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All Things Jesuit

Becoming a Jesuit

March 13, 2019

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Ever wonder what it takes to become a Jesuit? Well, the short answer is, it's a 12-year spiritual journey that follows the precepts of St. Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus. Following are the specific phases of the process.

Stage of FormationDescription
Novitiate Novices live in community, learning the traditions of the Society of Jesus. They make the 30-day Spiritual Exercises retreat and engage in ministries that include serving the poor.
(Two years)
First Studies Jesuits take graduate coursework in philosophy and theology.
(Three years)
Regency Jesuits work in ministry and live in community.
(Two or three years)
Theology Scholastics undertake an intensive study of theology.
(Three years)
Ordination At the conclusion of their theology studies, Jesuits called to the priesthood are ordained.
Special Studies As part of their ongoing formation, Jesuits may pursue enhanced studies in a particular academic or educational field.
Tertianship This is a period of preparation before Jesuits take their final vows.
* Source: Based on a publication by the Jesuits West province

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