An Invitation to All

As we enter a new era, St. Mary’s Seminary & University is a vibrant crossroads of theological dialogue and reflection for Baltimore and beyond. St. Mary’s is a unique institution with a proud tradition of priestly formation for the Roman Catholic church, continuing education, and commitment to ecumenism.

Having served Baltimore and the surrounding region since 1968, St.Mary’s Ecumenical Institute claims a distinguished past and a promising future in offering graduate-level theological education to a diverse constituency. We are an exciting community of learning where adult students, mostly studying part-time in weekday evening and Saturday classes, take occasional courses or work toward a master’s degree in theology or church ministries, a doctorate in conjunction with Ashland Theological Seminary, or toward a graduate certificate in one of several areas.

Explorations in Theology is a series of courses for people considering serious study of theology, religion, and ethics for the first time. It is designed to introduce beginning students to major dimensions of the theological tradition and to help them better understand some of the great religious and ethical issues of our time. Courses in the Explorations in Theology program have no prerequisites or corequisites, and most do not require a research paper.

Students and faculty of the Ecumenical Institute come from a wide array of religious traditions in the spirit of faith seeking understanding: Roman Catholics, Protestants (including those from Episcopal, Presbyterian, Baptist, Lutheran, A.M.E., Methodist, Pentecostal, and other churches), and Orthodox Christians. Students of other faiths are welcome, too, and our faculty includes a Jewish rabbi and an expert in Islam. Our doors are also open to students without religious affiliation who seek to explore the interrelationship of religion, other intellectual endeavors, and human life.

Our student body is also diverse in other ways. We have teachers and social workers, nurses and doctors, government workers and employees of non-profit groups, secretaries and business people. Though most students are lay people, some are permanent deacons, members of religious orders, and pastors. More than half our students are women, and we have a special emphasis on theology and ministry in the African-American community, with more than one-third of our students coming from African-American churches.

Our faculty is drawn mostly from nearby colleges and universities, churches and other religious bodies, and St. Mary’s own School of Theology. All excel in their fields, and a significant number are well-known published scholars.

Just as important as our diversity, however, is the personal concern that students and professors have for one another. As we encounter the many challenges of our new century, we invite you to join us in the exciting adventure of theological education.




Rev. Brent Laytham, Ph.D.
Ecumenical Institute of Theology