Student Registrations

You must register online in order to begin studying at St Catherine’s Seminary. To do this, you will need to complete a couple of steps, all online. Whilst the complete registration online process takes less than 5 minutes, please carefully note the steps outlined below. The Old Catholic Apostolic Church and St. Catherine’s Seminary take this process seriously and will not accept online studies or remote learning registrations that have not been responsibly completed by students. This means that if you wish to study at St. Catherine’s Seminary, you will need to commit to complete registration steps as outlined below:

1. Register as a student

You can do that here online. Some of our students are “external”, in the sense that they are not seminarians/ordinands, but joined anyway as a matter of interest in the subjects that the Seminary focus on. Other students are seminarians or undergoing vocational discernment, and other students are already members of the Clergy, but are still studying, as a refresh course, or the advanced TERM II Syllabus.

All registrations follow the same registration online form, simple and easy to complete.

Students who register as Seminarians, or undergoing vocational discernment, register through the same online registration process. However, they will received an extra request for further documentation, as follows:

1.1. Certificate of Baptism;
1.2. Certificate of Confirmation or Chrism;
1.3. Criminal Records Certificate issued by the competent Authority. In he United Kingdom, this is an Enhanced DBS Check. All seminarians or ordinands are subject to mandatory criminal antecedents vetting, which searches records of cautions by Police, sexual conduct offences, or convictions through any Court of Law in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Students and ordinands born overseas must provide a freshly obtained Certificate of Criminal Records in their Country or Territory of Origin, as well as the UK Enhanced DBS Check if they habitually reside in the United Kingdom.
1.4. Two independent character references, which must not be from a family member.

The extra requirements applicable to seminarians and ordinands can be processed whilst the student is studying with St. Catherine’s Seminary. These students status as Student Seminarian are provisional, pending receipt of satisfactory documentation. In the unlikely event of a record disqualifying a candidate to Holy Orders, the student is invited to continue studying, under a revised External Student status.

2. Create a Facebook Account

Create a Facebook Account, if you do not already have one. Most students at St. Catherine’s Seminary already had a Facebook Account prior to joining; however if you do not have one, you must create it, because you are required to join the Facebook Group, to keep up with information relevant to all students. The Facebook group is private, and its contents are only visible to group members. See below, no. 3.

3. Request to Join the FB Group

In Facebook, send a request to join St. Catherine’s Seminary Academic Group.

Illustration: The Seminary Facebook Group Page – Click on “Join Group” to request membership.


If you requested to join the FB Group before you completed your student registration (see above no. 1.), your Group Membership request will be granted as soon as your online registration has been processed by the Seminary Deanery Admin Office.

In the above scenario, your request to join the FB Group will be pending receipt of your online registration. The Deanery Office will send you TWO reminders via Facebook Private Messaging, inviting you to complete your student registration. If no online registration has been received in SEVEN calendar days, your request to join the Seminary Facebook Group will automatically expire. If you complete your online registration outside the SEVEN DAYS limit, request again to join.

However, if you completed your student online registration first and then subsequently requested membership of the Seminary Facebook Group, your membership will be granted very quickly, often on the same day or the next day.

FAQ’s

How much does it cost?

Studying at St. Catherine’s Seminary is free of charge. However you will need to fund acquisition of books, or the cost of a PC or laptop, for example. The Seminary recommends students join Amazon KINDLE, because e-books are cheaper to buy. Amazon UK charges a nominal fee per month for a KINDLE subscription, but this is affordable, £7.99 ($9.99) per calendar month. Thus overall, studying at St. Catherine’s Seminary is economical. Another monthly subscription we recommend if ACADEMIA EDU; the World’s largest universities’ academic platform, featuring literally billions of academic papers on all subjects, from academic authors in many of the most prestigious universities in the World, such as Cambridge, Oxford, Yale, Harvard, Sorbonne, Coimbra, etc.

What is the workload of studying at St. Catherine’s Seminary?

Both Terms I and II in the Syllabus are designed to be comprehensive, whilst at the same time, balanced in order to provide a better ratio between work, family and Seminary. This is important; OCAC Clergy is integrated in civil society and expected to either hold a secular job or be retired, which is entirely commensurate with Early Church tradition, because Jesus Himself was a carpenter, His Apostles were fishermen, one was a tax collector, for example.

Thus, your weekly study workload is reasonable, and doable. We know this from experience.

The Seminary will hold some assignments. These are Exams or Tests; and Essays. Exams, Tests and Essays are booked well in advance, during the Summer recess and cover the entire Academic Year ahead. The dates are published in the Seminary Official Calendar, which is available online. But all assignments calendar bookings always fall on a Saturday, Sunday or both Saturday and Sunday
, to minimise their impact on students’ other commitments.

You are required to sit Exams or Tests and write Essays on the booked dates as part of your on-going progress. This is a normal requirement, not at all alien to a responsible Formation Syllabus. You may defer sitting an Exam or writing an Essay, on specific situations of ‘force majeure’, such as illness, a death in your immediate family or relations, or to support someone through serious illness or difficult circumstances. Seminarians/ordinands need also to take into account any deferred assignments, and should anticipate it may lead to a postponement of their Ordination date, in order to allow them time to complete their studies. The Dean’s Office informs the Presiding Bishop on progress and will advise postponement in cases of deferment.

Is the Syllabus University Level?

Short answer: YES!… Term I is University Undergraduate Level and Term II is University Level as well, although more in-depth research-focused. Both Term I and II Syllabuses are challenging but doable by students at most standard school levels. Recommended bibliography and research papers are authored by academic writers, usually at PhD level or well established and widely published authors, with recognised authority and expertise in their respective fields.

Is St. Catherine’s Seminary Syllabus accredited with an official University?

Short answer: NO!… Syllabus accreditation with an official major University is not being considered at present, because it would involve extra resources which would be administratively and financially too complex at this point in time.

However, the option not to pursue accreditation at this point in time does not detract from due care in maintaining adequate high standards. There are many academic bodies which do not hold official accreditation with a major official University. For example Bloomberg University, Microsoft and others provide excellent levels of study, without accreditation. It is important to note that accreditation of itself, does not necessarily equate to a high standard. St. Catherine’s Seminary focus primarily on high quality standards of subjects included in the Syllabuses, highly regarded bibliography by well established authors, academics and widely published authors recognised for their expertise and academic proficiency in their relevant subjects; and this is our central objective. Accreditation, if and when, will be best to come to organically, as a natural outcome of our effort in maintaining quality standards, rather than a “hollow” target to reach just for the sake of “having it”, as it were.

How long do studies at St. Catherine’s run for?

Studies at St. Catherine’s Seminary run for TWO academic years PLUS a Specialist Module to be completed BEFORE Ordination. The Specialist Module runs for an average THREE MONTHS after completion of the second Term; however this may be extended or shortened depending on progress. The Specialist Module is mandatory for all candidates to Holy Orders and must be completed before candidates to Holy Orders are ordained in the Priesthood.

By comparison, just as an example, seminarians at the Pontifical College of St Beda – Rome, where most Roman Catholic seminarians in England and Wales complete their studies, run their formation for FOUR academic years. The Old Catholic Apostolic Church has different requirements and approximately 4000 members of Clergy worldwide, whereas the Roman Catholic Church has 414.582 ordained priests worldwide. Still, for a smaller Church such as the OCAC, a Syllabus running over TWO academic years plus a three-month specialist module, places the Church in a robust position.

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