Master of Arts in Church Ministries (MACM)


The Master of Arts in Church Ministries (MACM) is a multi-track degree designed to equip persons for competent leadership in some form of specialized ministry in congregational or other settings. The program provides preparation for, and enrichment in, leadership roles in various kinds of ministries, both paid and unpaid.

The Seven Tracks

Each student in the MACM program selects a track (concentration). Click on a track below to see lists of the specific goals for that track, examples of the types of ministries for which the track is intended to prepare or enrich students, and the six specialized course requirements for that track. (Note: we use the term “deacon” to refer to ministries in various denominations that bear that name, recognizing that standards of preparation for the ministry of deacon vary considerably from tradition to tradition.)

The Ecumenical Institute of Theology cooperates, both formally and informally, with local churches and denominations for the preparation of ministerial leaders. For example, Roman Catholic students are encouraged to affiliate with the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Division of Ministry Formation and Development, which works with current and prospective lay ecclesial ministers. Episcopalians considering lay or ordained ministry may participate in the Ministry Discernment Programs in the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. (Participants in these two programs pursue several special courses, as indicated below.) Students from the African Methodist Episcopal Church may seek to participate in their church’s program of ministry preparation. Similar opportunities may exist for students from other traditions.

Educational Goals and Opportunities

This program of preparation includes not only intellectual but also ministerial and spiritual elements. In developing the understanding and skills necessary for ministry leadership, Students in the MACM program pursue the following goals:

  • To gain an understanding of the various theological disciplines that undergird and inform ministry in the churches
  • To develop the capacity for critical and constructive theological reflection across the theological curriculum, especially with regard to the content and processes of one’s chosen ministry specialization
  • To cultivate the ability to communicate clearly about one’s ministry and with those to whom one ministers
  • To attain skills in the design, implementation, and assessment of ministry in the chosen specialization
  • To grow in spiritual maturity, especially as a leader in ministry
  • To acquire an understanding of the variety of traditions, beliefs, experiences, and ministries of people of faith, especially within the Christian churches, and a capacity to engage in mutually beneficial dialogue and cooperation with people in ministry from differing racial and creedal bodies

The Curriculum

The curriculum of the MACM program consists of the following components:

  • 51 credits (17 three-credit courses) including two introductory courses, seven foundational courses, two electives, and six courses in the chosen track
  • A culminating experience, entitled “Ministry-in-Context,” consisting of a field placement and concurrent seminar (for which three additional credits are awarded)
  • Participation in some form of approved spiritual development for at least one academic year
  • Participation in an approved annual retreat or spiritual/ministerial conference

Graduation Requirements

Graduation requirements for the MACM are as follows:

  • Satisfactory completion of 51 credits, according to the core foundational and track requirements
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all courses taken at St. Mary’s. Note: Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 risk academic probation or dismissal.
  • Participation in the approved annual and ongoing programs of spiritual development
  • Satisfactory completion of the Ministry-in-Context experience