Candidates for ministry are challenged to integrate the various aspects of their life and educational experience in developing pastoral and ministerial theology. The School is non-residential, but forming community among students, faculty and staff is of primary importance. The community of persons forming Oblate School of Theology believes that it is essential to express and nourish its faith by celebrating communal prayer regularly. The social interaction of the various formation communities is important and the fact that it is possible to know all persons on campus by name contributes greatly to the warmth of relationships that seem to grow rather easily.
Each Tuesday of the semester there is a celebration of the Eucharist or other communal worship service. The Worship Committee, made up of students and faculty, prepares the liturgies to reflect the significance of the season or feast and the School community is invited to share in the service. This prayer time develops to parallel the awareness of the importance of the prayer life of the community and the growing linguistic and musical abilities of the participants. A Sunday Liturgy is held in the Chapel and is open to the public as well as to the students. To enhance the community experience, a luncheon is served on Tuesdays following the liturgy so that students, faculty and staff have an opportunity to share at a personal and social level.
Social events include the Thanksgiving and Christmas luncheons, seasonal and multicultural celebrations and the receptions associated with the opening of school and with graduation. Students plan sports activities on a regular basis. The Coordinator of Student Activities plans various events with students and faculty.
Students in professional degree programs (Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry) enter formation seminars and field education programs that offer experiential learning opportunities, personal integration of studies, and spiritual development. These formational and experiential elements present students with opportunities to demonstrate the capacity for spiritual and ministerial leadership required for these degrees. Retreats and prayer experiences are offered regularly.
Oblate School of Theology attracts students from the San Antonio area and surrounding states and dioceses and includes persons interested in ordained and lay ministry. Men and women students attend from many religious orders and from dioceses throughout the United States and Mexico; from denominations and parishes both Catholic and non-Catholic; and are representative of a multi-cultural environment. In addition, Oblate School has students on campus from other theological schools in Texas who use the O’Shaughnessy Library and attend classes. OST actively seeks to have a diverse student population of diocesan and religious seminarians, men and women religious, lay men and women, Catholics as well as Christians of other traditions, from diverse cultures and diverse traditions, where theological study may be done in the fullest possible context of Church. The population of the school reflects the spirit of Vatican II in its ecumenical dimension and its involvement of the laity. The richness of the educational experience is enhanced by the variety of backgrounds and the breadth of interest among our students.
Catholic lay men and women are an important part of the student body. These students are largely from parish communities in and around San Antonio. A large segment of the School’s population is seminarians who reside with or are members of affiliated institutions and/or religious orders.