ELP (English Language Program)
The central responsibility of the priest is service to the word of God. For this reason, effective communication is an aptitude and skill essential to the effective realization of ordained ministry. Over the last several years, the men coming to St. Thomas Aquinas for formation are increasingly from ethnically and linguistically diverse backgrounds. As such, the seminary is committed to providing them with the requisite proficiency the church expects and the people of God deserve for those charged with the ministry of proclamation.Candidates for the priesthood reflect the rich diversity of languages and cultures found in the United States. In order to assist those whose first language is not English, and also students who would like to improve their skills, St. Thomas offers classes in Reading, Writing/Composition, Research Skills, Critical Thinking, Grammar, Pronunciation, and Public Speaking.
F-1 students, as part of the application process must take the TOEFL test. The required score is All students are assessed during the admissions interview for their English skills using the COMPASS test and an essay scored with a rubric.
By the time a student finishes his English studies at St. Thomas Aquinas University, he should be able to:
A. Read and write English, Spanish, or Portuguese at a level acceptable for university students with few or no mistakes
B. Converse comfortably and freely with others even though an accent may be present
C. Write articles for a parish bulletin
D. Read publicly at liturgy with ample tone and inflection with few or no mispronunciations
E. Understand nuances and complex ideas with greater vocabulary expansion
F. Know when it is necessary to take further courses in English to further ongoing English development while working in active ministry