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"This is a transformative journey that involves the whole community."

Ratio Fundamentalis

St. Patrick’s Seminary & University’s (STPSU) Pre-Theology Program provides an integrated introduction into the four dimensions of priestly formation for men with either no background in philosophy or no previous seminary formation experience.  This stage of discipleship prepares seminarians for theological formation. Following the Program of Priestly Formation, STPSU’s Pre-Theology Program offers a comprehensive curriculum in the Catholic philosophical tradition. As the well-formed human intellect demands a truly liberal education, the Pre-Theology Program also features coursework in the Humanities, introductory Theology, and Latin.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of STPSU’s Pre-Theology academic curriculum, students will be able to:

  • Articulate the distinction and the relationship between faith and reason according to the Catholic tradition. 
  • Trace the development of the Western philosophical tradition by identifying its major figures, issues, and theses, with particular focus on the thought of Thomas Aquinas. 
  • Respond effectively to issues of particular relevance to contemporary culture by formulating sound and clear arguments and counterarguments.  
  • Read carefully (both primary and secondary philosophical sources), think critically, and communicate clearly in formal academic writing. 
  • Translate a variety of intermediate-level Latin texts into English. 
  • Demonstrate a well-formed imagination by identifying the basic principles of analyzing and appreciating major works of music, art, poetry, and literature in the Western canon.  
  • Demonstrate understanding of the foundations of Church teaching in the areas of doctrine (with focus on the Catechism of the Catholic Church), Scripture, and spirituality. 

STPSU’s Pre-Theology Plan of Studies is as follows:

Pre-Theology I

Fall Spring
History of Philosophy I/II (6) History of Philosophy III/IV (6)
Humanities I: Literature (3) Philosophy of Nature (3)
Logic (3) Humanities II: Music, Art, Poetry (3)
Classical Latin I (3) Classical Latin II (3)
Academic Writing I (1) Academic Writing II (1)

Pre-Theology II

Fall Spring
Philosophical Anthropology (3) Epistemology (3)
Metaphysics (3) Ethics (3)
Introduction to Sacred Scripture (3) Philosophy of God (3)
Catholic Doctrine I (3) Catholic Doctrine II (3)
Introduction to Spirituality (3) Capstone: Special Topics (3)