Religious Vocations and Educational Debt

The National Religious Vocation Conference (NRVC) in collaboration with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University recently published the results of a study on religious vocations and educational debt.

Highlights from the 477 respondents include:

  • There are currently about the same number of men as women in initial formation. Institutes of men are more likely than institutes of women to have more than ten in initial formation.
  • Institutes with at least one serious inquirer in the last ten years report that for about a third of these inquiries (32 percent) the person had educational debt.  The average amount of debt was $28,000.
  • Religious institutes with at least three serious inquirers in the last ten years who had educational debt at the time of their inquiry, seven in ten (69 percent) turned away at least some inquirers because of their educational debt.
  • Although there are a small number of organizations that provide funds to assist candidates with educational debt, most responding religious institutes (or their candidates) have not received funds from any of these sources.

The IRL collaborates closely with two organizations that do assist with educational debt. They are The Labouré Society and the Mater Eccelsiae Fund for Vocations.  The Mater Ecclesiae Fund for Vocations has helped 67 men and women follow their vocations (and have helped another 39 to try their vocations). The Labouré Society has assisted over 220 individuals into priestly and religious formation since 2003 while currently helping over 30 men and women pursue their vocation.

Please support these organizations who do so much to support the priesthood and religious life.

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