For Eastern Catholics
(Members of this Jurisdiction):
It is advisable during the discernment of a vocation (call to the ordained ministry), to have a spiritual director (your parish priest). The vocation to the Holy Priesthood (Deacon or Priesthood) or to the Order of Deaconess requires confirmation of the calling to the ministry. Your parish priest will be completing one of the three letters of recommendation needed in the application process for the seminary training.
If you believe you calling to the ordained ministry is to be within the monastic order, then you shall need to make a joint application to the Archimandrite of the Order as well as the normal seminary application.
In accordance with the Canon Laws of the church, anyone seeking admission to Seminary must be resident within an Eastern Catholic parish for at least three years.
Similarly as in all Eastern Orthodox Churches, the minimum educational requirement of a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university is required. Therefore, when a candidate comes into the seminary, the candidate is fully aware of the world and chooses to begin the discipline of the seminary education. This requirement of a bachelor’s degree can be waived for those mature candidates, who seek to enter the ministry in their early or latter 50s. Instead of obtaining a Licentiate in Sacred Theology, this candidate shall be working towards a Bachelor in Sacred Theology.
The Licentiate in Sacred Theology is usually completed within three years of Graduate Studies and participation within a local parish church in accordance with the major Holy Orders received.
When the candidate desires to formally apply for seminary training, the application can be obtained from the local parish priest or from the Office of the Metropolitan See. If the seminary candidate is married, then a letter from the spouse is required documenting the spouse’s desire to assist the candidate in the seminary process.
For ordained clergy from other jurisdictions:
For those ordained clergy from other historical and sacramental churches, the requirement of residence within a local parish is still mandated. The application process requires documentation of their formal seminary education, documentation of their ordinations, and release from their bishop and jurisdiction.
Upon reception of the academic transcripts and ordinations, the Office of the Metropolitan See shall review these documents and prescribe the course of studies needed to re-enter public ministry as an Eastern Catholic. The usual seminary training has been 12- 18 months, to gain knowledge in the Eastern Catholic Quiddish Qurbana (Holy Liturgy), Eastern Catholic sacramental theology, Rituals, Canon Laws, and Traditions. Upon the completion of the additional training, the Office of the Metropolitan alone is authorised to admit this clergyman into the ordained ranks of the Eastern Catholic Clergy.
For those ordained and married clergy from other historical and sacramental churches, the spouse shall also document in writing agreement to enter the Eastern Catholic Jurisdiction and ministry. The ordained clergy and the entire family shall be formally received into the Eastern Catholic jurisdiction. The family must be united. If the spouse desires to remain in the previous jurisdiction, then the ordained clergy shall not be admitted into the Eastern Catholic jurisdiction and ministry.
For those members of the ordained clergy from non-sacramental churches, the residence within the local parish is mandated. Their seminary training shall also be based upon the evaluation of their academic transcripts, ordinations, and years in ministry. Such candidates will have to be ordained through all the major Holy Orders of the Chaldean-Syrian Tradition, since they do not come from a historical and sacramental church with the Apostolic Succession. If the ordained clergy is married, then the family is formally received into the Eastern Catholic jurisdiction.
The Office of the Metropolitan See gladly shall receive your inquiries and assist you through this process.