The transition from the novitiate to the Studium – the house of studies – happens quickly. The day after profession, you and your classmates would travel to St. Dominic Priory in St. Louis to live as simply professed student brothers. Profession of Vows would mean commitment to the life of a Dominican Friar, beyond what is true during the novitiate. In persevering as a student, you would renew your vows after two years, and would make solemn profession (profession for life) roughly four years after your first profession.
As a professed student brother, you would be under the supervision and guidance of the Student Master. The Student Master meets with student brothers regularly on an individual basis to discuss their personal formation, and in a group setting to discuss general formation.
As the novitiate is intended to establish a spiritual and communal bedrock in the life of a Dominican Friar, so the studium is intended to establish an academic bedrock, equipping friars with a strong base of theological knowledge. Your study would take place mostly at Aquinas Institute of Theology, a Dominican School run by Dominican Friars, and your program would be determined, with your input, by the Student Master and the Regent of Studies based on your prior experience.
The first two years are mostly devoted to philosophy, with an introductory scriptural course and a few introductory theological courses. Your first summer would generally be a summer abroad working for the poor, and the second summer would be a clinical summer to give you more extensive pastoral experience. Your third year would be a year of Pastoral Ministry at a Dominican Ministry site supervised by an experienced Dominican. After the Pastoral Year, you would return to St. Louis for three more years of school.
Wondering if you are called to live as a Dominican Friar? Contact one of our Vocation Promoters.