Laying a Foundation for the Priesthood | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • Laying a Foundation for the Priesthood

    The preparation you’ll receive at Franciscan follows the model for priestly formation laid out by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Under the direction of Father Gregory Plow, TOR, you’ll receive the spiritual, intellectual, pastoral, and human formation you need to pursue God’s call in a diocesan seminary or with a religious order. You’ll also receive fraternal formation—a unique feature of Franciscan’s Priestly Discernment Program.

    Practically speaking, that means you’ll grow spiritually through daily Mass, regular confession, praying both Morning and Evening Prayer as a community, deepening your personal prayer life, taking on a weekly Holy Hour, and making two retreats annually.

    You’ll also grow in your understanding of the faith and the philosophical foundations undergirding a Catholic worldview. With world-renowned scholars such as Dr. Scott Hahn, Dr. John Crosby, and Dr. Pat Lee for your professors, you’ll take 30 hours of coursework in philosophy and another 18 in theology, along with your other required classes.

    Your pastoral formation will take place through a deep and sustained involvement in the life of Franciscan University. As a member of the Priestly Discernment Program, you’ll serve at University Masses and assist with Chapel Ministry programs. You’ll also go out into the local community, helping the spiritually and materially poor through activities such as feeding the homeless, praying at abortion clinics, and performing other works of mercy with your fellow students.

    Human formation—growing in wisdom, maturity, and virtue—comes by way of spiritual direction and one-on-one meetings with the program director. It also comes through living your life as part of the larger Franciscan community, where both your fellow students and your professors are joined together in a common pursuit of holiness.

    Lastly, you’ll receive fraternal formation—help living a life of Christian brotherhood. This happens through small faith-sharing groups, brotherhood nights, and especially through Franciscan’s household system, which encourages Christ-centered friendships and Christian maturity. Men in the Priestly Discernment Program belong to one of two households: Koinonia and Living Stones. During your time in the Priestly Discernment Program, you will live, study, and pray side by side with your household brothers, holding each other accountable and encouraging each other to follow God’s voice.

    Support Future Priests

    The Blessed Junipero Serra Fund allows contributors to invest in the future of the priesthood through ongoing spiritual and financial support for Franciscan University's Priestly Discernment Program students. Be sure to specify "Serra Vocations Fund" in the "Fund Name" drop-down box.

    Contact Us

    Contact us for information If you believe God is calling you to the Sacramental Priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church, I invite you to consider applying to our Priestly Discernment Program. Come discern God's plan for your life along with as many as 50 to 60 other men who are discerning God's will at Franciscan University.

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1235 University Boulevard

Steubenville, Ohio 43952

(740) 283-3771


Franciscan University of Steubenville is no ordinary university, and a Franciscan education is no ordinary education. Rather, it's an education as rigorous and demanding as it is faithful--an education that challenges you intellectually, forms you professionally, and feeds you spiritually.


You can help Franciscan lead the way in providing a faithfully Catholic education!