A call to a vocation may come at any age. Our Associate Formation Program was established for men who have earned a bachelor's degree and may have worked in a career, and now hear the call to religious life as a Divine Word Missionary Brother or priest.
Associate candidates are normally 35 years old or younger, because of the length of training required to become an SVD and the rigorous demands of missionary life in many countries. Our residency program will take from one to two years and is required before you can apply for the Novitiate. You will live with other Divine Word Missionaries and students and participate in ministry.
If your vocation is to the priesthood and you have the necessary prerequisites for theological studies, you may be assigned to an SVD community here in the United States, offering many different ministries and including several parishes. If you lack the necessary requirements to begin theology studies, you will participate in the Formation program at Divine Word College. In the college program you will work toward earning your 24 credits in philosophy and 12 credits in theology, plus some suggested course work in cross-cultural studies.
If your vocation is to the Brotherhood and you have completed a college degree or technical training, you may be assigned to a parish or other setting where the SVD ministers. Brother candidates who need more college or technical training also participate in the pre-novitiate Brother Formation Program at Divine Word College.
Associate Formation will give you an opportunity to study, live in an SVD community and be active in ministry, while we, in turn, get to know you. Once completed, you will apply for the Novitiate, a one-year program at Techny, Illinois. After novitiate is completed, you continue on like any other SVD candidate – either through the Theology Formation Program at Divine Word Theologate, in Chicago, or in the Brother Formation Program , located at Wendelin House in Chicago.