Learning without holy living, makes the person proud and arrogant; holy living without learning is good for nothing.
-St. John XXIII
ORAL COMPREHENSIVE EXAM
All candidates for the priesthood must pass an oral comprehensive examination in Theology at the end of their seminary course. As preparation, the Fourth Year (T4/FY6) class meets regularly for a month or two before the examination to discuss the theses sheet, which contains a collection of theological statements (‘theses’) synthesizing the basic doctrines of the Catholic Church. The oral comprehensive examination constitutes 30% of the over-all QPI. On the basis of grades the Academic Dean2 classifies the students either as Honors or as Ordinary examinees. The Honors comprehensive examinees in the divinity track will be asked to write and submit a theological Synthesis Paper under the guidance of a mentor.
HONORS COMPREHENSIVE EXAM
The Honors Comprehensive Examination for those in the divinity track consists of two parts with two corresponding separate grades. The first part is the examination based on the theological thesis statements. The panel of examiners is composed of three members: at least one with doctoral degree and preferably one external expert. They take turns, for 15 minutes each, in asking the examinee to explain any theological statement in the thesis sheet. He is given sufficient time to discuss the thesis before any further questions are asked. The grade will constitute 75 %of his over-all Comprehensive Examination grade.
THE SYNTHESIS PAPER
The second part consists of the presentation of the Synthesis Paper. The examinee is given at most 10 minutes to present the highlights of his paper. Then the members of the panel of examiners take turns in asking questions about the Synthesis Paper for a maximum of 7 minutes each. The grade of the Synthesis Paper will constitute 25% of the over-all Comprehensive Examination grade.
ORDINARY COMPREHENSIVE EXAM
The Ordinary Comprehensive Examination [for both Divinity and GTP Tracks] would normally last for 45 minutes. Again, the panel of examiners is composed of three members: at least one with doctoral degree and preferably one external expert. Similar to the first part of the Honors Comprehensive Examination, they also take turns, for 15 minutes each, in asking the examinee to explain any theological statements in the thesis sheet. He is given sufficient time to discuss the thesis before any further questions are asked.