Priestly Formation


"The Church continues to place the highest value on the work of priestly formation, because it is linked to the very mission of the Church, especially the evangelization of humanity: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations" (Mt. 28:19)." - USCCB, Program of Priestly Formation, no. 16

 Program of Priestly Formation, 6th edition

Program of Priestly Formation Cover

Program of Priestly Formation, 6th edition (PPF), was developed by the USCCB Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. It was promulgated on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 24, 2022. It is particular law in the Church in the United States and serves as a guide for seminaries and priestly vocation programs that form men for the ministerial priesthood. This document was released in accordance with the Holy See's 2016 document, Ratio Fundamentalis Institutiones Sacerdotalis.

The PPF sets forth the nature and mission of the ministerial priesthood, norms for the admission and formation of candidates, and norms for the governance and administration of seminaries.

While not included in this current edition, the Norms Concerning Applications for Priestly Formation from Those Previously Enrolled in a Formation Program was published in response to a special mandate from the Holy See in 1996. These Norms are meant to assist bishops, as well as those charged with the care of seminaries and houses of formation in reviewing an application for priestly formation by one previously enrolled in a formation program or who has belonged to an institute of consecrated life or apostolic life.



Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in Seminary Admissions


These Guidelines were developed and approved by the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, under the leadership of Chairman Bishop Michael F. Burbidge. It was authorized for publication by the Administrative Committee in March 2015. 

This document aims to support the implementation of the directives contained in the Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in the Admission and Formation of Candidates for the Priesthood, issued by the Congregation for Catholic Education in June 2008, and the pertinent sections of the Program of Priestly Formation, 5th edition. These guidelines are intended to assist bishops, major superiors, and seminary rectors when developing policies on the use of psychological evaluations for seminary admissions.