Information for foreign students

Information for foreign students

The Major Seminary of the Diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam (the Netherlands) is an institution for higher education. The follo­wing information is important for foreign stu­dents coming from a country belon­ging to the European Union and especially for foreign stu­dents coming from a country outside the European Union.

Aim

The Major Seminary of the Diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam is the institute for priestly formation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam, the Netherlands. It is an ecclesiastical institute erected by the Bishop of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam and arranged in conformity with the universal norms of the Roman Catholic Church for seminaries and priestly formation. As an ecclesiastical institute, it is not under the authority of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Ministerie van OCW), nor subsidized by this Ministry, but under the authority of the Bishop of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam and the Congregation for the Catholic Education of the Holy See.

The Major Seminary of the Diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam has the specific aim of the formation of priests. It offers a formation to men who want to be ordained (transient) deacon and priest in order to do pas­to­ral work in the diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam or in an ecclesiastical congregation or order. Thus the Major Seminary does not offer a general study of philosophy and theology, nor specific courses, nor a formation for ministries and functions as per­ma­nent deacon, pas­to­ral worker, or religious teacher. It offers only a complete course of philosophy and theology to men who want to become a priest in order to work a number of years (at least five) or per­ma­nently in the Diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam.

The successfully completed formation gives to the foreign stu­dent the necessary knowledge and skills to do pas­to­ral work as a priest in a parish of the Diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam or in an ecclesiastical congregation or order. The Major Seminary also welcomes stu­dents for the priesthood, studying for other dioceses in the Netherlands.

Accreditation of the Philosophical-Theological Institute Saint Wil­li­brord

Pontificia Universitas Lateranensis

The Major Seminary of the Diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam is an accredited institute for priestly formation. The accreditation is not given by the Accreditation Or­ga­ni­sa­tion of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO), but by the affiliation with the Pontifical Lateran University (Pontificia Università Lateranense, PUL), Rome, in a comparable accreditation framework. The accreditation refers to the four-year theological curriculum of the Major Seminary, established by way of the Philosophical-Theological Institute Saint Wil­li­brord. This institute provides the theological formation of the stu­dents of the Major Seminary of the Diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam as well as of the stu­dents of the Dio­ce­san Mis­sio­na­ry Seminary “Re­demp­to­ris Mater”.

This four-year theology curriculum, in con­tent, size, credit rating (ECTS), examination, teaching staff and suppor­ting facilities, is in accordance with the standards of the Lateran University. The Lateran University verifies the quality of the formation. The four-year theology curriculum presupposes the two years philosophical formation accor­ding to the standard of priestly formation. This two year philosophical formation is also offered by the Major Seminary, but is not indepen­dently accredited.

On the basis of the completed two years of philosophy and the four years of theology along with the passed baccalaureate examination, the Lateran University grants the academic degree of ‘Baccalaureatus Sacrae Theologiae’ (Bacc.). This is the basic academic degree in theology at ecclesiastical faculties, giving access to the course of the licentiate and the doctorate. The baccalaureate is an ecclesiastical academic degree, recognized by all the ecclesiastical faculties, catholic universities, major seminaries and church institutes of higher education. It should not be confused with the academic degree of the ‘bachelor’. The academic degrees of ‘bachelor’ and ‘master’ in theology accor­ding to Dutch law cannot be acquired at the Major Seminary of the Diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam.

Admission

Admission is possible for unmarried men, belon­ging to the Latin Catholic Church or an Oriental Catholic Church, who intend to become a Catholic priest. The foreign stu­dent can only ask for admission through an ecclesiastical authority or organization in his home country. He must have a written consign­ment or approval from the dio­ce­san Bishop of his home diocese or from the Superior of his religious congregation, order, community or ecclesiastical move­ment. A certain level of preparatory education is also necessary, as well as a diploma that gives access to studies at a College or University in the country of origin. A foreign stu­dent can be admitted either for the complete course of two years of philosophy and four years of theology or only for the four-year theology curriculum if he already completed the two year philosophical curriculum at another seminary or faculty. If an admission is refused, the foreign stu­dent receives in wri­ting the motivation of the refusal and an indication how to meet the require­ments.

Language require­ments

Because of the later pas­to­ral work in the Netherlands, all courses, lectures and practical exercises at the Major Seminary are given in the Dutch language. That is why the foreign stu­dent starts with a Dutch language course of at least one year. The language course should be terminated at the minimum level of European Framework of Reference A2 Waystage. If in the preparatory education Latin and old Greek were not included, the Major Seminary offers a course in both languages. The knowledge of at least two modern languages is required.

Establish­ment of the formation

During the whole period of the formation the seminarian lives and studies in a community with other priest stu­dents and formators, in which he receives, along with his academic formation, a liturgical, spiritual, human, social and pas­to­ral formation. In total, the formation comprises the preparatory year(s) of the Dutch language course, two years in which predominantly philosophy is studied, four years of theology, one year of pas­to­ral courses and the diaconate stage. During almost all years of formation there are practical pas­to­ral stages.

Registration

The accreditation of the theological curriculum of the Major Seminary of the diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam, established by way of the Institute Saint Wil­li­brord is the basis for the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) to give the foreign stu­dent, after the registration at the Major Seminary, an entry visa and a resi­dence permit for study. The foreign stu­dent does not himself contact the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service to obtain the entry visa and the resi­dence permit. The Major Seminary provides this service after the admission and registration of the stu­dent.

The Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service only gives a resi­dence permit for study up to a maximum of ten years to finish the formation. In case the foreign stu­dent decides to stop the study or does not successfully complete the preparatory year of language course or cannot handle the level of academic study or does not show the satisfactory progress of 75% of the nominal study load for an academic year, then the Major Seminary finishes the registration of the foreign stu­dent. The Major Seminary has to notify this fact within a month to the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service. In that case the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service finishes the resi­dence permit for study and the Major Seminary provides the return of the foreign stu­dent to his home country. The admitted stu­dent will be requested to agree in wri­ting with this pro­ce­dure. After the successful completion of the accredited study, the resi­dence permit for study ends and, after ordination to the priesthood, the Diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam will apply for a resi­dence permit for priestly work in the Diocese.

Fi­nan­cing

For a foreign stu­dent the Major Seminary of the diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam takes over the fi­nan­cial costs for the entry visa, the resi­dence permit, the language course, the lectures, the pas­to­ral stages and the costs of living in the seminary. For this purpose the foreign stu­dent receives a scholarship from an ecclesiastical fund.

Study and Examination Regulations

The Study and Examinations Regulations do­cu­ment can be downloaded here (pdf).

Complaints

The Major Seminary of the diocese of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam values a good, fair and transparent conduct regar­ding stu­dents and prospective stu­dents, in accordance with the above mentioned framework. It is always possible to file a complaint with the rector of the seminary (see below) or with the Bishop of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam (Postbus 1053, 2001 BB Haar­lem).

The Bishop's conference of the Roman-Catholic Church in the Netherlands has established a code of conduct as well as a website contai­ning further information, inclu­ding a complaints pro­ce­dure.

Furthermore, the National Commission for the Code of Conduct for Higher Education has a complaints pro­ce­dure available on its website which states: “Any party concerned, belie­ving that a higher education institution has not acted in accordance with the Code of Conduct, can lodge a petition with the National Commission in wri­ting. Prior to lod­ging a petition with the Commission, the petitioner first must submit the complaint to the compe­tent authority of the higher education institution.” The compe­tent authority in our case is, as mentioned above, the rector of the seminary (see below) and the Bishop of Haar­lem-Am­ster­dam. On the same website a format for filing a complaint can be downloaded.

Information, Contact and Registration

Rector: J.C.J. de Wit
adres: Hoogeweg 65
1851 PJ  Heiloo
tele­foon: 072 - 505 5964
e-mail: rector@wil­li­brord­semi­narie.nl
website: www.wil­li­brord­semi­narie.nl