St. Mary's Seminary & University

Units of the Hispanic Track

Unit 1: Pastoral Spanish

As advanced Spanish is required for effective Hispanic ministry, the track places a special emphasis on the seminarians’ linguistic preparation. Prior to acceptance into the track, the seminarian must sit for an in-house program-specific test in Spanish. In addition to assessing whether or not a seminarian is qualified for the track, the test will also provide an indication as to any need for additional tutoring in Spanish.

Seminarians intended by their dioceses for the track who have not studied Spanish at high school or college (or have only limited Spanish studies) should attend a summer immersion course or its equivalent before sitting for the test. SMSU will provide recommendations on such programs if needed. Native-Spanish speaking seminarians are obliged to sit for the test, but may be excused from courses in Pastoral Spanish. Seminarians who have completed more advanced studies in Spanish, during pre-theology or before entering formation, may take the test without a summer immersion program.

During the specialized track, seminarians will take two 3-credit courses in Pastoral Spanish (in  Theology I and Theology IV) and complete a 6-week summer immersion course at MACC.

Components in Pastoral Spanish

Theology 1—Spring Semester

  1. Pastoral Spanish (3 credits)

Summer Before Entering Theology 3

  1. Summer Immersion in Pastoral Spanish and Hispanic Ministry

Theology 4—Spring Semester

  1. Pastoral Spanish (3 credits)

Unit 2: Hispanic Ministry Competency

The diverse social, cultural, economic, and pastoral reality that is the Hispanic Catholic community in the United States necessitates that priests engaged in Hispanic ministry are truly familiar with the community and its pastoral and other challenges and needs.

Newly married couple prays before Our Lady of GuadalupePriests engaged in Hispanic ministry in the United States must further possess significant competency in intercultural ministry. The specialized track will, therefore, include a general course on intercultural ministry. In addition, the seminarians will—as all seminarians at St. Mary’s—participate in the  seminary-wide workshops on intercultural competency.

Components in Hispanic Ministry

Theology 1—After Spring Semester

  1. Intercultural Ministry (1.5 credits)

Theology 1—After Spring Semester

  1. Hispanic Ministry (1.5 credits)

Theology 2—Fall / Theology 2—Spring

  1. MACC Hispanic Ministry in the 21st Century, in two parts (3 credits)

Unit 3: Hispanic Pastoral Internships

Bible in SpanishDuring the third year of theology at St. Mary’s, the seminarians will be given pastoral internships in a Hispanic context. These internships will provide the seminarians with supervised ministry experience related to catechesis (First Communion/Confirmation/Christian Initiation of Adults) in parishes in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

In addition to these two specific “Hispanic Pastoral Internships,” the seminarians on the track will be encouraged to continuously engage with Hispanic ministry throughout their four years of theology. This applies notably to any pastoral placements in their home diocese.

Components in Hispanic Pastoral Internships

Theology 3—Fall Semester

  1. Hispanic Pastoral Internship I (1.5 credits)

Theology 3—Spring Semester

  1. Hispanic Pastoral Internship II (1.5 credits)