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The intention of the CACINA clergy development program is to prepare women and men for ordained ministry primarily in pastoral settings. Prospective candidates for ordination may be divided, on the basis of background and educational preparation, into three broad categories:

Persons who have completed or intend to complete an educational program equivalent to the Master of Divinity degree in a recognized seminary in the Catholic tradition. 

Persons who bring to candidacy significant records of study and preparation in venues other than conventional seminaries. These could include the study in a college or university, directed study in preparation for ministry in another jurisdiction, or even self-study.

Persons who bring to their candidacy no training for ministry and cannot or do not wish to pursue studies in a seminary.

Candidates for incardination as bishops, priests, or deacons may present a variety of credentials in categories 1 or 2, above. CACINA recognizes that the validity of ordination is not contingent upon the completion of any specific educational process. Nonetheless, CACINA also recognizes an obligation to the people of God to incardinate and grant faculties only to those persons whose educational and spiritual background prepares them not just to celebrate the sacraments and to exercise the liturgical functions of their orders but also competently to teach, preach, and render spiritual direction and pastoral care. Therefore, all candidates for incardination will be required to demonstrate that they have completed training for ministry equivalent to that required of candidates for ordination. Unless waived by the College of Bishops, each must pass the CACINA General Ordination Examination. Saint Charles of Brazil (Bishop Carlos Duarte-Costa) was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on April 1, 1911. He was consecrated to be the Roman Catholic Diocesan Bishop of Botucatu, Brazil, on December 8, 1924, and served in that office until certain views he expressed about treatment of Brazil's poor, by both the civil government and the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil, caused his removal from the Diocese of Botucatu. Bishop Duarte-Costa was subsequently named Titular Bishop of Maura by the late Bishop of Rome, Pius PP XII.


Persons who hold the degree of Master of Divinity or an equivalent degree from a seminary in the catholic tradition accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and the appropriate regional accrediting body shall be deemed to meet the educational requirements for ordination/incardination in CACINA. Persons enrolled in such schools shall be deemed to meet requirements upon graduation. Graduates of non-accredited schools may petition to have their degree programs evaluated on an individual basis. All graduates must complete the clergy selection process, including background checks and psychological evaluation. In addition, all must pass the CACINA General Ordination Examination


CACINA recognizes that there are many ways to acquire knowledge within and outside of formal educational programs. Persons may present records of prior study and experience for evaluation. After a thorough review by the St. Charles of Brazil Institute, candidates may be granted full or partial credit toward completion of the CACINA Study Program. Demonstration of competence by means of essay or examination may be required in some or all areas prior to the granting of credit. All prior learning candidates must complete the clergy selection process, including background checks and psychological evaluation prior to receiving credit toward ordination requirements. In addition, all must pass the CACINA General Ordination Examination.


Those who come to candidacy with little or no training will be admitted to the CACINA Study Program administered by the St. Charles of Brazil Institute. The Institute prepares candidates for ordained ministry by means of the Distance Learning Program and/or the on-site Clergy Formation Program meeting six times per year at St. Charles of Brazil Parish in Baltimore, Maryland. The Institute with the approval of its Board of Directors determines course requirements and academic standards. The curriculum for ordination to the Diaconate (Permanent or Transitional) consists of studies in Scripture, Dogmatic Theology, Moral Theology, Liturgy, Governance, Pastoral Theology and the History of Cacina and the Cacina Canons. The Transitional Deacon should spend 4-6 months in Diaconal ministries.

The curriculum for ordination to the Priesthood consists of those topics for the Diaconate (in greater detail) plus additional topics in Scripture, Theology, Sacraments plus Pastoral practicum experiences. All Cacina Clergy are expected to engage in continuing education monitored by the St. Charles Institute and are expected to interact with a spiritual director.

Learning methods include reading and writing assignments as well as discussion with mentors drawn from Cacina clergy. Competence is demonstrated through graded assignments and examinations. All must pass the Cacina General Ordination Examination.