Since scholastics do one year of theology during First Studies, they now need to do three more years to fulfill the Church's four-year requirement for priestly ordination. Usually men will complete the Master of Divinity degree and an S.T.L. during these three years. Brothers will often complete a one or two year degree program in theology or religious education at this time. In addition to their studies each man will give six to eight hours each week to pastoral ministries (spiritual direction, campus ministries, parish work, etc.) under the guidance of the field education supervisor. Most men go to either Boston College School of Theology and Ministry or Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, with a few studying outside of the U.S.A.
Since 1981, the Society has required that each man seeking ordination participate in an "Arrupe Experience." This experience of retreat, discussion and reflection on priesthood is done during the summer before the second year. Afterwards, men formally petition the Provincials for ordination to the diaconate and priesthood.
Ordination to the diaconate ordinarily occurs in the fall semester of the last year, and to the priesthood in June of the last year of studies.