Postulant

A candidate for a religious order who has been accepted for admission but who undergoes a period of pre-novitiate formation to be prepared for entry into the more solemn formation period of the novitiate itself.

The duration, format and religious garb of the period of postulancy vary widely from one community to another.

In religious communities where perpetual vows are to be taken, it is typical for both men and women to spend at least six months as postulants.  (8:32)