St. Mary's Seminary & University

First in the Nation, Unmatched in Effectiveness

St. Mary’s is the first Roman Catholic seminary in the United States, still preparing priests from across the nation and the world. It is also home to St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute and the Center for Continuing Formation. Thank you for joining us!

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The Seminary

The Seminary

St. Mary’s Seminary/School of Theology was founded in 1791 by the Society of Saint Sulpice whose primary mission is to form candidates for the Roman Catholic priesthood. The Sulpicians came at the request of Bishop John Carroll to prepare priests for the newly formed nation. In the Sulpician tradition, seminarians, faculty, and formators comprise a formational community, grounded in Jesus Christ and primarily directed toward diocesan priestly service in the Church.

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The Ecumenical Institute

The Ecumenical Institute

St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute (EI) was founded in 1968 as part of St. Mary’s Seminary & University, America’s oldest Roman Catholic seminary, in cooperation with ecumenical leaders. The Ecumenical Institute encourages people of all denominations to explore theological studies in a serious, open-minded, and supportive environment.

All EI programs are available wherever you are – on campus in Baltimore, and on-line.

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The Center For Continuing Formation

The Center For Continuing Formation

Opened in 1996, it is the mission of the Center for Continuing Formation to encourage bishops, priests, deacons, and lay ecclesial ministers to engage in human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral growth and to enable processes of growth that are ongoing, complete, systemic, and personalized. We offer special programs each year for pastors, newly ordained priests, and senior priests. We also hosts various bishops’ meetings, ecumenical gatherings, and other conferences as well.

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The Knott Library

The Marion Burk Knott Library of St. Mary’s Seminary and University is the largest specialized theological library in the Baltimore area, with additional materials in the areas of philosophy, psychology, pastoral counseling and church history, among others. 

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The Associated Archives

The Associated Archives at St. Mary’s Seminary & University opened in the spring of 2002. Located on the campus of the nation’s first Roman Catholic seminary, this program brings together the archives of the Archdiocese of Baltimore (est. 1789), St. Mary’s Seminary & University (est. 1791), and the Associated Sulpicians of the United States (U.S. Province est. 1903), making it one of the most significant repositories for records relating to the early history of the Catholic Church in the United States.

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St. Mary’s Attends Cardinal’s Reception

On November 27, 2023, at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC, a reception was held to mark the elevation by Pope Francis to the College of Cardinals of His Eminence Cardinal Christophe Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States of America. Invited attendees from St. Mary’s Seminary & University included (from left to right) Rev. Fredrik Hansen, P.S.S. (cand.), Dean of Seminarians, Rev. Lawrence B. Terrien, P.S.S., Associate Professor of Systematic Theology (and former Superior General of the Society of Saint Sulpice), and Rev. Phillip J. Brown, P.S.S., President-Rector of St. Mary’s.

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St. Mary’s Faculty Contribute to Renewed Journal

Working with St. Mary’s faculty member, Rev. Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R., plans for the reintroduction of Seminary Journal were put in place. Fr. Billy coordinated the efforts of multiple St. Mary’s faculty members to produce all the content for the Spring 2023 issue of Seminary Journal, the first in over seven years.

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Lessons and Carols at St. Mary’s

Deepen your Advent preparation with an evening to celebrate the season in words and music. A yearly event at St. Mary’s Seminary & University, Lessons and Carols at St. Mary’s offers readings, carols, and music by the St. Mary’s Schola. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.

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Effective 8/17/2023

The mandatory Covid vaccine polity has been lifted. Contact the Vice Rector’s office with any questions.

Profile of a Seminarian

St. Mary’s is looking to the future of priestly ministry in the United States.

Our mission today as it will be tomorrow is to enable and support the formation of holy men, who are emotionally and psychologically mature, committed and equipped to meet fully the rigors of pastoral ministry in the Twenty-First Century with joy and authentic Christian witness. The people of God deserve nothing less.

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Explore the many ways you can support us

You can be part of the mission of St. Mary’s Seminary & University. First, and most importantly, pray for us: our faculty, seminarians, students, and staff. Then, if you are able and wish to contribute financially, there are many ways to give and opportunities to direct your donation to specific programs in St. Mary’s.