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.
Desiring to assist in the strengthening of Hispanic ministry and recognizing the need for well-prepared priests dedicated in-part or in-full to this ministry, St. Mary’s Seminary and University has established a specialized track in Hispanic ministry.
St. Mary’s Propaedeutic Stage implements the vision of the Program for Priestly Formation (6th edition). It takes place in a revitalized and expanded structure on the historic grounds of the original St. Mary’s Seminary in downtown Baltimore.
The McGivney House welcomes candidates from all dioceses and is not limited to candidates destined to enter St. Mary’s Seminary & University, but is the recommended program for those who will come to St. Mary’s.
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.
Many alums, friends and benefactors ask about gift giving opportunities at St. Mary’s Seminary & University. If you are interested in making a gift, the following may be helpful to you.
Gifts can be mailed to:
St. Mary’s Seminary & University
5400 Roland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21210
For more information, contact the Advancement Office at 410-864-4264.
The Annual Fund of both St. Mary’s Seminary and The Ecumenical Institute helps support ongoing operations on an annual basis. Your gifts enable us to provide the best possible programs for our seminarians.
We also seek gifts for special capital projects authorized by the Board of Trustees. In recent years, St. Mary’s Seminary & University has sponsored successful campaigns for renovations and major building projects as well as endowment campaigns in both the Ecumenical Institute and the School of Theology. If you are interested in a list of current gift opportunities, please contact the Advancement Office 410-864-4262.
St. Mary’s Seminary & University established the Heritage Society in 1990 to honor alumni and friends who value our past and are committed to our present and future. By including St. Mary’s in their gift and estate plans, this special group will enable the Seminary to continue the strong tradition of academic and theological excellence which began in 1791. Gifts from your estate could also be restricted to The Ecumenical Institute and The Center for Continuing Formation. All three divisions of St. Mary’s Seminary & University are strengthened by the generosity of our donors.
Since 1990 St. Mary’s Seminary & University has received over $7,000,000 from 160 alumni and friends have remembered St. Mary’s in their estate plans and there are currently 165 members of the Heritage Society. St. Mary’s is grateful to those who have made this commitment and allowed this historic institution to continue to thrive now and in the future.
If you have a special interest in St. Mary’s, the Ecumenical Institute, or another area of the institution and would like to restrict your gift, please make your intentions clear on all legal documentation and alert the Office of Institutional Advancement of your decision. St. Mary’s respects the privacy of our benefactors and will keep your gift confidential if requested.
If you have any questions about the opportunities for giving through your estate please call our Advancement Office at 410-864-4264.
Many people don’t realize that there are a number of different ways of making a major gift. One of the following may be right for your circumstances. The Advancement Office will be pleased to assist you with any questions you have about any of the following.
Outright giving is a popular method of making a donation to St. Mary’s because of the income tax advantages. Giving appreciated securities or property to the Seminary may entitle you to an income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the security or property, while allowing you to avoid the capital gains tax on the appreciation.
Increasingly, more alumni and friends are remembering St. Mary’s in a personal and enduring way by naming the institution as a beneficiary in their wills. A will allows you to make a more substantial contribution than might otherwise be possible, while at the same time permitting the most flexible use of available resources during your lifetime. The following are some specific ways to include St. Mary’s in your will.
You will need to obtain a qualified appraisal of the donated policy. If you have any questions about setting up an insurance policy or the tax benefits, contact your life insurance agent, accountant or attorney.
Designating the Seminary as a beneficiary of your retirement plan, including an IRA, 401(k) account, or 403(b) plan, is an easy and tax efficient way to benefit St. Mary’s. Distributions from a tax-qualified retirement plan are generally taxable to beneficiaries as ordinary income. Because it is a charitable organization, St. Mary’s will not pay income tax on the retirement account and will benefit from its full value. Funding your bequest to the Seminary from your retirement plan may result your heirs receiving assets without an income tax burden, thereby resulting in a greater net inheritance for them. The Seminary can be named as the sole primary beneficiary of your retirement plan, as a co-beneficiary, or as a contingent beneficiary, similar to life insurance policy designations. It is not recommended that you name your estate as beneficiary of your retirement plan or that you direct that your retirement assets be used to fund a monetary bequest to St. Mary’s in your Will.
A charitable gift annuity is a contract between you and St. Mary’s, whereby you irrevocably give cash or property to St. Mary’s with the agreement that St. Mary’s will pay you and/or your beneficiary a set dollar amount for life. The charitable gift annuity does not involve a trust; therefore, St. Mary’s has immediate use of the gift. Your benefits can be immediate or deferred.
For an immediate gift annuity, you will be paid a fixed percentage of the value of your annuity which is based on the age of each beneficiary (up to two individuals). You will receive an immediate tax deduction the year you make the contribution and part of the payments you will receive each quarter will be tax free. The annuity rate and the amount of your deduction increases with the age of each beneficiary.
With a deferred charitable gift annuity, you would decide when you want to begin receiving payments from the annuity (any time after your sixtieth birthday). You would still take a tax deduction for the annuity the year you make the gift, but because you are deferring the payments you may receive a larger tax deduction, as well as larger annuity payments when they start. The deferred annuity is a good option for a younger donor who would like to receive an immediate charitable income tax deduction and would like to supplement his or her income during retirement.
A charitable remainder trust is another excellent option for supplementing your income while providing a gift to St. Mary’s. With a charitable remainder trust, you give cash, appreciated securities, or other liquid assets to a trustee (either a trust company, a lawyer, or someone with knowledge of trusts) with the understanding that the trustee will pay you and/or one or more beneficiaries an annual amount for each beneficiary’s life or a period of years (not to exceed 20). After the death of the last beneficiary (or the expiration of the term of years), the trust is terminated and the remainder passes to St. Mary’s. You will receive a charitable income tax deduction the year the trust is established for the current value of the remainder interest. There are two types of charitable remainder trusts. They differ in the way the annual payment is calculated.
The charitable remainder annuity trust will pay you annually a fixed amount of the trust’s initial value. For example, you could establish a trust for $100,000 with a 5% annuity payment ($5,000/year). If the trust appreciates to $150,000, you would still receive $5,000 per year. Additional trust earnings and appreciation not paid to you would be added to the trust principal. Likewise, if the trust experiences a deficit, the payments would be deducted from the principal. A charitable remainder annuity trust cannot accept additional gifts once established.
A charitable remainder unitrust will pay you a fixed percentage of the trust’s assets as valued annually. For example, you could establish a trust for $100,000 with a 5% unitrust payment. If the trust appreciates to $150,000, you would receive a payment of $7,500 for the year. Likewise, if the trust depreciates to $80,000, you would receive $4,000 for the year. A charitable remainder unitrust can accept additional gifts once it is established.
A charitable lead trust is the opposite of a charitable remainder trust. With a lead trust, St. Mary’s would receive payment from the trust for a predetermined number of years, after which time the trust would terminate and the remainder would pass to named remainder beneficiaries (usually your family members). This type of trust may remove assets from your estate while allowing the appreciation to pass to a family member either tax free or at a reduced tax rate while helping St. Mary’s. The gift and income tax consequences of charitable lead trusts can be complex, so you should consult your tax advisor.
In order to help plan for St. Mary’s future, let us know if you have included the Seminary in your estate planning. As required by mandate from St. Mary’s Board of Trustees, any revenue over $5,000 received from estate gifts will be designated to St. Mary’s School of Theology Endowment, unless the donor specifies otherwise. Some donors have restricted their gifts for special purposes, such as the Knott Library renovations, seminarian scholarships, St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute, St. Mary’s Chapel renovations, and St. Mary’s Center for Continuing Formation to name a few. If you have a special interest in St. Mary’s and would like to restrict your gift, please make your intentions clear on all legal documentation and alert the Office of Institutional Advancement of your decision. St. Mary’s respects the privacy of our benefactors and will keep your gift confidential if requested.