Do You Have to Be a Virgin to Become a Nun?

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The requirements for becoming a nun vary depending on the order of the church; in most cases, women are no longer required to be virgins to become a nun. However, there are a number of other requirements they must meet.

In the Catholic and Benedictine orders, women must be single in order to become nuns. Widows are also accepted as nuns, but a woman who has been divorced is not. In order to become a nun, a divorced woman must seek and receive an annulment first. Women with children can only become nuns after those children are grown up. Only women who are Catholic or Roman Catholic are accepted in each order. Women from outside those religions must convert first.

Many church orders have differing regulations regarding age requirements, with some limiting the accepted ages to 18-25 while others accept women in their 40s and 50s. Most orders require some kind of validation of the physical and mental health of the candidate as well. Prior to being accepted to a training program, women must also be debt-free. While some orders encourage women to obtain a college degree before seeking to enter a training program, a degree is not required woman who is accepted into a nun preparation program typically goes through several years of training before being ordained.