Addressing All Aspects of Deacon Formation
The deacon is ordained specifically for the ministry of
proclamation and instruction, of sanctification in the sacramental
life of the Church, and of charity and assistance. Programs that
prepare deacons within the context of other ministry preparation
programs sometimes lose a sense of the particular ministerial
identity of the permanent deacon.
Saint Meinrad's program is designed to appreciate and foster the
charism of the diaconate and its unique ministry, integrating it
into every activity of the formation period.
Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology’s Permanent Deacon
Formation Program engages candidates in the study of theology as
preparation for the ministry of the permanent deacon and for
personal growth and development.
A four-year curriculum is balanced and integrated, with each
course complementing the others in content and purpose. And while
the curriculum is carefully designed, there is possibility for some
flexibility of courses and schedule of classes to meet the
particular needs of each diocese.
All courses are taught face-to-face, using qualified
instructors, onsite in the diocese. Personal interaction between
instructors and candidates ensures that the candidates are fully
engaged in their theological education. Online, video and Web
courses are not part of Saint Meinrad's Permanent Deacon Formation
Although classes are taught at the graduate level, the Saint
Meinrad program is, first and foremost, a formation program, and
no degree is awarded upon its completion.
A degree-granting program risks placing qualifications and
restrictions on the admission of candidates, which might be
incompatible with the needs and priorities of the dioceses. A
degree program would also make demands of candidates that could
take away from their attention to discerning a vocation while
continuing to meet commitments of work and family.
Nurturing prayer and holiness is the foundation of
all Christian learning and ministry. The spiritual formation
component of the permanent deacon formation seeks to foster
integration of the candidate’s awareness of his discipleship within
an evolving understanding of the theological disciplines.
Spiritual formation is supported
through an emphasis on the importance of daily Eucharist and the
Liturgy of the Hours, retreats, spiritual direction and
participation in theological reflection groups.
Quality formation in the skills necessary for
ministry has been a hallmark of Saint Meinrad’s formation
programs from the beginning. Skills in preaching, liturgical
presiding, parish and diocesan administration and leadership,
religious education and pastoral care form the baseline of areas of
expertise for permanent deacons.
Because of the centrality of the ministry of the Word
to the deacon’s work, a seven-day homiletics
workshop at Saint Meinrad is included as part of the