The pastoral formation of the college seminarian aims to help him face the question arising from his stage in life as he comes face to face with the demands of service. Pastoral exposure to and involvement in specific community or ministry is meant to strengthen his self-identity and to identify his mission which can occur only when he has discovered the meaning of service to others. It cannot be denied, however, that shepherding is not yet a realistic goal, much less the primary goal of the pastoral formation of a college seminarian. Rather, the emphasis lies in self-discovery through growth in service.
As stipulated in the Updated Philippine Program for Priestly Formation (UPPPF), “the seminary aims at forming men of virtue, of human excellence and goodness of character, founded on psycho-emotional integration, and modeled on Christ’s example of authentic humanity.” (UPPPF, #18) With this framework, the seminary wishes to mold every seminarian “to know, accept, and appreciate his unique humanity” (UPPPF #18) vis-a-vis his relationship with others.
A crucial aspect of seminary formation lies in the area of the spiritual life of its candidates. “The spiritual formation of a college seminarian aims to awaken and develop in him a sense of the sacred in life through spiritual exercises and spiritual direction, so that he can be a good Christian and be able to crystallize his decision to follow Christ in the ordained ministry.” UPPPF 207