St. Mary's Seminary & University

Practical Theology

The integration of sound theological method with the realities of ministry and spirituality in the contemporary world is the goal of courses in practical theology at St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute. This department emphasizes both the personal and communal implications of theological study for understanding faith development, pastoral care, ministries of the laity, and worship.

Note the following abbreviations: PR = prerequisite; CR = corequisite; PR/CR = either a prerequisite or a corequisite. Corequisites may be taken either at the same time as or before the course listed. Prerequisites and corequisites may be waived only with the permission of the Dean and the instructor.

PT601 Foundations of Christian Ministry

A survey of the biblical, theological, and spiritual foundations of ministry, and of the expression of lay and ordained ministry in various Christian traditions. PR/CR = TH601.

PT604 Biblical Storytelling (1.5 credits)

An exploration of the history behind (and current need for) understanding, interpreting, and ultimately communicating biblical passagesthrough a discipline of internalizing, embodying, with an emphasis on the Hebrew Bible. PR/CR = TH601, BS600, BS621.

PT622 Introduction to Pastoral Counseling

An exploration of the theological foundations of counseling, classic and contemporary models and theories, and basic skills, including listening and referring. PR/CR = none.

PT643 Leading the Retreat

An exploration of different types of spiritual retreats and the skills needed for their design, execution, and evaluation. Cross-listed as SP643. PR/CR = TH601

PT704 Biblical Storytelling (1.5 credits)

An exploration of the history behind (and current need for) understanding, interpreting, and ultimately communicating biblical passagesthrough a discipline of internalizing, embodying, with an emphasis on the New Testament. PR/CR = TH601, BS600, BS622.

PT705 Grief Counseling

An exploration of the bereavement process by examining personal stories, biblical narrative, and other resources to develop an integrated approach to persons experiencing various forms of loss and grief. PR = TH601; PT622 recommended.

PT709 Preaching in the Black Church Tradition

A theoretical and practical introduction to preaching and the role it plays in the African-American church. PR/CR = TH601, BS600, and two additional BS courses.

PT718 Christian Worship

The annual Rev. Dr. George Gray Toole Course in Christian Worship is taught each spring. It provides a biblical, theological, historical, and contemporary analysis of worship in the classical Christian tradition, emphasizing commonalities, denominational distinctives, and current issues. Cross-listed as ES718. PR/CR = TH601.

PT719 Crafting the Sermon

An exploration of the creation of a sermon from Scripture text to final form, designed both for those who proclaim and for those who would be discerning listeners. PR/CR = TH601, BS600, and two additional BS courses.

PT734 Ministry in the African-American Community

An analysis of historical and contemporary issues related to pastoral and lay ministries in African-American churches and communities. PR/CR = TH601.

PT738 Faith Development Through the Life Cycle

An examination of models of psychological, moral, faith, and spiritual development across the life stages, and their implications for the church’s ministry of formation and education. Cross-listed as SP738. PR/CR = TH601.

PT742 Ministry to the Ill and Dying

An examination of medical, theological, and pastoral perspectives on illness and death, providing strategies for ministry to the ill, the recovering, and the dying, whether in home, hospice, or institutional settings. PR/CR = TH601.

PT750 Urban Ministries

An analysis of the theological substructures and organizational models of various kinds of urban ministries. PR/CR = TH601.

PT761 Roman Catholic Sacramental Theology and Canon Law for Pastoral Ministers

A study of sacramental theology, ecclesiology, and relevant aspects of canon law for those who will engage in parish pastoral ministry. Cross-listed as ST761. PR = TH601 and either ST690 or ST691.

PT794 Clinical Pastoral Education (C.P.E.)

A nine-month (academic year) or eleven-week (summer) program of 400 hours of supervised education for hospital ministry under the auspices of the Department of Pastoral Care of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and accredited by the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE, Inc.). Note: Reduced tuition, but additional fees charged by Hopkins apply. PR = completion of 20 credits, including BS621 and BS622 (or equivalent), PT/SP602, and one other approved PT or SP course, plus permission of Director of M.A. Ch. Min. and acceptance by the Hopkins program. Note: This course may not be applied to the M.A. in Theology.

PT797 Urban Ministry Practicum

A supervised field placement experience in urban ministry. PR = TH601, PT615, and either PT750 or PT751, and completion of additional requirements toward certificate or degree as determined by advisor.

PT799 Ministry-in-Context

A supervised field placement experience and concurrent theological reflection seminar, open only to M.A. in Christian Ministries candidates who have completed at least 38 credits. PR = completion of degree requirements specified here, plus permission of the instructor and the approval of the placement experience by the middle of the term prior to enrollment in the course.