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.
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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.
Founded in 1791 by the Priests of the Society of St. Sulpice, St. Mary’s has the distinction of being the first Roman Catholic seminary in the United States. St. Mary’s was also the country’s first Roman Catholic institution to receive the status of a pontifical university in 1822. The original campus was located on Pennsylvania Avenue near Paca Street in what is now the Seton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore City. The former One Mile Tavern housed the seminary for the first 87 years of its history. A larger and grander building was dedicated in 1878. The campus became known as Paca Street at this time because of the new building’s location. In 1929 the seminary opened a second campus in the Roland Park section of the city that housed the School of Theology. Paca Street served as the Philosophy House until 1969 when the decision was made to close the campus. Five years later, the seminary building and much of the surrounding property were transferred to the city and developed into a park. The building was razed in 1975. The seminary chapel, the Mother Seton House, and the former convent, which today houses St. Mary’s Spiritual Center & Historical Site, are still maintained by the Sulpicians and are known collectively as St. Mary’s Spiritual Center & Historic Site. A Visitor Center was opened on the property in August 2009 to accommodate tour groups. To learn more about St. Mary’s Seminary & University, please visit their website.
The archives are indispensable for understanding the development of the seminary system in this country. The collection includes official correspondence, records regarding administrative, financial, legal, and curriculum matters, student and faculty lists, faculty meeting minutes, student registers, photographs, and publications, including the Voice of St. Mary’s Seminary (1924-1970), a student-run publication that chronicles the history, events, and activities of the seminary. Researchers are able to access open collections through the existing card catalog system and are arranged according to the record series listed below. Please see the Collection Access Policy for information on the procedures regarding access to and use of the records.
Note: The U.S. Provincial of the Sulpicians also served as President of St. Mary’s until 1968. Because of this, researchers will need to consult the Provincials’ papers for a complete record of the seminary’s history. Please see the Collection Description for the Archives of the Associated Sulpicians of the U.S.
Note: Student records for St. Mary’s Seminary & University (est. 1791), St. Charles’ College and High School (1848-1969), the Liberal Arts College of St. Mary’s Seminary & University (1969-1977), and the Ecumenical Institute of Theology at St. Mary’s Seminary & University (est. 1968) are maintained by the Registrar’s Office of St. Mary’s Seminary & University and are closed. If you are an alumnus of any of these institutions and need to request an official copy of your transcript, please send a fax or letter (no e-mails) with your name, date of birth, address to which the transcript should be sent, and signature to:
Registrar, St. Mary’s Seminary & University 5400 Roland Avenue Baltimore, MD 21210 Fax: 410-864-4205
Family History Information
The Seminary & University has designated certain information contained in the records of its students as “Family History Information.” This includes: 1) full name, 2) date and place of birth and/or baptism, 3) parents’ names and place and date of marriage; 4) siblings’ names; 5) education; 6) sponsoring diocese; 7) date and place of ordination; and 8) other similar information such as a photograph. Family History Information will be disclosed for deceased students only. Permission of a person authorized by St. Mary’s Seminary & University is required for access to Family History Information within 50 years of a student’s death. After 50 years there is no restriction on access to this information.
Please see the Genealogy page for student lists that have been compiled for St. Mary’s Seminary & University and St. Charles’ College and High School.
The artifact collection is limited to a small number of commemorative items and portrait paintings of the former presidents of St. Mary’s Seminary & University and St. Charles’ College and High School.
Date span: c. 1950-1970. The audio/visual collection is made up of audio recordings of the St. Mary’s Seminary Choir, Paca Street and Roland Park, over the period c. 1955-1970. Among the recordings are The Story of Christmas in Scripture, Verse, and Carol, Christmas Carols and Catholic Hymns. See Collection Description for the Associated Sulpicians of the United States for information on the 8mm and 16mm films that contain footage of St. Mary’s Seminary, Roland Park.
St. Mary’s Seminary & University (est. 1791). Size: 196 records storage boxes, 50 document cases, and 175 registers and ledgers; date span: c. 1791-. This collection contains the records of the Seminary from its founding in 1791 and includes official correspondence, records regarding administrative, financial, legal, and curriculum matters, student and faculty lists, faculty meeting minutes, student registers, and publications, including the Voice of St. Mary’s Seminary. Course catalogs are available from 1894. Researchers are able to access records through 1951.
The Liberal Arts College of St. Mary’s Seminary & University (1969-1977). Size: 36 records storage boxes; date span: c. 1969-1977. The seminary college came into being when the junior college division of St. Charles’ College and High School was united with the philosophy department of St. Mary’s Seminary. The college was located on the campus of the former St. Charles’ and was closed in 1977.
This collection contains the records of the seminary college for the years it operated and includes official correspondence, records regarding administrative, financial, legal, and curriculum matters, student and faculty lists, and faculty meeting minutes. A complete set of yearbooks and course catalogs are also available.
St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute (est. 1968). Size: 4 records storage boxes; date span: c. 1967-1981. In 1968, in response to the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on Ecumenism, St. Mary’s president, John Dede, P.S.S., and the seminary faculty, encouraged by Cardinal Lawrence J. Shehan of Baltimore and Bishop Harry Lee Doll of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, established the Ecumenical Institute of Theology as an evening graduate program for people of all faiths. The Institute’s mission is to offer ecumenical theological education at the masters and doctoral level to qualified men and women in the greater Baltimore area—and beyond, with all programs available online—as well as to promote ecumenical and interfaith understanding in a pluralistic society. The program’s name was changed to St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute in 2015.
This collection contains administrative files regarding the founding and early years of the Institute, including its participation in the Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Baltimore. A set of course catalogs is also available.
St. Mary’s Seminary & University Collection. Size: 1 records storage box, 10 document cases, and oversize; date span: c. 1891-present. Includes interior and exterior shots of the Paca Street and Roland Park campuses, as well as photographs of the faculty, student body, and seminary activities and events.
Liberal Arts College of St. Mary’s Seminary & University Collection. Size: 1 document case, date span: c. 1969-1977. Includes photographs of the student body and seminary activities and events.
The publications collection is comprised of course catalogs for St. Mary’s Seminary & University, 1894-, the Liberal Arts College of St. Mary’s Seminary & University, 1969-1977, and the Ecumenical Institute of Theology, 1969-, together with the following institutional publications: Voice of St. Mary’s Seminary, 1924-1970, Alumni Bulletin, 1970-, Annual Reports, 1974-, and Class Notes, 1999-.