Students are offered the opportunity to develop their pastoral skills by participating in a Pastoral Year, normally after their second year of theological studies. This positioning in the curriculum enables the seminarian 1) to experience the Pastoral Year with a certain degree of theological expertise; and 2) to return to the seminary program with new insights about his pastoral abilities and the needs of parish life.

The Pastoral Year is normally a ten-month (September-June), full-time, parish-based experience of pastoral ministry in the student’s own diocese, under the direction of the seminary. Supervision, evaluation, theological reflection, complemented by a spiritual program, are the essential elements of the pastoral year. Six units of Field Education credits are granted for the successful completion of the Pastoral Year.

If the diocese should decide not to include the Pastoral Year in a seminarian’s program, the student must earn the six field education credits through additional pastoral work during the seminary program. 

For more information regarding the Pastoral Year Program, please contact Rev. Gregory Heidenblut, O.S.A. at fr.heidenblut@stpsu.edu.