Application and Formation

Becoming a Dominican Friar


The application process is a time of mutual discernment between the candidate and the Province, during which the candidate obtains a greater familiarity with the Order of Preachers, and is able to clarify his own desires and learn more about Dominican life. In addition to spending time in prayer and personal study, a candidate is expected to attend a “Come and See” Discernment Retreat and visit the House of Studies and Novitiate for an extended visit. After speaking extensively with the Promoter of Vocations, he may then request an application. After submitting his application and a brief autobiography, the candidate is interviewed by members of the the Vocation Committee. Applications are normally accepted between January and May for consideration to the Novitiate class of that same year.

Initial Formation

Both clerical and cooperator brother candidates learn the Dominican way of life through the first six years of initial formation, including a Novitiate of one year. After five years of simple vows, brothers are eligible to make solemn profession.

The initial formation of clerical brothers extends another two years, during which the brother is ordained as a transitional deacon, and then as a priest. In addition to the Novitiate and a pastoral year, Dominican priests receive at least six years of graduate education: two years of philosophical studies and four years of theological studies.

The formation of the cooperator brother may vary, depending on his level of education and individual talents. While everyone takes classes in philosophy and theology, he may also choose to pursue an additional subject of study that befits his future ministry.

For more information, please contact the Director of Vocations:

Fr. John Marie Bingham, O.P.
Director of Vocations