Formation of SMA students

… the Missionaries of Tomorrow

The Programme is based on the SMA Charter of Formation. Those who seek to be members of the Society must have, at least, completed their secondary education. There are various phases:-

  • An Orientation Programme where the student reflects on what is a ‘vocation’ and on the mission of the SMA with a view to entering the formal training programme.
  • Philosophy studies and a University Degree may take 4-6 years depending on the Institute or University course being followed. Philosophy studies may be undertaken in Ireland or in an SMA House of Studies elsewhere.
  • The Spiritual Year is a 1-year course in spirituality and SMA mission and work. It is done in an international setting in one of two locations – in Silang, Philippines or the Centre Brésillac in the Republic of Benin. At the end of this year students take temporary membership in the Society.
  • In-the-field Training called “Stage” is for 1-year when students live with experienced SMA missionaries in Africa.
  • Theology studies is the final phase and take 3 or 4 years. We have three Formation Houses – in Africa – where a seminarian can study theology: Nairobi (Kenya), Ibadan (Nigeria), Anyama (Cote d’Ivoire). There are also Houses of Theology in India, Philippines and Poland.

At the end of the course the student becomes a permanent member of the Society and is ordained to priesthood.