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the life of an applicant and of how these may strengthen or hinder an

authentic vocational discernment.

Psychological assessment by professional clinicians provides criti-

cal information that otherwise might not be obtained in the course of

admissions interviews. Sometimes the psychological report is able to

articulate important areas that need to be more fully screened, or it may

identify features that warrant serious concern or further discernment by

those making the final decisions about admission of the candidate. The

process can also provide the applicant with knowledge of his own areas

of strength and potential growth as well as some of the actual limits

of his own freedom to hear clearly God’s call. A thorough assessment

can provide significant information for the applicant about his level of

intellectual functioning, the presence of acute mental distress, and the

characteristic ways he relates to himself and to others.

Psychological assessment serves in a supportive role to provide

greater clarity about an applicant, so that those responsible for the

admissions process have a fuller understanding of the applicant besides

the many other components of the application process.


Finally, psychological assessment can serve as confirmatory evidence

in support of conclusions based on the entire admissions process, espe-

cially if there is a divergence of views during the screening process.

Suggested Components of a Psychological

Assessment and Report for Admissions

Psychological assessment seeks to understand the intellectual, emo-

tional, and psychological functioning of the applicant through the

use of psychometric measures; it is the mental equivalent of a

physical evaluation.

To assist those responsible for judging the suitability of the applicant

for seminary formation, according to numbers 47 and 53-56 of the PPF,

the following components of a psychological evaluation and written

report would be especially instructive:

1. Clinical interview (a structured interview of the applicant that

is focused specifically on his mental health history)

3 PPF, no. 47.