Priestly Discernment Program

From USCCB Program for Priestly Formation (5th ed.)

185. Because two full years should be dedicated to the philosophical disciplines, pre-theology programs should extend for at least two calendar years in length.

186. Sound philosophical formation requires a biennium of study, which is understood in the United States to be at least 30 semester credit hours together with the out-of-classroom work associated with each credit hour traditionally expected in American higher education. The philosophical curriculum must include the study what is listed below. (Parenthetical notation the name of the course at Franciscan University of Steubenville.)

 history of philosophy [1]    
    ancient   PHL 311  (Ancient Greek Philosophy) 
    medieval  PHL 312  (Medieval Philosophy)
    modern  PHL 315  
 PHL 316
 (Renaissance and Early Modern Philosophy 
  Kant and Later Modern Philosophy)
    contemporary  PHL 412  (Contemporary Philosophy)
 logic   PHL 301  
 epistemology   PHL 306   
 metaphysics   PHL 211  
 philosophy of nature  PHL 325  (The Thomistic Tradition in Philosophy)
 natural theology  PHL 425  (Philosophy of God)
 anthropology  PHL 113  (Philosophy of the Human Person)
 ethics  PHL 212  (Foundations of Ethics)



(a)   Even though this is three credits more than the minimum 30 required by the PPF, a FUS PDP man still takes all 11 courses to meet the subjects the USCCB wants to be learned.

(b)   If a man simply adds Philosophical Texts (PHL 430) and a thesis (PHL 434) to the above 11 courses, he earns a major in philosophy at Franciscan University.

186 (cont’d). Seminaries should ensure that the philosophy is appropriate for studying Catholic theology and explore creative curricular strategies so that students can grasp the linkage between philosophical insights and theological frameworks.

187. A minimum of 12 semester credit hours is required in appropriate courses of undergraduate theology, which provide a solid foundation in Catholic doctrine through a thorough study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  These courses should study the themes of the Catechism. The 12 semester credit hours must be selected from among the following:

 doctrine  THE 101 [2]  (Foundations of Catholicism) 
   THE 110 [3]   (The Word of God: Scripture and Tradition)
 liturgy  THE 418  
 sacraments    THE 314  
 morality  THE 115  (Christian Moral Principles)
 prayer  THE 409  (Christian Spirituality) 
 sacred Scripture  THE 211  (Principles of Biblical Study I)
   THE 212  (Principles of Biblical Study II)


Other theology and catechetics courses highly recommended by the PDP are:

THE 213 Theology of Christ              

THE 214 Theology of the Church                  

CAT 204 Catechetics

[1] Only two of these five options are required for a FUS philosophy major.  Yet, all four categories are required by PPF.

[2] Required for a FUS philosophy major.

[3] Highly recommended by the PDP; but not required.