How long does it take to become a priest?

It usually takes six or seven years to become a priest. This includes a spiritual year (or two), then the study of philosophy and theology, which takes a minimum of five to six years. There may also be a year of pastoral experience.

What is most important is that the person is mature enough at a human and a spiritual level to take on the responsibilities which come with being a priest. It’s normally up to the people in charge of priestly formation to judge when a person is ready to be ordained.

Other factors which could make a difference to the amount of time spent in training include prior academic qualifications and the person’s own readiness to be ordained. Particular dioceses or religious congregations may have other specific requirements.

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