Meet Our Missionaries

One of the best ways to learn more about Divine Word Missionaries is to meet our members. Take the opportunity to visit with one of our priests or brothers. Listen to their stories. Ask them how they knew God was calling them to religious life and to the Divine Word Missionaries. Question them about their ministry and what they do to serve God’s people. Inquire about where they have served the Catholic Church.

Men in formation to become Divine Word Missionaries also have their unique stories. Stories of call...of prayer...of service...of discernment. They, like you, are wondering if God is calling them to religious life—to be a missionary priest or brother in the Society of the Divine Word.

Personal stories of SVD priests and brothers are available online. Take a few moments to read about their lives and learn about life as a religious missionary. Do you recognize yourself in any of their experiences? Could you see yourself serving God in a similar way? If so, God may be calling you to vowed religious life as an SVD.

Missionary Brothers

Divine Word Missionary brothers are men committed to living Consecrated Life in response to a call from God. They focus on their God-given talents and share their gifts with others while engaged in a variety of ministries. From teaching in schools and building churches to graphic design, music and ministries in medicine and in technical trades, Divine Word Missionary brothers serve the Church and those in need. Learn more from our brothers’ stories.

Missionary Priests

Divine Word Missionary priests spread the Word of God through many ministries; from pastoral and sacramental ministries in parishes to mass communication, education and administration. At the core their ministry is to spread the Gospel where, “… it has not been preached at all or only insufficiently or where the local church is not viable on its own.” Learn more about priests from their biographies.

Men in Formation

Our men in formation fall into three categories: pre-novices (often called postulants), novices and members in temporary vows.


The first step to becoming a Divine Word Missionary is to enter our pre-novitiate program at Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa, or as an Associate Student at Divine Word Theologate in Chicago, Illinois. Each SVD Candidate has a different background, history and story. Depending on his past education, he could be a pre-novice (postulant) for one to six years. Learn more about pre-novices by reading some of their stories.


After initial formation, candidates apply to our novitiate at Techny, Illinois. This is a one-year program that allows a man to more fully discern his vocation, further develop his relationship with Jesus and learn more about the Divine Word Missionaries. After the program is completed and if a man continues to feel called to be a Divine Word Missionary, he professes First Vows. Learn more about our novitiate experiences from our novices.

Members in Temporary Vows

After novitiate, priesthood candidates enter the Divine Word Theologate in Chicago, Illinois to earn a theology degree at Catholic Theological Union. As they prepare for ordination, they complete their Master of Divinity Program. Brotherhood candidates also live at our formation house in Chicago and attend a number of different universities to earn a degree in their chosen area where they will use their skills to serve God’s people. Learn more about our members in temporary vows.

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