The student news site of Creighton Preparatory School.

Jay Journal

The student news site of Creighton Preparatory School.

Jay Journal

The student news site of Creighton Preparatory School.

Jay Journal

Becoming a Jesuit

Prep Jesuits say the process is rewarding

The Jesuit training process is no cake walk. Being a Jesuit means representing the entire society of Jesus, and those are some pretty big shoes to fill. Becoming a Jesuit is a multi-step process involving spiritual formation, extensive education, and community service. 

“There are two different phases, I think, that would be helpful to think about the training.” Creighton Prep president Fr. Matthew Spotts, SJ said.  “First is what’s called the ‘novitiate’. The novitiate is a period of time where a novice, the individual discerns, prays with, figures out – ‘is this the life I’m called to.””

In the novitiate, a Jesuit takes part in a series of exercises and tasks centered around Ignatian spirituality with the goal of discerning his calling from God. Following the novitiate, if the Jesuit feels called to the Jesuit priesthood he takes vows and begins the next stage in his Jesuit journey. 

“After he takes his vows, he begins about 6 years of study broken into two parts and then three years of work somewhere in the middle,” Spotts said. 

Upon meeting his requirements for theology and philosophy studies, the Jesuit receives what is called a “Master of Divinity” degree and can finally be ordained as a Catholic priest. However, this is not the final stage of the Jesuit formation. After three to five years of ministry, the priest begins the stage known as the Tertianship. 

Like the novitiate, in the Tertianship, a Jesuit participates in the Ignatian spiritual exercises with the goal of finding and encountering God. One of these exercises is a 30 day silent retreat. 

“The 30 day retreat, really helped me experience one’s being a  sinner, and yet being loved by God.” Fr. Robert Tillman ,S.J.

Another major part of the tertianship is mission work. Jesuits must serve in impoverished areas around the world as a part of the tertianship process.

“I got out to a very remote area in the Philippines where many of the people had never been to a mass, let alone see a priest. It was a really nice experience, seeing things from a whole new perspective,” Tillman said. 

When tertianship is completed the Jesuit is called into full immersion in the society of Jesus and says his final vows. 

From the inaugural novitiate stage to the learning and real life experiences they undergo in regency and theological studies, Jesuits are molded into priests driven by an aspiration to find and serve God in all things.

More to Discover