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.
The DMin is a 30-credit degree designed to be completed in three years. The program requires:
The DMin requires the following six courses. The first three courses are taken before the last three.
Reading Scripture (3 credits)
An exploration of approaches to reading Scripture for Christian faith, formation, ministries, and mission. Special emphasis will be given to (1) selected parts of the canon (both Testaments, diverse genres); (2) various approaches to reading the Bible as Scripture, including the main Christian traditions and several different cultures; (3) recent developments in theological and missional hermeneutics; and (4) the connection between Scripture and the student’s ministry and DMin project.
Living Doctrine (3 credits)
An exploration of how theology enlivens Christian understanding, formation, and ministry. Working through the full spectrum of Christian doctrines, the course will note how Christian doctrine serves as a (1) lens for analysis of our current historical situation; (2) script for Christian speaking, living, and ministry; and (3) foundational component of the student’s ministry and DMin project.
Enculturating Ministry (3 credits)
Effective ministry incarnates the mission of God in the overall societal context and the specific cultures in which the minister serves. This course will attempt to equip the student to understand both the contemporary worldview and the specific culture(s) in which the student is serving, so as to be able to sensitively and effectively embody the good news in that setting.
Healing Trauma (3 credits)
Almost every human being has been touched by trauma in some form, and so have many congregations, communities, and institutions. Therefore, all ministry occurs in the context of trauma. This course provides an immersion in understanding the spectrum and nature of trauma, along with its profound effects on the brain, psyche, and spirit. This course encourages each student to consider the traumas in his or her life and their contribution (positive or negative) to the way he or she does ministry. This course equips the minister or pastoral helper to be a non-anxious presence, providing accurate unflinching empathic witness to suffering and to assess the need for other kinds of care, facilitating an appropriate referral when indicated. Understanding trauma in depth requires theological reflection on its meaning and sources of authentic healing.
Leading Leaders (3 credits)
Most ministry involves the exercise of leadership in some capacity, but the types of ministry to which people are called later in their careers often involve leadership responsibilities relative to others exercising leadership. This course prepares students to meet the leadership challenges that they are increasingly likely to encounter as their ministry matures. Instruction in this course will include extended times of interaction with senior leaders from diverse denominational and ministry contexts.
Embodying Scripture (3 credits)
An exploration of how Scripture finds embodiment in Christian thinking, feeling, and acting, in personal and communal/social dimensions. The course explores how the biblical text, engaged as Scripture, 1) frames how we see and engage the world; 2) forms our character and communities; and 3) patterns our performance of the gospel. Embodying Scripture integrates the traditional disciplines of Christian formation, spirituality, and ethics/moral theology, as well as theo-cultural hermeneutics.
Concurrently with coursework, students learn ministry research and design in three self-paced, online ministry modules.
Researching Ministry (2 credits)
The first module is taken during the first year of coursework. This module prepares students to do high quality, context specific ministry research. Students will 1) understand why ministry needs research; 2) develop a significant, but achievable, research question; 3) begin work on a project-specific bibliography; and 3) identify data needs and potential participants for the development and execution of the envisioned project.
Creating Ministry (2 credits)
The second module is taken during the second year of coursework. This module prepares students to design high quality, high impact ministry. Students will 1) learn to critically examine their context, in order to develop the most appropriate intervention or resource; 2) consider more deeply the most appropriate data to be collected (including the timing of such collection), with emphasis on the pros and cons of various types of data; 3) learn about various ways to evaluate data; and 4) reflect on their own ministry calling and the role this project plays in that calling.
Proposing Ministry (2 credits)
The third module is ordinarily taken after coursework is completed. It is a hybrid, beginning on-line and concluding with an in-person approval of the student’s ministry project proposal. Students will develop a feasible proposal (including workable plans for implementation, revision, and documentation) and secure a Project Advisor.
St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute has a rolling admissions policy. Students may apply at any time, and may begin study in any semester (fall, spring, or summer).