The purpose of the Master of Divinity Degree is to prepare the monk (or diocesan seminarian) for ordained ministry and for general pastoral and religious leadership responsibilities. However, a monk does not choose this pursuit of ordination based on his own judgment. Rather, through his own careful discernment and the prayerful discernment of the Archabbot, a monk may be called upon by his abbot to study for the priesthood.
Listening to the wisdom of the Holy Rule, St. Benedict tells us, “Any Abbot who asks to have a priest or deacon ordained should choose from his monks one worthy to exercise the priesthood” (Ch 62).
This monk must constantly be on guard against conceit and pride: “Just because he is a priest, he may not therefore forget the obedience and discipline of the Rule, but make more and more progress toward God” (Ch 62).