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.
St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute offers seven post-bachelor’s certificates, ranging from 6 to 24 credits:
- Biblical Studies—24 credits
- Religious Education—21 credits
- Spirituality—21 credits
- Urban Ministry—21 credits
- Youth & Family Ministry—21 credits
All certificate programs usually require the completion of TH601 Introduction to Theological Study, Research & Writing. Most certificate programs consist of some required and some elective courses. The electives provide flexibility, allowing students to design their own courses of study in consultation with their advisors.
Possession of an accredited bachelor’s degree is required for admission to a certificate program. Additional requirements are listed at Admission & Registration.
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 adviser. A student who wishes to pursue two certificates may count TH601 plus one additional course (with the approval of his or her advisor) toward both certificates.
Some certificates 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 Church 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.
Most of the courses required for these certificate programs are the same as, or very similar to, required courses in corresponding degree concentrations or emphases: the M.A. in Theology Biblical Studies concentration and the M.A. in Church Ministries emphases in Religious Education, Spirituality, Urban Ministry, and Youth & Family Ministry.