Jul 14, 2020  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

School of Theology and Ministry

Mark S. Markuly, PhD, Dean
Valerie Lesniak, PhD, Interim Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Michael Trice, PhD, Assistant Dean for Ecumenical and Interreligious Dialogue

Web: http://www.seattleu.edu/stm/

Introduction to the School of Theology and Ministry Admissions Requirements
Course Schedule Options Transfer Credit
Grade Point Average (GPA) Formation Components
Doctor of Ministry Grading Policy Degree Programs
Time Limit  

Education for Dynamic and Holistic Leadership in an Intercultural, Ecumenical, and Interreligious World

The Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry brings the wisdom and insights from historic spiritual and religious traditions into the core curriculum of its six graduate degrees and professional certificate programs: Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies, Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership, Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy, Master of Arts in Transforming Spirituality, Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry, and specialized professional certificates in Transforming Spirituality, Pastoral Leadership, Diaconal Ministry, and Church and Faith-based Non-profit Management.

The School of Theology and Ministry promotes the Jesuit Catholic tradition of a faith committed to justice. It addresses the needs of an increasingly intercultural, ecumenical, and interreligious church and society, representing over seventeen religious traditions and associations, including Reformed, Protestant, Evangelical, Unitarian, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Jewish, and Muslim faith communities. As teacher-scholar-practitioners, faculty engage in pastoral, clinical, and professional leadership, enabling them to address the implications of what they teach for service to church, the academy, and society.

Within a collaborative teaching and learning environment, including course work and contextual field-based education, students develop a greater capacity to live out their religious and spiritual belonging, and uphold the values of human dignity, community, and mutual respect. By educating the whole person through academic, pastoral, clinical, and spiritual formation, students emerge as more integrated persons capable of inspiring and leading others in various professional and ministerial contexts. They serve as effective ministers, couples and family therapists, and ethically-rooted leaders in business, government, and non-profit organizations. Over 2200 alumni lead communities worldwide in a variety of vocations, empowering others for a more just and humane world.

Since 1993, the School of Theology and Ministry has been accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS). In addition to ATS, the Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy program is also accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE).

Course Schedule Options

Summer: The summer schedule consists of one-week, two-week, or weekend intensives, and a limited selection of online courses. Courses meet on campus and are scheduled as day-long or mornings only. Students who wish to live on campus during summer sessions must apply for housing via online registration through Conference and Event Services: seattleu.edu/ces/.

Weekday: Morning, afternoon, and evening on-campus courses are offered weekly in three-hour sessions during fall, winter, and spring quarters.

Weekends: Weekend on-campus courses are intensive, and typically meet on two weekends per quarter.

A combination of these scheduling options determine the duration to degree completion. Internships, clinical practicum, spiritual direction, retreats, and independent studies may allow commuting students to complete certain program requirements in their own geographical areas.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A 3.00 (B) GPA must be maintained during graduate study. In addition, some programs may have a minimum grade requirement for specific courses. Please check degree program handbooks for details.

Doctor of Ministry Grading Policy

  • A student who earns a course grade lower than a B- may be placed on academic probation in the following quarter.
  • A student who earns a cumulative GPA lower than a 3.00 may be placed on academic probation in the following quarter.
  • A student who earns a course grade lower than a C+ may be dismissed from the degree program.

Time Limit

All work toward a degree from the School of Theology and Ministry must be completed within six years. This limit includes transfer credits. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants are primarily considered for either summer or fall quarter entry, with some programs offering year-round admissions. Admission is selective, and candidates are evaluated on their individual merits, rather than on a comparative basis. Priority application deadlines are as follows:

PMC-PL and DMin:
     - March 1st for Summer admission (Programs start in Summer quarter)

     - January 15th for early admission (Summer and Fall)
     - April 15th for general admission (Summer and Fall)

MAPS, MATL, and certificates:
     - March 1st for Summer admission
     - June 1st for Fall admission
     - November 1st for Winter admission
     - February 1st for Spring admission


     - March 1st for Summer admission

     - June 1st for Fall admission

International students:
     - January 1st for Summer admission
     - April 1st for Fall admission
     - October 1st for Winter admission
     - January 1st for Spring admission

All applicants must provide the following for consideration:

  • Completed online application for Graduate Admission and non-refundable $55 application fee (waived for Seattle University alumni)
  • Official transcripts from the last two years of the baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution and any post-baccalaureate course work. A completed undergraduate degree must be verified prior to enrollment. Doctoral students should only submit all graduate-level transcripts unless non-graded. Exceptions to the policy are noted with the degree requirements.  
    1. GPA Requirements: Minimum grade point average of 2.75 calculated from official transcripts of all post-secondary education institutions attended in the last 90 quarter/60 semester credits of the bachelor’s degree and any post-baccalaureate courses. Students applying for the Doctor of Ministry, Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy, Post-Master’s Certificate in Pastoral Leadership, and international applicants must have a 3.00 GPA. If GPA falls below the required minimum, then the Miller Analogy Test (MAT) is required for consideration of equivalency.
    2. An agency evaluation requiring academic records is necessary for all applicants who attended or completed their bachelor’s and/or master’s degree outside of the United States, per Graduate Admissions requirements.
  • Résumé reflecting two years of experience in some form of education, ministry, or service as a professional or volunteer (including experience in the helping field or in ministry for admission to the Couples and Family Therapy program or leadership roles for the Transformational Leadership program.)
  • STM recommendation forms completed by two ministry, leadership, or counseling-related professional individuals who can attest to readiness for the type of profession you are hoping to achieve through the degree or certificate application. (e.g.: Recommendations must speak to the leadership capacity for applicants of the Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership degree.) Forms are sent electronically through the online application.
  • An autobiographical statement (5-8 pages) that includes:
    1. An account of important events and relationships in your life, highlighting the impact of these on your development (3-5 pages)
    2. Several paragraphs (2-5 each) that address the following:
      • Impression of this program and your expectations of it.
      • Discussion of the professional skills and understandings you seek through participation in STM and the areas of personal growth most important to you.
      • List and describe any formal or informal education (workshops, institutes, readings) and volunteer experiences not highlighted in your resume.
      • Major ministry, leadership, or church-related experiences, noting whether they are part-time or full-time and the years you were engaged in them.
  • Completion of a background check in your current state of residence. The Affiliation Agreements between internship training sites and Seattle University require the University to obtain criminal history background checks on Seattle University students who will provide direct services, or have unsupervised access to, or direct contact with, children under sixteen (16) years of age, vulnerable adults as defined under RCW 43.43.830, and developmentally disabled individuals. Form will be provided by the School of Theology and Ministry, and must be completed before you are accepted to interview.  
  • Interview with an STM admissions committee faculty.
  • If English is not the applicant’s native language, official English proficiency scores meeting the University’s entrance requirements are necessary. See policy 2008-01 in Admissions Policies for exceptions. 

Additional Requirements for the Post-Master’s Certificate in Pastoral Leadership:

  • Official transcripts of all graduate level coursework.
  • Provide a ministry experience statement including the following:
    1. Ministry or church-related experiences, noting whether done part-time or full-time and years when engaged. Highlight the last three ministry positions held, including your position and dates.
    2. Describe your function and role in your present ministry.
    3. Current program or activities, for which you have leadership responsibilities, best reflecting your vision and ministry.
  • Successful completion of the “leadership core” portion of the Pastoral Leadership Certificate at Seattle University, including demonstrated capacity to conduct discipline appropriate research.
  • Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution (with 3.0 GPA on scale of 4.0) required. Equivalency and substitutions determined at discretion of Admissions Committee. Ministerial experience not considered equivalent of, or substitute for, MDiv degree.
  • Evidence of a minimum of three years of full-time professional ministerial experience subsequent to MDiv degree or its equivalent. In March-April of Post-Master’s Certificate in Pastoral Leadership year, interview with Director of Doctor of Ministry program to chart course for either completion of the Post-Master’s Certificate in Pastoral Leadership or Doctor of Ministry.

Transfer Credit

Students may petition to transfer graduate credits earned from institutions accredited by regional regulatory commissions and/or the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) to the School of Theology and Ministry (STM).

Graduate course credits earned with a letter grade of B (3.00 minimum) or above in academic work comparable to STM core course requirements may be transferred to fulfill degree program core requirements upon evaluation and approval of the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, the Dean, and the Registrar. Courses that do not meet core requirement standards may be accepted as general electives; however, a minimum letter grade of B will still be required.

Maximum number of transfer credits per degree program:

  • Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS)  

not to exceed 10 credits

  • Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership (MATL)

not to exceed 10 credits

  • Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy (MACFT)

not to exceed 15 credits

  • Master of Arts in Transforming Spirituality (MATS)

not to exceed 24 credits

  • Master of Divinity (MDiv)  

not to exceed 54 credits

  • Doctor of Ministry (DMin)  

not to exceed 15 credits


Up to 15 graduate credits in theology and/or ministry earned from institutions accredited by regional regulatory commissions and/or the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) may be applied toward advanced standing in the Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy (MACFT) upon approval of the program director, associate dean of academic affairs, dean, and registrar. Applicants must submit transcripts of a completed Master of Arts degree or higher in a field of theology and/or ministry for evaluation.

All non-credit formation requirements and related formation courses should be taken at Seattle University.

Students who have completed a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS) degree from Seattle University may petition the STM Admissions Committee to accept credits earned–in toto or in part–towards the Master of Arts in Transforming Spirituality (MATS) or Master of Divinity (MDiv) degrees.


Formation Components

Students complete Formation Requirements specific to their degree program. These formation components help students practice the professional and personal competencies necessary for their work and leadership roles, and include: attending program orientations, meeting with their academic advisor, participating in reflection events, serving in a leadership role or community service, meeting with a spiritual director/counselor/coach (dependent upon degree program), and completing an internship relevant to their degree program. For students in the Couples and Family Therapy program (MACFT), personal therapy sessions are required prior to and throughout the clinical sequence, as detailed in the MACFT student handbook. Post-Masters Certificate and Doctor of Ministry students complete separate formation requirements in conjunction with their Program Director.

Theology and Ministry Programs

Theology and Ministry Courses

School of Theology and Ministry and the School of Law

Go to information for this department.