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Pre-Theology Formation Program

Purpose of the Program

This two-year program has as its purpose the preparation of candidates for entry into the theologate.

  • For those who have completed college but lack the philosophical and theological background necessary to enter the theologate, this two-year program will equip them with 30 credit hours of philosophy (PPF 152-160), plus Ecclesiastical Latin, Biblical Greek, and undergraduate theology.
  • Qualified bachelor degree bearing pre-theology candidates, with the permission of the seminary Academic Dean and the sponsoring diocese, may enroll in the optional Master of Arts in Philosophical Studies (M.A.P.S.) degree program administered by the university's philosophy department.
  • For those who have not yet completed an undergraduate degree, an individualized curriculum can, in most cases, allow students to complete the academic requirements for pre-theology at the same time they complete the requirements for their bachelor’s degree.

Goals and Expected Outcomes

Formation during pre-theology aims at an adult level of affective maturity and interpersonal skills, a practical spiritual discipline, an exposure to apostolic life, and intellectual readiness for graduate theological studies. The primary intellectual focus is the study of philosophy which is balanced, comprehensive, integrated, and coherent (PPF 155). It has the following specific goals:

  • an introduction to the main historical periods, the major figures, and the main fields of philosophy
  • an introduction to major positions taken in the philosophical tradition that have significance for theology
  • the development of analytic and critical abilities
  • the development of a reflective awareness of the relation between reason and faith
  • the development of the possibilities for a coherent vision of reality

Program Requirements

Pre-theology is a two-year full-time residential formation program. Candidates are required to complete 30 credit hours of philosophy, plus additional courses in undergraduate theology and language including the following courses:

  • PTHL 001, 002, 003
  • PHIL 202, 301, 311, 312, 313, 314, 321, 318
  • GREK 950, 960
  • LATN 950, 960
  • PAMU 001, 002, 003, 004
  • PFED 001, 002, 003, 004
  • 3 Electives

► See a sample Pre-theology Course Sequence
► See all Seminary Course Descriptions

Admission Requirements

Ordinarily applicants to the pre-theology formation program shall hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. In particular cases, students within two years of completing their bachelor’s degree may be admitted as a “degree-completing” pre-theologian if they meet the criteria for transfer students into Mount St. Mary’s University.

Find out more about admission requirements for the pre-theology program.

Distinctive Resources

Seminary and undergraduate faculty collaborate to teach this program. The spiritual, pastoral, and human formation resources are provided exclusively by the seminary faculty. Pre-theologians are seminarians with full access to the library and information technology, learning services, writing center, EASL support, and all other aspects of campus life.

16300 Old Emmitsburg Road | Emmitsburg, MD 21727
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Frederick Campus | 5350 Spectrum Drive | Frederick, MD 21703
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