The Ecumenical Institute of Theology

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Applying for Fall Term at the Ecumenical Institute

Applications are being accepted for the Ecumenical Institute’s 2014 fall term, which begins on Tuesday, September 2. Review the Admission Requirements, and contact Zenaida Bench (410/864-4202) with questions or to request a packet of information. August 1 is the application deadline.

Fall-term registration begins July 14 and will continue until classes begin. See the Fall Course Brochure for the complete schedule of classes and a registration form.

CONNECT: Faith, Health & Medicine

2014 CommencementOn October 2, the Ecumenical Institute will launch CONNECT: Faith, Health & Medicine, a new program for health care professionals, ministry professionals, and interested lay persons. CONNECT will focus on the integration of faith traditions and medical practices into a holistic understanding of healthy persons, congregations, communities, and institutions. This 8-month program leads to 9 graduate credits or various professional credits, depending on student need.

The program will kick off on October 2 at 7 pm with a public lecture by Dr. Stanley Hauerwas. See the Program Overview for details. For more information or to register, contact program director Dr. Pat Fosarelli (410-864-4204).

Graduation 2014

2014 CommencementOn Thursday, May 15, St. Mary's Seminary & University celebrated the graduation of 22 women and men from its Ecumenical Institute of Theology, conferring 15 Masters of Arts (Theology), four Masters of Arts (Church Ministries), and three Certificates of Advanced Studies (Theology). Denominations represented by the class of 2014 included Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Baptist, Non-Denominational, Presbyterian, United Methodist, Christian Missionary Alliance, Apostolic/Pentecostal, and Unitarian Universalist. The Most Reverend William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore, presided over the ceremony and offered the closing prayer.

An honorary doctor of divinity was conferred on Rabbi Joel Zaiman, retired Senior Rabbi of Chizuk Amuno Congregation, for his learned devotion to Torah through faithful rabbinic ministry, for his leadership in fostering community locally and nationally, and for his generous work to improve Jewish-Christian relations. An honorary doctor of divinity was also conferred on Bishop Donald W. Trautman, retired bishop of Erie, PA and long-term Seminary board member, for his contributions as a bishop and pastoral leader and for his commitment to the liturgical life of the Church and its priestly formation programs.

Dr. Christopher M. Leighton, Executive Director of the Institute for Christian & Jewish Studies, gave the Commencement Address. Testifying to the “indispensable role” of friendship in ministry, he said, “And here is the amazing, utterly astonishing discovery: Out of these rough and tumble encounters, I have witnessed time and again the formation of extraordinary friendships—rabbis, ministers, and priests, educators and scholars, community leaders and adult learners who 2014 Graduates find that they do their best thinking and deepest exploration in each other's presence. Pope John Paul II's friendship with his Jewish friend Jerzy Kluger and Pope Francis's friendship with Rabbi Skorka serve as spiritual models.

The Class of 2014 reflects the diversity that is consistently true of the Ecumenical Institute—diversity of race, gender, age, and ethnicity as well as a diversity in goals, ranging from professional excellence to personal growth.

Bishop Rowan Williams Delivers 2014 Dunning Lecture

Bishop Rowan WilliamsOn Thursday, April 3, Bishop Rowan Williams (the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury) delivered the 2014 Dunning Lecture, titled “Theology as a Way of Life,” to a record audience. Approximately 600 people gathered in Laubacher Hall and two simulcast areas to hear Williams’ winsome invitation to ‘theological behavior’ that is unafraid of self-scrutiny, patient with life’s deepest mysteries, and hospitable to conversation. Inviting hearers to reflect on moments of new possibility and on practices of prayer and contemplation, Williams concluded that “what it all adds up to is joy.”

James D. G. Dunn Delivers the Dunning Lecture

James D. G. DunnSt. Mary's Laubacher Hall was close to full on November 20, when Dr. James D. G. Dunn delivered the Ecumenical Institute's annual Dunning Lecture to over 250 eager listeners. The lecture, "Jesus as Remembered by John," was followed by a lively period of Q&A and discussion. Hearts and Minds Books of Dallastown, PA sold copies of his many books, and Dunn graciously signed for all who cued up.

This year's Dunning Lecture also served as the keynote address opening a three-day conference, "Jesus, John, and History: Engaging the Legacies of C.H. Dodd and Raymond Brown," November 20-22, also on the St. Mary's campus.

Emmaus Tuition Incentive

We believe there is no better way to begin study at the Ecumenical Institute than walking and talking with a friend (see Luke 24:13-14). To encourage that, we offer a one-time tuition incentive for new students who begin together: a tuition remission of 50% for both of you on your first "E.I." course.

If you and someone you know are considering theological study, this is your opportunity to encourage one another to explore and discern together. You can take the same class or try different courses and compare notes.

Your walk begins with just one course... and may lead to...

  • more courses...
  • or perhaps a certificate in Biblical Studies, Faith Community/Parish Nursing, Religious Education, Spirituality, Urban Ministry, or Youth and Family Ministry...
  • or even a Master of Arts Degree in Theology or Church Ministries.
For more information, please contact the Ecumenical Institute office at or 410/864-4200.

McFaddens' April 12-13 Presentations a Success

Susan and John McFadden engaged and informed all who gathered to hear them here at St. Mary's this weekend! They offered new ways of looking at dementia and at both the church's and the culture's response to it. Participants came away inspired and committed to take what they'd learned back to their churches, workplaces, and families. The response was so positive we decided to post the McFadden's presentation slides here. So for those who attended as well as for those who missed out, we hope you will enjoy, make good use of, and pass along their slides for:

Friday Evening's Presentation
Saturday Morning's Presentation
Saturday Afternoon's Presentation

Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin's Presentation from Tuesday's "Finding Common Ground for the Common Good"

Rabbi Nina Beth CardinMany who attended "Finding Common Ground for the Common Good" on Tuesday, April 11, have asked for a copy of the stunning presentation by Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin. She has graciously provided that here.

Download the presentation.

Introduction to the Ecumenical Institute

The Ecumenical Institute of Theology (E.I.) 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.

BooksOur students are mostly working adults who are part-time learners following the ancient motto of “faith seeking understanding.” They pursue individual courses, one of several certificates (biblical studies, parish nursing, religious education, spirituality, urban ministry, and youth ministry), and/or one of two master's degrees, the M.A. in Theology or the M.A. in Church Ministries. Classes are held mostly in the late afternoon and evening on week days. There are three terms per year: fall, winter, and summer. Tuition is very reasonable—the lowest in the region for accredited, graduate, theological education

Our student body of women and men is both interdenominational and interracial, as is our excellent faculty. Nearly all of the Ecumenical Institute's professors have earned doctorates, and a significant number are well-known published scholars. The faculty is drawn from neighboring academic and religious institutions as well as from St. Mary's.

We hope you find our site interesting and informative, and we look forward to hearing from you! Please begin with our invitation.