How long does it take to become a Priest?
The answer to this question depends upon the level of education a man has when he begins his studies for the priesthood.  There are two levels of seminaries utilized by the Diocese of Sioux City.  The first is college level, also known as “Minor Seminary”, which takes 4 years to complete.  This is where the men complete the philosophy and other requirements to get into the second level and is where they will have earned at least one bachelor’s degree.  The second level, called “Major Seminary” also takes 4 years to complete.  This is where the men study Theology and other courses related to Sacred Scripture and the Catholic faith and will have earned at least one master’s degree.  So, for a young man coming out of high school and with no other education, it would take a minimum of 8 years to become a priest.

However, some men entering into the seminary have already graduated from college and have a bachelor’s degree when they begin.  These men may have to take only 1 or 2 years of college seminary, called "Pre-Theology” before they enter Major Seminary.  How much time they spend in Pre-Theology depends upon how long it takes them to fulfill the requirements necessary for entrance into Major Seminary.

So, when a priest is ordained, he has completed at least one bachelor's degree and at least one master's degree. Some priests have more than one degree at each level of education.  Also, some seminarians take a year off from their seminary studies, called a “Pastoral Year,” to work in a parish.  Thus the amount of time it takes any particular man to become a priest depends upon many individual factors.

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