St. Mary's Seminary is the first Roman Catholic seminary in the nation: rich in tradition while focused on priestly preparation for the 21st-century.
These pages provide information on the history, personnel, environment, and formation (in the Sulpician tradition) at St. Mary's.
The three pages in this section of our site touch on the very basics of the formation process.
A major part of priestly formation is intellectual formation, accomplished through the pursuit of academic degrees.
St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute (EI) was founded in 1968 by St. Mary’s Seminary & University, America’s oldest Roman Catholic seminary, in cooperation with ecumenical leaders. St. Mary’s is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. 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.
The Ecumenical Institute invites people of all denominations into theological study that pursues excellence and promotes ecumenical understanding and respect.
All EI programs are available wherever you are - on campus in Baltimore, and on-line.
St. Mary's Ecumenical Institute has a rolling admissions policy. Students may apply at any time for admission by submitting the appropriate materials.
The Ecumenical Institute offers accredited graduate theological programs for two master’s degrees, several graduate certificates, and introductory explorations.
The post-master’s Certificate of Advanced Studies in Theology (CAS) is designed for individuals who possess a master’s degree in theology (e.g., MAT.), ministry (e.g., MACM), divinity (e.g., MDiv), or a related field and who desire to continue their theological education with a general or focused program of study.
The Doctor of Ministry program roots ministry in the mission of God, the ways God is working in your context, in your ministry, and in you.
Students have a host of resources available to support their theological education, from free parking and a great library to writing assistance and advising.
St. Mary's Ecumenical Institute offers accredited graduate theological education that is intellectually rigorous, personally enriching, and professionally empowering.
More than 750 alums of St. Mary's Ecumenical Institute are making a difference in Baltimore, in Maryland and D.C., West Virginia and Pennsylvania, and around the world.
General communication and individual contacts
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.
Conference space rentals include a large room that will seat as many as 58 and smaller rooms that will seat from 4 to 30.
St. Mary's Center for Continuing Formation offers and hosts a variety of continuing formation programs for priests in the spirit of the Bishops' new Basic Plan for the Ongoing Formation of Priests.
St. Mary’s Seminary & University’s Pinkard Scholars is the cornerstone of Youth Theological Studies at SMSU.
For more information about any of our conference facilities or space rentals, please contact our offices directly.
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. The library receives over 390 periodicals and maintains a collection of 20,000 volumes of bound periodicals. Other holdings include newspapers, microfilm, and audio-visual materials.
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.
Click here for more information about hours and visitor policies.
This section was created to provide researchers with a brief description of the open collections in the archives of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, St. Mary's Seminary & University, and the Associated Sulpicians of the United States.
The Associated Archives at St. Mary’s Seminary & University has developed a genealogical policy responsive to individuals researching their Catholic roots.
We facilitate personal integration of the human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral dimensions necessary for authentic priestly witness and service in the image of Jesus Christ.
Dean Laytham announced that the name of the MACM has been changed from Master of Arts in Church Ministries to Master of Arts in Christian Ministries. Both the EI faculty and the Executive Board voted to update the degree name to better reflect the variety of ministry settings within which EI students serve and for which the degree prepares them. In addition to parish and congregational settings, ministry sites of current students and alumni have included non-profits, hospitals, and parachurch ministries. The degree will continue to be a 48-credit degree, culminating in a final integrative ministry course. Those interested in pursing a Master of Arts in Christian Ministries should contact Galen Zook, the Director of Admissions, or Dr. Pat Fosarelli, the Director of the MACM program, for more information.
Hear from MACM Alumni Derek Miller and Catherine Liberatore about how the degree prepared them to serve in a variety of ministry settings.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the decision was made to remain fully online for the rest of the fall 2021 semester. A video message from Dean Laytham about the decision can be found below.
The library will remain open for current students and faculty. If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Hancock.
Dr. Michael Gorman, Director, Certificate of Advanced Studies
(September 1, 2021) Dean Brent Laytham announced today that Dr. Michael Gorman was named the Director of the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) program at St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute. He has been interim director for the last two terms.
On September 1, 2021 St. Mary’s opened its academic year with a “Mass of the Holy Spirit” (sometimes called a “Red Mass” after the liturgical color for the Holy Spirit and the vestments worn). The Most Rev. William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, was the presider and homilist. The principal concelebrants were Rev. Phillip Brown, P.S.S., President-Rector of St. Mary’s Seminary & University, Rev. Paul Maillet, P.S.S., Vice-Rector of St. Mary’s, and Rev. Gladstone Stevens, P.S.S., St. Mary’s Academic Dean. Deacons for the liturgy were Rev. Mr. Kenneth Lukong, Archdiocese of Baltimore, and Rev. Mr. Brian Norris, Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
Included in the celebration was a special rite after Communion in which new members of the St. Mary’s community–seventeen new seminarians, four priests from Cameroon studying for the Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL), and two new faculty members–inscribed their names in the St. Mary’s Covenant Book. After the inscriptions, al faculty and students recited “The St. Mary’s Covenant” dedicating themselves to their studies and a life of community in formation as practiced in the tradition of the Society of Saint Sulpice.
Following the conclusion of the Mass, all faculty, students, and seminarians gathered with Archbishop Lori for the annual community photo.
The final phase of renovations to the living areas of the seminary have been completed, bringing to an end the two-year construction project and an even lengthier period of planning and organization. The project reimagined a 1929 dormitory-style collection of small rooms built for hundreds of seminarians–along with communal bathrooms and showers, and fitness and recreation areas–in need of updating. These were converted into modern, welcoming–yet far from luxurious–residential floors with over 100 small suites (created by combining two former small dormitory rooms) plus lounges, small kitchens, and prayer rooms.
Each suite contains space for a bed, a study area, a reading chair, and a private bath. The fitness room has been completely renovated with modern equipment to promote healthy physical development and care. Scattered among the seminarian rooms are suites for the Sulpician faculty members as well. Sulpician faculty live among the students as a “formational community” or communauté éducatrice in the words of Jean-Jacque Olier, founder of “The Society of the Priests of the Seminary of St. Sulpice” in Paris, France in the 1600s.
The project is much more than a the renovation of a building. It is actually a part of the wider re-commitment and revitalization of the entire process of human formation at the seminary. Human Formation is considered one of the four “pillars,” or dimensions, of Roman Catholic priestly formation (along with spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation). At St. Mary’s, human formation is a cornerstone to priestly formation. “We are forming men to be healthy, happy, holy, and mature priests–the kind of priests the people of God deserve,” says Fr. Phillip J. Brown, President-Rector of St. Mary’s Seminary & University.
Providing living spaces for adult, mature young men (and older, as well) is a key aspect to this formational goal.
The last of the renovated rooms was blessed on Monday, August 30. A Mass of Gratitude and reception for the contractors and companies involved in the renovation was held on September 10 (picture below).
St. Mary’s welcomes two new members of the Seminary/School of Theology faculty: Rev. Innocent Smith, O.P. and Dr. James Starke.
Dominican Father Innocent Smith, who is also a Missionary of Mercy appointed by Pope Francis, has ministry, teaching, and research specialties in homiletics, liturgy, sacramental theology, ecclesiology, and sacred music. He joins the faculty as Assistant Professor of Homiletics. He will also serve as the Director of Spiritual Life Programs. See his full faculty description and C.V….
Dr. James Starke most recently served as Director of the Office of Divine Worship for the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. Dr. Starke and his family live in Arlington, VA and enjoy spending time in nature parks, visiting museums, and playing sports. He joins the faculty as Assistant Professor of Systematics. He will also serve as Director of Liturgy. See his full faculty description and C.V….
Over the summer St. Mary’s has done a complete renovation of the servery with beautiful new flooring, lighting, and technical upgrades. SAGE, our new food service provider, has done a complete revision of the menu to provide new offerings, healthy choices and always-available information. Digital communications have been deployed with the SAGE dining services app for easy access to menus, nutritional information and recipes as well as opportunities to give feedback and view events.
Get started with the “Touch of SAGE” mobile app for both Android and iOS:
See you in the refectory!