St. Mary's Seminary & University

Graduate Certificate Programs

“CONNECT helped me grow in faith, courage, and fortitude to serve others in my daily ministry as a hospital chaplain.”

– Sandra L. Michocki, MBA, MA, BCC, CONNECT 2014

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Graduate Certificate Programs

The certificate programs of St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute are designed primarily to serve the needs of laypersons interested in ministry in churches, schools, and religious or community organizations. The purpose of these programs is to provide students with the opportunity to do focused work in one area of ministry or theological study. Certificates do not certify that a student is competent to engage in any particular form of ministry but that he or she has completed a particular course of study.

Biblical Studies

The revised Certificate in Biblical Studies (BS) provides a 15-credit course of study in the essentials of responsible interpretation of the Bible. This certificate is designed for a variety of students: people seeking understanding and personal enrichment, those preparing for further theological study, students and scholars from other disciplines, teachers in private and parochial schools, teachers in churches or religious congregations, and clergy seeking to update or expand their biblical knowledge.

Required courses include:

  • BS600 Orientation to Biblical Studies
  • BS621 Literature & Theology of the Hebrew Bible
  • BS622 Literature & Theology of the New Testament
  • Two BS electives


The revised Certificate in Spirituality introduces students to the resources available for spiritual growth and for facilitating the spiritual formation of others. The program is intended for those interested in the study, practice, and/or transmission of spiritual traditions and practices.

The four courses can be taken in any order. There are no prerequisite courses. Each of the courses will be offered approximately every 2 years.

  • Christian Spirituality
  • Spiritual Disciplines & Traditions
  • Introduction to Spiritual Care
  • Spiritual Theology

CONNECT: Faith, Health & Medicine

CONNECT is a 12-credit graduate theological certificate program for doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals; chaplains, pastors, and other ministers; and everyone concerned with the challenges of integrating faith and health.

The CONNECT certificate program is a cohort-based program organized as five sequential modules plus a practicum that together build understanding and competency (module descriptions can be found here.). The program runs every few years.

Urban Ministry (currently under revision)—21 credits

N.B. Program requirements are currently under revision.

The Certificate in Urban Ministry seeks to combine data and perspectives from the social sciences with theological reflection in order to understand the makeup of the inner city and to prepare for effective ministry. This program is intended for the unpaid church worker desiring training as well as the professional seeking continuing education or a new specialization in ministry.

Policies Specific to the Certificate Programs

All courses for the certificate must be taken at St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute (no transfer credits). Courses taken prior to enrollment in the certificate program are counted toward the certificate only with special permission. Courses not required for a certificate must be approved in advance by the student’s advisor or the administration before they are counted as part of a student’s certificate program.

All course work must be completed within three years. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.7, which is required for completion of the certificate, or risk academic probation or dismissal. Students may enroll in more than one certificate program, or in a certificate and degree program simultaneously, with the approval of their advisor. 

Some certificates still require a field-placement experience known as a practicum. The practicum must be approved by the student’s advisor, the instructor, and the Director of the M.A. in Christian Ministries program.

Certificates are awarded upon completion of the required courses, not at graduation. Students may normally transfer courses taken for a certificate into a degree program, provided that the courses fulfill degree requirements or can be used as electives.