Jesuit Formation prepares men to become priests and brothers who are well educated, trained in the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, and skilled to minister in diverse and ever-changing environments. The education and training of a Jesuit takes place over a period of 10 to 15 years and encompasses the following dimensions:
Intellectual Formation | Spiritual Formation | Apostolic Formation | Personal Growth Formation | Community Life (living in community with other Jesuits)
NOVITIATE (2 years):
A novice learns to create a community of brothers who grow in prayer, knowledge of the Society, apostolic work, and personal enrichment. He meets the Lord through the 30-day Spiritual Exercises retreat. At the end of these two years, he pronounces vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
THE AVERAGE ANNUAL COST FOR A NOVICE IS $30,000
FIRST STUDIES (3 years):
The newly-vowed Jesuit moves into academic work as a brother or a scholastic. He studies philosophy and theology, and he deepens his Jesuit identity through other ministerial work which strengthens or challenges his gifts.
THE AVERAGE ANNUAL COST FOR A JESUIT IN FIRST STUDIES IS $50,000
REGENCY (3 years):
The Jesuit brother or scholastic moves into active Jesuit ministry, usually teaching at a high school or university
THE AVERAGE ANNUAL COST FOR A JESUIT IN REGENCY IS $5,000
THEOLOGY STUDIES (3 years):
Jesuit scholastics usually move on to formal theology studies which prepare them for priestly ordination, but the Jesuit brother might study theology for a shorter time as a way to enhance his effectiveness for ministry.
THE AVERAGE ANNUAL COST FOR A JESUIT IN THEOLOGY STUDIES IS $60,000
ORDINATION A scholastic receives the Sacrament of Holy Orders (priestly ordination) and is available for his first assignment as a Jesuit priest.
TERTIANSHIP (about 5 years later):
Jesuit brothers and priests take a year to review their formation, to experience again the 30-day retreat, and to pronounce final vows to the Society.
While at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, I embraced many of the freedoms college offers, but I failed to develop my spiritual life in any way beyond an occasional prayer to God for a date to go well or for an A on an exam. After graduating, I moved to Chicago to work for a financial firm. I was achieving my goals, yet I felt deeply unfulfilled by life.