The first responsibility in this is to determine to what state in life that God is calling us: marriage, holy orders, or consecrated/religious life. Once we know the state to which we have been called we must cooperate with God’s grace and Answer God’s Call. The Steps of Seminarian Development are:
Starts with Baptism
At Baptism, the parents have their child brought into a Faith Community and the child is marked as belonging to God. The parents are then entrusted to share in the responsibility of raising the child to know God through the Church and its Sacraments.
Early Discussions with God and the Church
A child hears God speak to him through his parents and the Church. As a young man, he begins to hear God speaking to him directly and he has a responsibility to respond. The young man should be praying often and discussing the situation with his parents, pastor or other trusted spiritual director. It can take a great deal of time to understand what God is saying.
Intense Discussions with God & the Church
The seminary is the best place to discern God’s call. The goal of seminary is to help the young man develop a discipline in life that allows God’s grace to best motivate the young man in his pursuit of holiness.
College/Pre-theology followed by a Masters in Divinity (Theology)
College/pre-theology is designed to help the young man determine if God is calling him to the priesthood. This is done with prayer and learning. Most seminarians from the Columbus Diocese attend the Pontifical College Josephinum. The academic requirements include at least in a minor in Philosophy and a number of religion courses.
The next step seminarian education is to earn a Masters of Divinity (Theology). Here the young man makes an educated, grace-filled decision that God is truly calling him to the priesthood. Upon completion, he receives a Masters of Divinity. This step is required to become a priest.
Living Life in Christ
The priest must now continue the habits learned in the seminary and spend his life in prayer, study, and service as he works with his parishioners in the pursuit of holiness.