index
Goals of the Program
Requirements
Timetable
Supervision
Evaluation and Reports
Job Description and On-Site Supervisor
Financial Arrangements



Japan Province -OTP Program


(OTP Committee; July, 1999)
(Revised on 1st January, 2002:*)



HOME > Japan Province -OTP Program

1. To broaden the student's understanding of the Church in Japan and its missionary mandate.

2. To strengthen and mature the student's vocation in the Society of the Divine Word.

3. To provide focus, direction, and enthusiasm for the remaining years of formation of the student.

4. To help create a closer bond of collaboration in the formation of future Divine Word Missionaries by personnel throughout the province.

5. To heighten the sense of international mission awareness and to promote interest in Japan in the sending countries.

6. To develop awareness of the impact of another culture on students and of the attitudes they bring to this encounter.

7. To facilitate early initiation into Japanese language and cultural studies.

8. To provide an in-depth supervised ministry in a cross-cultural situation.



1. Fluency in spoken and written English.

2. Satisfactory completion of philosophy, and, if possible, at least one year of theology is recommended.

3. Good physical health. Good mental and emotional adjustment. Personal stability in vocational choice. No one should be sent for the OTP program who has serious personal problems or who is in doubt about his vocation.

4. The student's formal statement of his goals and expectations for the OTP program, a brief biography, indicating any specific interests or training, and possibly the indication of any specific work that is desired or to be excluded.

5. A formal appraisal of the student by his superior or home country OTP director, indicating strong and weak points and areas needing special guidance.

6. The student's official Relatio papers and a recent photograph.

7. The requirements for a Japanese visa are three passport photographs, a photocopy of the passport, and a curriculum vitae.

8. The requirements for admission to the Center for Japanese Studies at Nanzan University are two copies of a completed application form (provided by Japanese province), official transcripts from the last school attended, three passport photos, an essay stating your reason for coming to Japan and including a report on your present activities.


NB. Other documents may become necessary for the visa application or the application for language studies.



1. *The deadline for visa application and admission for language studies is 31 March.

2. *Expected time of arrival in Japan is the end of July.

2b. *There will be private Japanese classes during August after the arrival in Japan.



First Year Program

3. Studies at the Center for Japanese Studies begin in the first week of September. The first semester ends before Christmas.

4. During the first Christmas vacation a trip will be arranged to either Nagasaki or Tokyo, to expose the students to SVD parish activities and the culture of Japan.

5. Language studies resume in January, and continue until mid-May. During this period a home stay experience of two or three months will be provided.

6. The annual retreat will be held the first week of June. Private tutoring (YMCA, etc.) in Japanese language will be provided in June and July. The students will take their vacation in August.



Second Year Program

7. Studies at the Center for Japanese Studies begin in the first week of September. The first semester ends before Christmas.

8. During the second Christmas vacation a trip will be arranged to either Nagasaki or Tokyo, to expose the students to SVD parish activities and the culture of Japan.

9. Language studies resume in January, and continue until mid-May. A second home stay experience will be provided during this period.



Third Year Program

10. The annual retreat will be held the first week of June. This will be followed by an extended period of supervised ministry. Students who choose to remain in Japan for theological studies will participate in supervised ministry until the end of the year, and enter the seminary in January of the following year. Home leave will be arranged for these students during the summer vacation following their entry into the seminary. For students returning to their home country to resume theological studies, the length of the period of supervised ministry will be adjusted to conform to the schedule of the sending country.



OTP Director

The Provincial and his council appoint the OTP director. His responsibilities are:

1. Coordinate the OTP for the province under the provincial and his council.

2. Formulate local policy for the OTP program and its participants.

3. Assure the availability of spiritual directors for OTP participants.

4. Maintain contact with the OTP directors or provincials in those countries from where the students come.

5. Arrange for ministry sites for the period of supervised ministry.

6. Clarify lines of authority and accountability for the supervisors, pastors, and participants in the supervised ministry component of the program.

7. Through regular communication with supervisors, ensure that satisfactory job descriptions are made, and proper evaluations are completed. The OTP director will ensure that necessary information from these job descriptions and evaluations are communicated to the formators of the sending countries.


On-site Supervisor

The on-site supervisor accepts responsibilities in three broad areas: direction, reflection, and evaluation.

1. Direction: Sets goals and a schedule with the student, and establishes responsibilities. The supervisor will ensure that the student has regular contact with a suitable local spiritual director.

2. Reflection: Sets a meeting every two weeks to reflect with the student on the pastoral and cultural experiences as a learning situation.

3. Evaluation: Assist the student where necessary with the required evaluations. The supervisor may offer a personal evaluation of the student at any time in the program. It is required that the supervisor prepare a comprehensive final evaluation of the student, together with the OTP director and the student himself.



Evaluations and reports are tasks which make supervision and the fruit of such supervision possible. Without such instruments, supervision would remain only an ideal with little implementation and no practical means of accountability. Without supervision and accountability, there would be little if any formal training program. Input from the student and supervisor to the Province and seminary of origin, or the seminary in Japan, permit them to assess properly the student's progress.


First Evaluation

1. An initial evaluation will be made at the end of the first year of language studies. The purpose of this evaluation is to determine how the student is doing in language studies and in terms of the broader adjustment to Japanese culture.

2. The student's own reflection will be added to this evaluation.


Second Evaluation

3. A second evaluation will be made at the end of the second year of language studies, before the student begins the period of supervised ministry. The purpose of this evaluation is to review critically the student's achievement in language and cultural studies, and the student's level of preparation for pastoral activities.

4. The student's evaluation will be added to this evaluation.

5. A copy of the evaluation will be given to the student's on-site supervisor.


Final Evaluation

6. A final evaluation will be prepared through a meeting of the OTP director, on-site supervisor, and the student. The purpose of this evaluation is to review critically the student's pastoral involvement. This evaluation should be put within the broad framework of the goals established at the beginning of the supervised ministry period, as well as the overall goals of the OTP program.

7. Copies of this evaluation will be sent to the provincial council, to the formators in the sending countries if the student will resume theological studies there, or to the formator at the seminary in Japan if the student will be remaining here.

8. In addition to these formal evaluations, the on-site supervisor should arrange for a meeting with the student at least every other week, to facilitate on-going evaluation of the experience.



The job description will serve the implementation of the goals of the OTP program. It will furthermore help the student, supervisor, and the pastor to be aware of what is expected from each of them, which in turn will lead to an amicable mutual relationship and cooperation for the good of the student and the community that he serves. It is to be formulated by the supervisor, the student, and the pastor, and then is to be approved by the OTP director. It is open to adjustment at a later date to reflect the real scope of the student's pastoral involvement.


The job description should include:

1. A description of the place of assignment/parish.

2. A description of the student's role in the program at the place of assignment.

3. A specific statement of responsibilities for each area of the student's involvement, including goals and objectives for each area.

4. A clear statement of the lines of authority and accountability.

5. A statement of the responsibilities of the supervisor and pastor towards the OTP student.


Copies of this job description are distributed to the student, the supervisor, the pastor, and the OTP director.



1. Travel: Overseas travel and all expenses connected with it (e.g. visa fees) are paid by the sending province. However, the Japan province will, of course, pay all expenses for home leave for seminarians who choose to remain in Japan for theological education.

2. All expenses during the OTP program will be covered by the Japanese province, through the OTP budget. This includes the period of supervised ministry.