How long does it take to become a priest? Can you study part-time?
It used to be said that it took about seven years to become a priest, but given the diverse backgrounds of today's students for the priesthood, timeframes can vary. Today the approach to seminary formation needs to be flexible; and it may sometimes take less time or more time to be ordained a priest. This may sound like a long time, but you need to take into account the variety of phases involved in seminary formation. You don't spend seven years doing academic courses. Have a look at this page which outlines the phases of formation. View the Process
Rather than working from a particular timeframe, the formation program of each seminarian takes into account past studies and experiences as well as the learning needs of each individual. So the ultimate aim is not to "produce" a priest on time, but rather to ensure that a priest is equipped with the skills that he needs to be a competent pastor.
Training to be a priest involves more than studying subjects at a College. Formation for the priesthood also involves living in situations where you will be exposed to experiences which develop your understanding of yourself, your relationship with God and your ability to relate to people in a pastoral situation. Going beyond book or classroom learning, formation involves living in a seminary and eventually in a parish. These places become communities of formation where people learn with the assistance of others.
Learning to become a priest is a full-time occupation, students for the priesthood are expected to live in these communities of formation and focus their time and energy on the task of preparing to be a priest.