom of Scripture, Church writings, and modern cultures leading to transformative action.
DM871 Theological Reflection IV
This course builds upon the previous courses on the process of theological reflection in the life and ministry of ministers. Students will continue to develop their skills in theological reflection and their self-knowledge, especially in the area of personal operative theology. Students will develop a paper presenting their operative theology as demonstrated in their cases of real pastoral ministerial experiences for theological reflection by the group.
DM872 Liturgy and Theology – All in the Family
In Preaching, Fred Craddock writes that in the seminary to counter-influence the classroom lecture (“no model for the sermon”) “the homiletics student should read at least one (short story) a week, since the short story is the first cousin of the sermon.” In this course we will ready modern Catholic authors to see how they told their tales.
DM895 Ongoing Thesis Writing
The Doctor of Ministry program is staffed by the Full-Time Faculty of the University of St. Mary of the Lake I Mundelein Seminary, and, when appropriate, by a few members of the Adjunct Faculty of the Seminary.
Current faculty include:
Raymond J. Webb, Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago, Academic Dean, Program Director
Kathleen Wiskus, D. Min., University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Project Coordinator
Robert Schoenstene, S.S.L., Pontifical Biblical Institute, Theological Coordinator
Thomas Baima, S.T.D., Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Rome)
Robert Barron, S.T.D., Institut Catholique de Paris
Michael Dowling, D.Min, University of Saint Mary of the Lake
Michael Fuller, S.T.D. University of Saint Mary of the Lake
Ronald Hicks, D.Min. University of Saint Mary of the Lake
John Lodge, S.S.L., S.T.D., Pontifical Biblical Institute, Pontifical Gregorian University
Elizabeth Nagel, S.S.D., Pontifical Biblical Institute
Daniel Siwek, S.T.L., University of Saint Mary of the Lake
Equivalency to the M. Div. Degree:
I. The general goals of the Master of Divinity degree are grounding in the following theological areas:
The Association of Theological Schools is not specific as to the specific number of credits in each area.
2. In evaluating equivalency, the fo1lowing norms are used:
- A broad range of Theology, Scripture and Ministerial courses: 63 hours
- Ministerial Experience (e.g. C.P.E): 9 hours
- The total number of hours is 72 semester hours.
- Ministerial and pastoral ski1ls may be established through formal course work, seminars, workshops and pastoral experience..
3. Persons lacking an M. Div. can arrange to take courses leading to fulfilment of the equivalency requirement
The complete cost of the Doctor of Ministry Program covers two years of registration in the program, as well as room and board for the three-day intensives at Mundelein Seminary. It does not cover books. Please contact the Office of the Doctor of Ministry Program for details.
The thesis project is to be substantive, a contribution to knowledge about real ministerial needs, theology based, congregation based, and demonstrative of the ability to do theological reflection in a specific ministerial setting.
THESIS PROJECT PAPER COMPLETION LIMITS
The thesis project paper is to be completed within two years of the completion of course work. A one-year extension may be granted.
Address communications to:
Doctor of Ministry Program
University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary
1000 East Maple Ave.
Mundelein, IL 60060-1174
Or contact :
Ms. Mary Bertram
Master of Divinity Program
The M.Div. program is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.
Objectives of the Master of Divinity Program
BIBLICAL STUDIES AND HOMILETICS
Overall Objective: An understanding of the Bible that allows students to interpret Sacred Scripture according to the mind of the Roman Catholic Church in order to preach, teach, live and pray the Scriptures in Spirit and in Truth.
1. To be able to prepare and preach homilies.
2. To be able to lead a bible study group.
3. To be able to answer intelligently parishioners’ questions about Scripture.
4. To own and be able to use commentaries and other biblical source materials.
5. To develop a biblical view of reality that shapes pastoral practices and proclamation.
1. To teach the principles, concepts, dispositions relevant to moral living and their application to everyday life: both for Christian discipleship in general, and for situations encountered in parish life.
2. To critically reflect upon Church teaching in several practical areas, especially social justice, sexual ethics, and medical ethics.
1. To study and learn the rich spiritual tradition of the Christian faith in order to under-stand how grace calls each person to a deeper relationship with God.
2. To develop future pastors in an understanding and practice of prayer which con-nects them to both the Lord and their people.
Overall Objective: The Department of Dogmatic Theology includes the disciplines of Fundamen-tal Theology, Dogmatic Theology, and Sacramental Theology. Catholic theology – faith seeking understanding; mystical contemplation -- is centered on the revelation of God in Jesus Christ.
1. To appreciate the bridging function of fundamental theology between concrete life and faith, between reason and revelation, between philosophy and dogmatic theology;
2. To provide seminarians with the historical, philosophical, and theological contexts in which the Church has existed and to encourage both an appreciation for and a thorough understanding of the Church’s response to the various philosophical and theological questions and problems it has encountered within these contexts.
3. To train seminarians to read conciliar and theological texts analytically and to reflect on them critically in order that they might be grounded in their understanding of the basis upon which faith in the Catholic self-understanding is founded and that they might better perceive/appreciate the complex matrix in which revelation occurs.
4. To enable seminarians to see how doctrine, magisterial teaching, ecclesial structure and canon law take concrete expression in the institutions of the Church and to see the relationship between these aspects of Church, priesthood, and the Church’s life in the world.
5. To consider the topics of: reason, revelation, and faith: Jesus Christ; Mary; soteriolo-gy; the Church; sin and grace; creation; angels; eschatology; sacraments; Orders
The goal of the department is to help students develop a historical consciousness appropriate for the Catholic community. Seminarians develop this important trait by:
1. Studying the development of our Church as a spiritual, social and political reality in a wide variety of cultures and circumstances.
2. Acquiring a critical knowledge of the history of the Catholic tradition.
3. Forming an ability to engage in a critical reading of the classics of the Catholic theo-logical tradition.
4. Learning the interpretation of our historical and theological tradition as a creative resource for contemporary Christian life, ongoing renewal, and continuing cultural engagement.
LITURGY AND MUSIC
1. Learns the fundamentals of liturgy.
2. Acquires an ability to lead the assembly well and to preside prayerfully.
3. Fosters a deep love for the liturgy and an appreciation of the Church’s rites.
4. Is able to implement in parish life the liturgical principles of the Catholic Church learned at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary.
5. Gains the ability to make liturgical deci-sions based on good theology with the ex-ercise of the Christian virtues.
6. Integrates ministerial engagement with liturgical expression.
PASTORAL THEOLOGY AND CANON LAW
1. Understands the dimensions of pastoral situations – individual and group – and min-isters appropriately.
2. Listens, responds, moves to appropriate action in working with people.
3. Brings the Tradition to bear in pastoral situations in word, action, guiding back-ground and self evaluation, growing in sensitivity to the movement of God in life situa-tions.
4. Needs to know that what is being said is important in achieving this objective.
5. Understands the theological implications of his ministerial words and actions.
6. Understands and ministers with the cultural dimensions of situations in mind.
7. Has a particular Catholic understanding of marriage, family, grief, death, bereave-ment, and hospital ministry.
8. Understands and negotiates resolution of conflict.
9. Has a framework and theological vision for parish leadership, administration, supervision, and planning.
10. Understands and acts according to ministerial ethical guidelines.
11. Understands his ministerial strengths and limits.
1. To learn the basic structure of Canon Law and how it is a true pastoral guide.
2. To study and understand the general norms of Canon Law and how they relate to the People of God and the teaching office of the Church.
Overall Objective: To build positive relationships with English speakers among classmates, parishioners, faculty and staff, and ministry per-sonnel through clear, confident and accurate communication.
1. To know English so that one can achieve the objectives of the Master of Divinity pro-gram.
2. To be able to understand and use the target language effectively.
3. To be competent in proclaiming the Word of God and leading prayer.
4. To acculturate to the USA customs and way of life.
5. To be open to and engaged with individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
6. To gain knowledge in how to access and use language resources for lifelong learning.
MASTER OF DIVINITY REQUIREMENTS
(111 semster hours)
A. Biblical Studies and Homiletics (24)
Intro to Biblical Studies, Psalms and Wisdom (3)
Pentateuch and Histories (3)
Homiletics I (3)
Pauline Literature (3)
Synoptic Gospels and Acts (3)
Johannine Literature (3)
Homiletics II (3)
B. Systematic Theology (24)
Fundamental Theology (2)
Doctrine of God, One and Three (3)
Christology and Soteriology (3)
Anthropology, Creation, Grace and
Ecclesiology and Mariology (3)
Ecum. and Interreligious Dialogue (2)
Sacraments of Initiation (3)
Sacraments of Healing and Vocation (2)
Nature & Mission of the Priesthood (1)
Theology of the Priesthood (2)
C. Church History (12)
Foundations of the Catholic Tradition
Medieval & Early Modern 800-1700 (3)
Age of Revolution 1712-1848 (2)
Modern Church History (2)
American Church History (2)
D. Liturgy and Music (10)
Principles of Sacred Liturgy (2)
Liturgical Chant I (1)
Liturgical Chant II (1)
Liturgical Chant III (1)
Liturgical Leadership (1)
Rites Practicum (2)
Mass Practicum (2)
E. Moral Theology (12)
Fundamental Moral Theology (3)
Medical Ethics and Suffering (3)
Sexuality and Vocation (3)
Social Justice (2)
Reconciliation Practicum (1)
F. Spiritual Theology (4)
Spiritual Theology (3)
Spiritual Direction (1)
G. Pastoral Theology and Canon Law (25)
Missiology, Evang. and Culture (3)
Theological Reflection on Catechesis
and Family (1)
Pastoral Care and Counseling (2)
Theological Reflection II (1)
Theological Reflection III (2)
Canon Law I (2)
Canon Law II (2)
Parish Admin. and Leadership (3)
Clinical Pastoral Education (3)
Pastoral Internship (6)
Hispanic Track -- Seminarians studying for Chicago and certain other dioceses are required to show proficiency in Spanish language and ministry skills. Mundelein provides a special track in the M.Div. program to meet these objectives. Those who have not studied Spanish take the Introduction to Spanish in First Theology. Normally the Spanish Language Intensive is done in the summer between First and Second Theology. Spanish conversation courses follows the Intensive. Seminarians also take other courses in Ministry, Preaching and Presiding in Hispanic Communities. The intensive and the ministry courses are presumed requirements for the students in the designated dioceses, unless they already demonstrate an acquired facility in Spanish or have a reason to substitute another pastoral language.
Theological Research and Composition
Theological Research and Composition I is a required course for all First Year Theologians. This is a basic course introducing students to theological reading, composition, and research skills.
Students familiar with theological reading, composition, and research may be exempted from the course by passing the Research Knowledge Survey. The survey is available in the Academic Office and must be returned by the end of Orientation Week.
In addition to the successful completion of all other requirements for the M.Div. degree, the student is required to demonstrate his theological and pastoral proficiency in a two-part comprehensive examiniation.
Students will receive a letter grade for all elective and most required courses. The following required courses are taken for Pass/Fail: Presiding at the Eucharist, Reconciliation Practicum, Pastoral Internship, Theological Reflection, Introduction to Liturgical Leadership, Clinical Pastoral Education, and Theological Research and Composition. Students must have a cumulative and current Grade Point Average of 2.5 for each semester for all work attempted, passed or failed, for the M.Div. Degree.
All courses are normally three credit hours unless otherwise indicated.
THE TEN AIMS OF MUNDELEIN SEMINARY FORMATION
The primary objective of the Formation Program at Mundelein Seminary is to help prepare men for parish priesthood. The seminary seeks to develop true pastors, mature and holy men, who will live, work, and pray with the people they serve in parish ministry. To that end, we pursue the following ten aims:
1. To help the seminarian develop a vital SPIRITUAL LIFE appropriate to one pre-paring for ministerial priesthood of Jesus Christ, Priest, Prophet and King. To grow in his priestly identity as a beloved child of God, disciple of Jesus Christ, and one called to loving service of God’s people. To develop a sense of mission which flows from the man’s identity. To develop a lively personal and liturgical prayer life.
Tomorrow’s priests must be men of prayer, of an active intellectual life and of a sincere and heartfelt love for God’s people. To that end, the seminary fosters growth in prayer, and a love of study, in many ways.
The Eucharist is the center of all Christian formation and the core of priestly formation. Attendance at daily Eucharist is required for the entire seminary community.
The Liturgy of the Hours is the official prayer of every diocesan priest. Seminarians are taught the “why” and “how” of the Liturgy of the Hours and they are encouraged to make the Liturgy of the Hours their special prayer with and for the Church. The Pro-gram of Priestly Formation prescribes gradual practice of all the Hours; by third year of theology, all should be regularly praying all five hours.
Spiritual direction is an essential part of the Formation Program of the seminary and one’s prayer life. It is a safe and confidential internal forum in which a man may discuss his spiritual life and growth in intimacy and freedom in the Lord. Any life experiences, good or bad, positive or negative, life-giving or challenging can be the “stuff” of spiritual direction. The seminarian chooses his own spiritual director and meets every two weeks with this priest. The spiritual director cannot participate in any seminary feedback or evaluative process for his directees.
The Sacrament of Reconciliation is an important element in the life of every priest and seminarian. The sacrament is available to every seminarian on a weekly basis. Seminarians are encouraged to avail themselves of the sacrament with regularity. In addition, there are communal celebrations of Reconciliation in preparation for Christmas and Easter. The sacrament is always available on a personal basis to the seminarians with any priest, with the exception of the Rector and Seminary Administrators.
Spiritual retreats are a constitutive element of every seminarian’s life. A five-day on-campus preached retreat begins the fall semester for Pre-Theologians, First Theologians, and Second Theologians. The Third and Fourth Year theologians experience a five-day directed retreat. There are retreats prior to reception of the diaconate and the priesthood. In addition, each separate living area (cam) has an overnight during the year as a means of getting to know better other members of the community.
Mornings of Prayer and recollection are conducted once each semester. A Day of Prayer marks our patronal feast of the Immaculate Conception.
Seminarians are encouraged to dedicate one hour to personal prayer each day, at least some of that time before the Blessed Sacrament. Adoration is available from 6:00 – 7:00 a.m., Monday through Friday in the Deacon Chapel. Every Sunday evening, at 7:00 p.m. there is an opportunity for Eucharistic Adoration and Benediction in the context of Night Prayer. Deacons will be scheduled to preside. Attendance is highly encouraged but is not mandatory.
Each day every seminarian should spend time in personal devotional prayer, in reading scripture, praying in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and in cultivating a devotion to Mary. Communal rosary is available each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. It is led by one of the individual cams and everyone is invited to attend.
Each of the six years has its own class formation program into which are built elements of prayer, reflection on the Scriptures, presentations and small group work. Faith sharing is encouraged in many of these meetings.
Since the study and the incorporation of Scripture are of primary importance for priests, each seminarian is expected to learn how to pray the Scriptures. Opportunities for such prayer are built into class formation sessions and seminary retreats.
2. To help the seminarian develop the necessary HUMAN qualities and virtues in the seminarian so that he is able to serve as a “a bridge to Christ” (PDV 43) as a diocesan priest, demonstrating in particular affective and psychosexual maturity as well as the ability to form positive relationships with a wide range of people appropriate to one called to live a chaste, celibate life. To help men become men of COMMUNION, men of PASTORAL CHARITY. Seminary community life, “the matrix of formation,” should promote this human growth.
While at Mundelein, each seminarian is expected to volunteer for various tasks and responsibilities in the community. At times, he will be asked to take on specific responsibilities by the rector or by members of the faculty.
Seminarians bear the primary responsibility for their human formation (PPF # 87). This means that, while many opportunities for individual and group formational experiences are presented to him, ultimately he alone determines how deeply he will allow these experiences and these opportunities to prepare him for priesthood. The hope is that he will grow in this sincere spirit of self-motivation which will be very essential to his life as a diocesan priest.
Each candidate for the priesthood has a “formation advisor” from the faculty during his years in the seminary. The formation advisor works with the man in the external forum. The two meet together at least three times a semester and whenever necessary. The formation advisor is both a helpful guide for the man and also a person of accountability. Together they work out an agreement or covenant at the beginning of each year outlining the expectations of the seminary and a man’s personal goals for his formation. This covenant and how it is carried out is shared with those responsible for the man’s training. To this end, the seminary administration and the formation advisor meet with the man’s vocation director during the year. The formation advisor also writes up a review of the man’s progress towards priesthood at the end of each year. This report is shared with the rector, the man’s bishop, his vocation director and the man himself.
There are a variety of accountability factors during a man’s stay at the seminary. Each man receives feedback from both peers and faculty on a number of occasions throughout his years here. He also has an opportunity to offer feedback to the seminary itself along the way. During all these processes a man is evaluated in the following areas: his personal development as a candidate for priesthood, his relationship with his advisor, his participation in the public prayer of the seminary, his fulfillment of his field education requirements, his participation in class formation sessions, his participation in community formation sessions, his attendance at the annual retreats, his involvement in cam life, and his academic progress. These are dis-cussed under each program.
3. To help the seminarian develop a lively INTELLECTUAL LIFE appropriate to dioc-esan priesthood. To grow in the ability to teach and preach the Catholic faith and dedicate himself to life-long learning. God’s people deserve learned as well as holy priests. A love of study is encouraged here as well as a sense of responsibility for ongoing education and formation after ordination.
4. To help the seminarian develop as both a SPIRITUAL AND RELIGIOUS LEADER for diocesan priesthood. The priest must be able to guide and lead people to cultivate their relationship with the Triune God. The priest is also a “religious leader” who faithfully represents the Tradition, teaching and practice of the Catholic Church, the “universal sacrament of unity.” Not only is a priest a religious leader entrusted with the responsibility to decide for, direct and guide a particular parish church, he is also a public representative of the larger Church. This means that he must learn to function in a leadership role at all times.
5. To help the seminarian develop a missionary spirit and the ability to EVANGELIZE cultures and people according to the call for a “New Evangelization,” especially as it pertains to the poor and marginalized in keeping with the “gospel of life.”
6. To help the seminarian develop the ability for COLLABORATIVE MINISTRY, not just with the laity, but also with the Bishop and presbyterate, so as to be able to work with men and women who have taken on professional and volunteer roles of service in the Church. Actual experience in the apostolate is an integral part of the seminary program. In the course of his years at Mundelein, a seminarian engages in a variety of ministerial opportunities leading up to priesthood itself.
7. To help the seminarian develop an openness and COMPETENCY FOR SERVING THE DIVERSE ETHNIC AND CULTURAL GROUP WITHIN THE CHURCH AND SOCIETY and a willingness to respond to the changing needs of the Catholic Church.
The seminary itself is a close reflection of the catholicity of the Church. There are men from Europe, Asia, Africa, and North, Central and South America. There are also priests and religious women from dioceses other than Chicago that are represented on the faculty here at Mundelein. Special emphasis is placed on the development of skills in Hispanic ministry due to the impact of this set of cultures upon the Archdiocese of Chicago, the U.S. Church, and the whole Church.
During the course of their time here at Mundelein, many men will study Spanish in a summer intensive. Many will take short intensive courses in either Hispanic ministry or African-American culture; there will also be opportunities for language courses in Polish.
Each Thursday, the Eucharistic Liturgy is conducted in both English and Spanish. At various times during the year, there are liturgies and celebrations of other ethnic and cultural feasts. There is a Hispanic choir, a choir that specializes in various kinds of African music, an Asian choir, and a Polish schola.
8. To help the seminarian develop a spirit of FRATERNITY here at the seminary which will translate into intentional bonds within the presbyterate of his diocese. Many efforts are made to find ways to help seminarians get to know each other well, to trust each other, and to live out their time of preparation for priesthood in a united manner. The fraternity learned in the seminary is a small step towards the fraternity needed in the priesthood. Experience has shown that priesthood grows when shared and supported.
Cam Life – Mundelein Seminary refers to each floor as a cam, which is a word derived from the Italian word camerata ("dormitory” or living area which promotes Christian community). The seminarian is expected to engage fully in the life of the cam throughout the year. All members of the cam meet regularly each week, once for Evening Prayer on Monday, and again for Prayer and socializing on Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Cam members will experience an annual weekend away from the sem-inary to encourage greater appreciation for one another’s vocation. During the year, many cams will sponsor special events to which all seminarians and faculty is invited. In short, the cam is the day-to-day environment in which, it is hoped, the seminarian will flourish and grow.
Also, class formation programs are designed to meet special needs and to serve common concerns that arise as seminarians move toward priesthood. They provide opportunities for support and encouragement and for mutual sharing. Each class has a unique program which engages on a weekly basis throughout the school year.
9. To help the seminarian to develop a strong sense of KNOWLEDGE OF AND LOYALTY TO the local Church.
Each seminarian is encouraged to learn about the history of his diocese, to grow in a greater appreciation for the mission of the Church in his diocese, and to know the diocesan policies, agencies and significant personnel who serve the mission.
During their years in the seminary, the men are encouraged to meet often and regularly with their diocesan brothers. Each Thursday evening, diocesan brothers meet for evening prayer. They also get together informally on other occasions as well.
The pastoral intensive in the spring semester of second year takes place in a man’s own diocese. During this experience, many dioceses and individual priest supervisors take great care to introduce the men to the various aspects of diocesan life and its institutions.
10. To help the seminarian develop a responsible sense of STEWARDSHIP for the
spiritual and temporal goods of the Church.
As part of his Formation Covenant, the seminarian is asked to set goals to help him to be accountable for his own finances. This basic personal responsibility is the foundation for his eventual care of parish resources.
Men are encouraged to be generous in their charitable giving. There are several opportunities throughout the year for a man to share his financial resources.
The Formation Covenant lists as a “basic seminary expectation” for all: "To live a lifestyle that incorporates and reflects Gospel values.” A Gospel lifestyle is understood to include the value of simplicity of life.
Stewardship involves, also, the use of time and talent. Seminarians are encouraged to volunteer on campus for community events regularly.