Hi, Margaret —
Thanks for your question.
Fr. Francis already gave you a very good answer. Indeed,
the norm today is that a man seeking Holy Orders
is required to have at least a Bachelors degree.
I'd just like to expound upon his answer.
The need for a bachelor's degree is a very sound
disciplinary requirement. It is not a prerequisite
for the sacrament of Holy Orders to be valid. From
a purely sacramental perspective, the only requirement
is that Holy Orders be conferred on a baptized man
The Catechism reads:
|1577 The Church confers the sacrament of Holy
Orders only on baptized men (viri), whose suitability
for the exercise of the ministry has been duly
Church authority alone has the responsibility and
right to call someone to receive the sacrament
of Holy Orders.
At the present time, (and in relatively recent
history), the Church has determined that the suitability
for the exercise of the ministry includes
a certain level of education know as a Bachelor's
In the early Church and throughout the ages, the
standard for formal education has varied, so that
standard is subject to change.
What cannot ever change is the sacramental requirement
that the Church can only ordain baptized men.