The Pastoral Formation Program of St. John Vianney College Seminary exists to instill and nurture in its seminarians the ministerial sensibilities required for a life of active work in the Roman Catholic priesthood. This program is designed in fidelity to the norms established by the Program of Priestly Formation of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: “The goal of the seminary program is to prepare priests who have a comprehensive pastoral outlook, ready to assume the pastoral duties which their service to the community demands. This service requires special concern for individuals and groups alienated from society and the Church either by accident or by choice.” (PPF #193) The Pastoral Formation Program consequently is intended to assist the seminarians of the institution in becoming educated and self-reflective ministers of the Good News of the gospel, who are also sensitive to the varied needs and vulnerabilities of those to whom they are sent. This task is carried out in the following way: first, by helping the seminarians to become familiar with the basic reality of pastoral ministry and its required skills through coursework; second, by allowing the seminarians to exercise and grow in those skills in the context field education placements in the local community; third, in light of their coursework and field placement assignments, to assist the seminarians in assessing their understanding of ministry and their growth in its required skills through the exercise of self-reflection and guidance.
In order to achieve this, the Pastoral Formation Program establishes for itself the objective of forming seminarians in light of the following goals:
1. College seminarians who understand the aim of pastoral ministry.
2. College seminarians who can work within the structures of pastoral ministry.
3. College seminarians who can assess pastoral effectiveness.