The Aim of Intellectual Formation

To serve the two-fold primary function of the College: to discern priestly vocations and to form candidates for priestly ministry (PDV n. 61). The Intellectual Programme cannot be isolated from the other areas of formation. In the initial formation-period of a seminary, however, study will naturally absorb much time and energy. Study is essential to human, Christian and vocational growth, because through it “the future priest assents to the Word of God, grows in his spiritual life and prepares himself to fulfil his pastoral ministry” (PDV n. 51). In an era in which many distrust the ability of human reason to reach objective truth, and in which science and contemporary culture are raising profound and challenging questions, a high level of intellectual formation is required (sic), if priests are to be effective evangelisers, able joyfully to proclaim the unchanging gospel of Christ.

The shape of the usual programme of intellectual formation at Oscott is given below. Besides philosophy and theology, courses in pastoral theology, spirituality and human formation are also followed throughout the six years.

The Intellectual Programme is validated by two universities:

  • Courses in Years One, Two and Three are validated by BU leading to a BA in Fundmental Catholic Theology.
  • Theology courses across the six year programme lead to the award of an STB, through our affiliation with KUL.

The BA and the STB enable seminarians to be admitted to graduate level programmes in both the secular and the pontifical university systems. Click here for Course Index

Each year of the Intellectual Programme has been given a title in order to help seminarians and staff focus and appropriate the material studied at that level. Moreover, Key Learning Outcomes are identified for each level in order to help seminarians in their work and to monitor progress within the overall aim and purpose of the College: that is, to develop a clear sense of priestly identity and mission within contemporary culture. These Key Learning outcomes also assist staff in designing and delivering courses appropriate to the level intended.

Yearly Outcomes

1. Exploring Discipleship

New Testament: Synoptic Gospels, Fundamental Theology, Patristics, Introduction to Philosophy, History of Classical Philosophy, Epistemology, History of Medieval Philosophy, Latin, Life in Christ, Pastoral Theology, Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science, Lectio Divina, Human Formation – Introduction to Human Formation

2. Discipleship and the Church

Modern Western Philosophy, Pastoral Theology, Philosophy of Religion and Political Philosophy, Old Testament: Psalms, Old Testament: Pentateuch, Foundations of Liturgy, Lectio Divina, Homiletics, Advanced Latin, Philosophy and Communication, Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science, Human Formation 2 – Introduction to Pastoral Counselling

3. Configuration to Christ

New Testament: John, Ecclesiology, Christology, Early and Medieval Church History, Sacramentology, Moral Theology, The Trinity, Philosophical Ethics, Greek,Political Philosophy, Human Formation 3 – Preparation for Extended Pastoral Placement

4. The Pastoral Enterprise

Extended Pastoral Placement and Pastoral Theological Reflection, Scripture and Preaching, Introduction to Canon Law, Reformation Church History, Hebrew, Catholic Social Teaching, Human Formation 4 – Preparation for Candidacy Reading and Public Speaking

5. Sacramental Ministry

Eucharist, New Testament: Paul, Old Testament: Prophets, Sacramental Law, Priesthood: History and Identity, Creation and Eschatology, Grace, Homiletics, Pastoral Theology for Diaconate, Catholic Social Teaching, Pastoral Seminar, Human Formation 5- The Spiritual Human and Ordination

6. Vocational Synthesis

Sacramental Celebration, Church and Dialogue, Canon Law of Marriage, Mariology, Pastoral Theology for Priesthood, Bioethics, Confession Practicum Holy Order Lent Project Portfolio, Human Formation 6 – The Pastoral Minister

I left everything and followed God