In the Diocese of Camden there are several requirements to be considered for admission to the priest formation program. In addition to a strong faith, fidelity to the Church, and life of virtue, these requirements include:
- Residency: The presbyterate of the Diocese of Camden includes many men who are not originally from the Camden area, a fact that contributes to the richness of the priesthood in this region. However, a man should have lived in the diocese for two years before applying for the priesthood here. Foreign-born men are welcome to apply, but they should have lived for at least three years in the United States, two of those years in the Camden area. This is to give them time to pass through the initial phase of adapting to a new country and culture and, often, a new language.
- Age: A young man may apply for the seminary for this diocese as he prepares to complete high school. The upper age limit is normally forty years because of the length of time required for seminary training and the reality that illnesses often increase and energy decreases with age, although men over the age of forty will be considered on a case-by-case basis. The older a man is, the more rooted he should be in the diocese. Candidates in their twenties and thirties are common.
- Education: A high school diploma or G.E.D. is required to enter college seminary. Ordinarily a college degree is required to enter theology.
- Health: Good physical and mental health are required and must be certified by health care professionals because of the life-long demands of the priesthood for physical stamina and emotional stability.
Candidates for the seminary in the Diocese of Camden come from a great variety of backgrounds. Some enter the seminary right out of high school, others enter after pursuing a long professional career, and many enter after college and a few years in the workforce. Those experiences all contribute to the unique make-up of the priesthood and to the individual ministry of each priest.