Candidate Assessment Program


Candidate assessments are an important part of the discernment process for candidates for the priesthood, religious life and the permanent diaconate. Saint Luke Institute provides them for dioceses and men’s and women’s religious communities throughout North America, and in the United Kingdom through St. Luke’s Centre.


“Human formation, being the foundation of all priestly formation, promotes
the integral growth of the person and allows the integration of all its dimensions.”
– Ratio Fundamentalis Institutionis Sacerdotalis, Dec. 8, 2016


Saint Luke Candidate Assessments

  • Comprehensive, integrated psychological and spiritual assessment
  • Understanding of the Church’s expectations for candidates
  • Three-person assessment team (including a clinical psychologist and spiritual director)
  • More than 20 years of experience
  • Convenient locations: suburban Washington, DC; Louisville, KY; and St. Louis, MO (the St. Luke Consultation Center provides a psychological-only assessment)

Components of a Candidate Assessment

  • Pre-assessment personal and spirituality profiles
  • Clinical and psychosocial interviews
  • Spiritual assessment
  • Intellectual and psychological testing
  • Detailed oral and written feedback and recommendations to the candidate and formation/vocation director. Oral feedback is at the end of the session; written feedback is sent within two weeks.

Contact: Emily Cash, Director of the Candidate Assessment Program, 502-632-2471 or


Online Resources

  • Online continuing education: Ethical Implications of Psychological Treatment and Assessment of Catholic Clients 
  • Free webinar on implementing the 2015 USCCB Guidelines for the Use of Psychology in Seminary Admissions – for vocation and formation directors, and psychologists