The qualifications for becoming a nun differ based on the order of the church; in most situations, women are no longer required to be virgins to become a nun. However, they also need to fulfil a variety of other conditions.
Becoming a nun in the Catholic or Benedictine faiths requires women to be unmarried. Widows are also welcomed as nuns, but a woman who has been divorced is not. In order to become a nun, a divorced woman must seek and acquire 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 who are not members of those religions are required to convert.
Many church orders have varied laws regarding age limits, with some limiting the permitted ages to 18-25 while others admit women in their 40s and 50s. Most orders demand some type of certification of the physical and mental health of the candidate as well. Prior to being accepted to a training programme, women must also be debt-free. Women who are accepted into a nun preparation programme often undergo extensive training over the course of several years before being ordained, and while certain orders strongly recommend that women have a bachelor’s degree before applying, it is not needed.