A Guide to Formation Advising for Seminary Faculty: Accompaniment, Participation, and Evaluation

by Edward J. McCormack
Catholic University of America Press, 2020
eISBN: 978-0-8132-3314-7, Paper: 978-0-8132-3313-0

The future of the Church depends, in part, on forming future priests and ministers who are ready to accompany, lead, and love the People of God. Formation advising is one important part of that work. A Guide to Formation Advising for Seminarians/Seminary Faculty offers a practical guide to formation advising as a ministry of accompaniment, participation, and evaluation. Deacon Edward McCormack offers a comprehensive introduction to the ministry of formation advising for seminarians studying for priestly ministry. These volumes are for men and women who are new to the ministry of formation advising. The recent Vatican guidelines for seminary formation call for professional accompaniment of seminarians throughout their formation. This book explains in concrete detail how to do this through the entire formation process.

Beginning with an overview of the formation process, A Guide to Formation Advising for Seminarians/Seminary Faculty explains the role of the formation advisor and the skills required for that ministry. It describes the various ways the formation advisor accompanies a person through the formation process. McCormack also provides concrete suggestions for how to promote in seminarians’ active participation in the process. Formators will also find explanation of the evaluation process with a style sheet and examples of written evaluations. The handbook contains an annotated bibliography on all the major topics a formation advisor comes across.
1. Understanding the Process of Formation
The Stages of Priestly Formation
Four Dimensions of Formation
Four Characteristics of Formation
General Principles of Formation
A Christocentric and Trinitarian Spirituality
The Context(s) of Formation
The Formator
Two Forms of Accompaniment
What is Formation Advising?
Accompaniment: A Caring Approach
What are the Essential Skills of Accompaniment?
Intercultural Communication
Accompanying Seminarians throughout the Year
Formation Issues throughout the Four Years of Formation
3. Formation Advising and the Gift of Accompaniment
Introducing a Seminarian to Formation Advising
Accompaniment: Getting to Know a Seminarian
Accompaniment: Understanding His Vocation Story and His Call to Chaste Celibacy
Accompaniment: Human Formation Issues
Accompaniment: Priestly Ministry Skill Development
Accompaniment: Discipleship and Conformity to Christ the Shepherd and Servant
4. Forming of the Heart and the Imagination
Deeper Listening: The Heart and the Imagination
The Deep World Within
Implications for Formation
Accompaniment and Deep Listening
5. The Power of Participation
Fostering a Growth Mindset
The Practice of Regular Reflection
Preparing for Formation Advising Meetings
Formation Goal Setting Process
Reflection on Pastoral Practice
Reflection on Preaching
The Annual Seminarian Self-Evaluation
6. Evaluations
Bias in the Evaluation Process
Fall Review
Pre-Evaluation Conversation
Guiding the Seminarian’s Self-Evaluation
Writing the Seminarian’s Annual Evaluation
Faculty Evaluation Style Sheet
Sample Evaluation
More Sample Evaluations
Selected Bibliography

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