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.
Have a question not on the list? Please contact Galen Zook, as we regularly update these Frequently Asked Questions about St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute Doctor of Ministry.
How much will it cost? $18,040 is the total program price for those (a) starting this academic year (2023-2024) who (b) sign a PriceLock contract and (c) finish in four years.
What is a PriceLock contract? PriceLock contracts allow students to set up a deferred payment plan (typically 33 equal monthly payments, but other intervals are possible, such as quarterly, annually, etc.) while locking in the current total program price.
Can I pay as I go? Sure, no one is required to use the PriceLock contract. The pay-as-you-go option will increase the total cost of the D.Min., because some costs increase (tuition, student services fees, registration fees, program fees) over time.
Are there hidden costs? No. You will need to buy your own books and cover any research expenses, and pay the graduation fee when you finish. We provide about 25 free meals during the program. If you take longer than 4 years to complete the program you will need to pay continuation fees, which escalate annually.
Are scholarships available? No. (A need-based extended pay plan may be available to students with demonstrated financial need and exceptional potential for achievement.)
Is the Ecumenical Institute’s partnership matching program available? No, but institutional partners are welcome to support D.Min. students.
Does the D.Min. have a focus? No, except for the focus of your ministry project. This is not a Doctor of Ministry in [fill in the blank]. Each student focuses on their own situation.
How many classes are required for the D.Min.? Six. You will also do three ministry modules and a ministry project (including a thesis).
Are there different classes to choose? Are there electives? Not at this time. All students take the same six classes.
Are the classes online? Students are welcome to attend any of the class sessions in person or via synchronous Zoom calls. Classes will use our course management system (Canvas) to provide students with documents, but there are not online posting requirements. In addition, there are separate online modules that teach ministry research.
What are ‘Ministry Research Modules’? These 3 sequential learning modules teach you how to do ministry research and develop your proposal for the ministry project.
Will I be in a D.Min. cohort? No. Because different students start in different terms, you will not have a closed cohort. You’ll be enriched by studying with some of the same students in every course you take, and also with new students in each course.
Who teaches in the D.Min. program? D.Min. faculty can be found on the Faculty page of our website. Guest lecturers can be found here.
How does the curriculum integrate head and heart? Each of the six courses has spiritual formation elements integrated into class sessions. Each year, D.Min. students also participate in an afternoon ‘mini-retreat’ scheduled to precede an evening class session.
Why should I do a D.Min. instead of a Ph.D.? The D.Min. and the Ph.D. are very different degrees that involve very different amounts and kinds of work. Earning a D.Min. (like the Ed.D. and the Psy.D.) demonstrates an advanced level of proficiency in a particular professional field, and involves academic work that represents the development of that proficiency in a particular vocational context. The D.Min. is ordinarily completed in 3-4 years on a part-time basis.
The Ph.D. (or Th.D.) is an advanced research degree that is primarily used as a credential demonstrating the ability to teach and conduct academic research. The Ph.D. requires the ability to read multiple foreign languages as research in a particular field requires, involves extensive coursework usually pursued full-time, requires the demonstration of comprehensive knowledge in a particular field, and involves the writing of a substantial dissertation that contributes meaningfully to the body of knowledge in that field. It is highly unusual to complete a Ph.D. in less than four years of full-time effort, and the process often takes several more years.
When are courses offered? Fall (Sept-Dec), Spring (Jan-Apr), and Summer (May-Aug) are the D.Min. terms. Fall and Spring courses meet once a month on Thursday evening and Friday (three times, about a month apart). Summer courses typically meet for consecutive days during a given week.
Is a D.Min. term the same as a semester? Basically. D.Min. terms give you four months to work on your course, from preparatory work before intensive class meetings to turning in the final assignment. .
Do you have to start in a particular semester? No, you can begin D.Min. study at any point. If you start at the beginning of a D.Min. term, you start with the appropriate course. If you start in the middle of a D.Min. term, you can begin Ministry Research Module 1 as soon as you are admitted to the program.
What if I need more time? You have seven years to complete all D.Min. requirements. So if you need to take a term off from study, you can. (You pay additional continuation fees for years 5, 6 and 7, however.)
What does “M.Div. equivalence” mean? That you have enough master’s level coursework (at least 72 credits), and appropriate coursework in all three major areas of divinity (Bible, theology, ministry). Ecumenical Institute graduates holding the M.A.T. and the M.A.C.M. have M.Div. equivalence.
What if I don’t have both of those degrees? Those holding an M.A. in divinity/theology with another master’s degree in a related field (social work, counseling, M.B.A., education, etc.), or enough master’s coursework without a second degree, may find that their coursework fulfills M.Div. equivalence. The Dean will review your transcript to determine if you have M.Div. equivalence or if you are required to “backfill” before starting the D.Min. program.
What does “backfill” mean? Taking additional masters credits to achieve M.Div. equivalence. (This might be because you need more credits to reach the required 72 and/or because there are major areas of divinity where you haven’t done enough coursework.)