- ADMISSION AND ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS POLICY
1.1 The student shall be in possession of a school-leaving certificate in which he has attained at least 25 points. This table shows how school-leaving symbols are converted into points.
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1.2 The student shall have completed a year of preparatory post-school studies in the Orientation Seminary or in his own Religious Institute, based on a programme approved by St John Vianney Seminary NPC.
1.3 The student shall have a sufficiently competent knowledge of English to be able to pursue academic studies at tertiary level.
1.4 The Academic Committee may grant a student who has successfully completed tertiary level studies elsewhere exemption from some of the modules in the Seminary curriculum.
1.5 Students registering for the priesthood at St John Vianney Seminary NPC are required to enrol for the Bachelor of Arts (Philosophy) programme.
1.6 Students who are not registering for the priesthood, with a suitable academic background may register for any degree programme. They can also register for non-degree purposes for certain modules.
1.7 Students for the Catholic priesthood may register only with a letter of application from their Bishop or Religious Superior.
1.8 Students shall have a full report of their academic history attached to the letter of application, which will be considered according to the provisions of Recognition of Prior Learning.
1.9 Exceptions to the above will be determined on an individual basis by the Academic Dean who may be assisted by the Executive Academic Committee.
1.10 St John Vianney Seminary NPC reserves the right to accept students according to its ethos.
2. RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING (RPL) POLICY
St John Vianney Seminary NPC adheres to a policy that acknowledges a candidate’s prior learning based on academic achievement, acquired expertise, experience and age. The normal admission requirements for the BA Phil Degree for a candidate are:
2.1 Candidates for Roman Catholic Priesthood requires a School Leaving Certificate with the minimum of 25 points plus an Orientation Year or its equivalent during which further development in English, personal maturity and spirituality is given priority attention.
2.2 A candidate for the Catholic Priesthood who is otherwise suitable, but has not achieved 25 points is required in addition to the Orientation Year, to do a Bridging Year where the candidate takes courses such as English, reading and writing skills in preparation for academic studies.
2.3 For a candidate not intended for priesthood, direct admission is permissible if he / she is in possession of a University Entrance Qualification.
2.4 Credit for prior learning shall be granted if such learning was done in a similar local Tertiary Institution recognised by the Department of Education, an institution of a similar or higher standard, or international institution whose aims are in keeping with the ethos of the Seminary, and only if the course for which credit is being sought was passed with a minimum of 50% or an equivalent grade.
2.5 In the event of a candidate already in possession of a University or College Qualification, or any other academic qualification, after assessment, due credit will be awarded for all corresponding courses.
2.6 If the candidate is in possession of a degree that has no corresponding relevance to the selected degree programme, she / he is to complete all modules required for the BA Phil Degree.
2.7 If a candidate has no formal degree qualification, but has specialised knowledge by virtue of work experience and / or wisdom by virtue of maturity and experience, natural intellectual capacity and wide reading, after assessment, such a candidate will receive due credit and the academic course work for the degree will be correspondingly reduced.
2.8 The RPL does not exceed more than 10% of the total modules required for the degree.
2.9 Recognition of prior learning maybe granted by the Academic Dean based on objective criteria drawn from the Seminary’s long tradition and experience.
2.10 The Seminary may also turn down a student’s application for recognition of prior learning and / or experience attained.
2.11 The student applying for recognition of prior learning shall make available to the Seminary an original, signed, and stamped academic transcript on the letterhead of the Institute of prior learning, or a certified copy thereof.
2.12 In addition to academic learning, the Seminary may also consider practical experience gained by, as well as the age of the student in determining areas of exemption.
3. LEARNING PROGRAMMES DEVELOPMENT POLICY
3.1 Our programmes are set up primarily for the purposes of training future priests for the Roman Catholic Church according to norms laid down by the Church for formation. However, this being said, the programmes offered at St John Vianney Seminary NPC are open to persons of any race, creed or gender. The basic programmes of Philosophy and Theology, obligatory for priestly training, have been in operation for many years with necessary changes and adaptations. These have been tested satisfactorily by alumni in the practice of ministry.
3.2 The development of programmes takes place within the Departments of the Seminary guided by the directives of the Southern African Bishop’s Conference [SACBC] and Government educational structures. These Departments are two, namely: Philosophy, and Theology, each of which is overseen by a Head of Department.
3.3 The first step is that the various departments take responsibility for the development of the curriculum and the Heads of Department approves it provisionally. To this end, Heads of Departments are answerable directly to the Academic Dean and the Executive Academic Committee.
3.4 The subject courses with outlines and content together with prescribed books are presented by Lecturers. These requirements are identified and set out at Departmental Meetings, and finally verified at the Executive Academic Committee meetings facilitated by the Academic Dean.
3.5 The General Academic Assembly which takes place twice a year i.e., once a semester; discusses the learning programmes, on-going development, formulates and finalises the Academic policies that need to be put in place.
3.6 Matters of major academic nature are minuted, documented, made into policy and, thereafter, communicated to both staff and students.
3.7 The Heads of Departments shall give due consideration to recommendations coming from the Board of Members or the Seminary Department.
4. EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING POLICY
The accompanying experiential learning policy is for students in the Seminary who are preparing for pastoral placements. Arrangements are made with dioceses. A contract with the respective dioceses is signed. The Experiential Learning Policy in operation under different degree programmes and requiring compulsory attendance and participation by students on various levels include:
4.1 PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY:
4.1.1 Written projects of various sizes based on personal research.
4.1.2 Class participation and discussion in general; and formal structured seminars involving group research work and formal presentation in class.
4.1.3 For students of theology and ministry, work as pastoral assistants in the local congregations around Pretoria in semester while classes are in session.
4.1.4 For students of theology and ministry, a six month internship programme in a local congregation in their own diocese.
4.1.5 For all students, work as pastoral assistants in a local congregation of their diocese or religious congregation for the duration of at least one week as part of vacation programme.
4.2 PASTORAL THEOLOGY:
4.2.1 For students of theology and ministry, work as pastoral assistants in the local congregations around Pretoria in semester while classes are in session.
4.2.2 For students of theology and ministry, a six month internship programme in a local congregation in their own diocese.
4.2.3 For all students, work as pastoral assistants in a local congregation of their diocese or religious congregation for the duration of at least one week as part of vacation programme.