VISION STATEMENT OF ST JOHN VIANNEY SEMINARY NPC
The primary mission and goal of St John Vianney Seminary NPC is to train future priests for the service of the Roman Catholic Church and their fellow human beings in Southern Africa and abroad without any discrimination against anyone who wishes to follow the same degree programmes.
The programmes, which St John Vianney Seminary NPC offers are designed to facilitate all aspects of priestly training namely, academic / intellectual, human, faith / spiritual, pastoral / ministerial formation as well as, applied services. It is an integrated, holistic formation within the Southern African context.
St John Vianney Seminary NPC caters for three categories of students:
1) Diocesan students for ministry, providing a holistic formation.
2) Religious students who come for academic and pastoral education.
3) Lay students who come for academic studies only.
The Joint Seminary Staff (full-time internal and external staff, as well as, those who serve the Seminary with their expertise on a part-time basis) commit themselves:
1) To accompanying seminarians (i.e., those studying for the Priesthood) and private students (i.e. those who are not studying for the priesthood and only wish to obtain the degree registered for) towards academic development, maturity and healing.
2) To strive to do this by facilitating human, spiritual, intellectual and professional growth for the unselfish service of the people of God and humanity at large.
3) At this critical moment of on-going transformation in our young, fragile South African democracy, and in the rich cultural context of Southern Africa to the spreading of the Gospel and the values that perpetuate the dignity of every human person of every creed, race, or gender.
This Is Summed Up As Follows:
- The Seminary’s mission is to provide an environment in which, a deeply human person may develop:
1.1. A person of integrity, wholeness and dedication.
1.2. A person who is equipped with knowledge, values and skills so as to be able to assimilate the personal, communal, intellectual, moral aspects of Seminary formation.
- We believe that philosophy is an essential aspect of this formation processes:
2.1. We wish to produce candidates who value clarity of thought, breadth of vision, intellectual balance, thoughtful dialogue and critical evaluation;
2.2. We seek to produce people who are able to take intellectual and moral responsibility for the truth they live by – people who are not passive recipients but active contributors.
- In the diverse cultural environment of Southern Africa, we seek people who are able to exhibit sensitivity to the authentic values of other cultures by:
3.1. Demonstrating, in an increasingly pluralistic society, that we seek to communicate fully the value of the interdisciplinary and integrative role of philosophy in relating diverse investigations to a deeper understanding of human nature, human existence, the universe and God.
3.2. Producing individuals who are able to find God in all things, find purpose in life, discern what is meaningful and good, and carry these insights forward into theology and priestly life.
THE MAIN GOALS OF ST JOHN VIANNEY SEMINARY NPC
The programme of studies at St John Vianney Seminary NPC aims at providing students with knowledge adequate for the priestly ministry. In Pastores dabo vobis, Saint Pope John Paul II calls for “an extremely rigorous intellectual formation”, which is both deeply connected with, and clearly expresses the human and spiritual dimension of formation for the priesthood (Par. 51).
Intellectual formation, then, is not an optional extra but, on the contrary, essential to what the Pope calls “the unity of the educational progress in its diverse aspects” (Ibid). Intellectual formation integrates human and spiritual values in those studying for the priesthood. Personal development and professional education are constitutive dimensions of the process.
The focus of the programme at St John Vianney Seminary NPC is Philosophy and Theology. It presupposes an adequate grounding in both, Philosophy and the Human / Social Sciences, as an intellectual formation preparation for Theological Studies.
This programme is structured on the following elements which form the framework for Church-based Theology:
1) Scripture as “the soul of Theology”.
2) A systematic study of Theology i.e., “faith seeking understanding”.
3) A continuity with the tradition of the Church in fidelity to its Magisterium (Teaching Authority).
4) An alertness to ecumenical considerations.
5) A holistic approach integrating human and spiritual disciplines.
6) A method of Theological reflection for discerning the “signs of the times” and articulating the contemporary faith and moral experience of Catholics in the context of Southern Africa.
7) A Catholic practice of the faith which calls for the authentic Inculturation of the Christian message into the South African context.
8) Promotion of the integral liberation of people as a constitutive dimension of the proclamation of the Gospel.