Mark S. Markuly, PhD, Dean
Sharon Callahan, EdD, Associate Dean for Academic Programs and Student Life
Jack Olive, MDiv, Assistant Dean for Ecumenical Relations
Preparing Students for Effective and Spiritually-Deep Leadership in a Diverse World
The School of Theology and Ministry (STM) is a creative and unique model of ecumenical cooperation in North America. The School is structured with a partnership between Seattle University and twelve churches and associations of the Pacific Northwest. Developed by an ecumenical faculty in collaboration with ecumenical leaders in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere in the United States, the school is anchored by ecumenical covenants with the Catholic Archdioceses of Seattle and Anchorage, and ten Protestant, Anglican and Unitarian ecclesial communities. The School enjoys exceptional support from all its constituents. In recent accreditation reports from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and the Northwest Association of Schools and College, the School of Theology and Ministry was identified as a model for the rest of the country, building on the overall mission of Seattle University to prepare students for leadership and service and promote social justice.
STM is grounded in the Jesuit mission of promoting a “faith that does justice.” This orientation to faith and justice has several signature elements. It recognizes the dignity and gifts of every human person as a child of God. It seeks to understand the life-fulfilling and life-sustaining dimensions of every culture prior to critiquing its injustices and imperfections; and it promotes a sensitivity and responsiveness to the needs of increasingly multicultural churches. In addition, given the predominantly “unchurched” culture of the Pacific Northwest, the School is unique in its engagement of secularist forces in U.S. culture, and those voices in the culture questioning the relevance of churches or even religion and spirituality itself. The School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University takes very seriously the growing forces of globalization that is shrinking our world. STM has programs operating in other countries in the world, and faculty travel widely and lecture internationally. As the U.S. becomes as religiously diverse as it is culturally, the School also prepares its students for this diversity by maintaining a robust interreligious dialogue with many religious traditions.
The student body of STM is made up of adult learners who are seeking to develop spiritually, to know and appreciate their particular religious tradition, and to become skilled ministers. STM provides students with the services and support they need to engage in disciplined, developmental, and holistic education and formation. Because faculty themselves are engaged in active ministry, they are able to address pastoral questions and articulate the pastoral implications of the theology and spirituality they teach. Each degree and certificate program carefully integrates academic and pastoral theology, an emphasis on spiritual growth, and development of pastoral skills. Graduates of our school learn to minister with integrity, competence, and compassion in multicultural communities, and credit their personal, academic, and professional transformation to this integration.
Within the school, students in all of our programs form peer reflection communities that celebrate prayer, enter a commitment of faith sharing, and develop ways of caring for student needs. Orientations, days of reflection, community meetings, and requirements for liturgy and hospitality help students practice ministerial competencies with one another while contributing to the deepening of their adult learning communities.
Each degree is rooted in the conviction that ministers, educators and leaders serve more effectively when they combine personal and professional growth with a vision of service to the community. All students do a yearlong internship in churches or in service to the poor, the abused, the incarcerated, the sick, the spiritually hungry, the homeless, or others. They serve the university community by leading prayer services and facilitating retreats. And though some launch into a new role of lay or ordained ministry, others continue their career with a profoundly transformed vision. Regardless of their paths, their lives and their capacity to serve are immeasurably richer because of their time spent in the School of Theology and Ministry.
Applicants are considered for either summer or fall quarter entry. Admission is selective, and candidates are evaluated on their individual merits, rather than on a comparative basis. Application deadlines are as follows:
Christifideles applications due: Feb. 15.
MAPC applications due: March 1st. Program starts in Summer quarter.
All other STM degree and certificate applications:
- April 1 for Summer admission
- June 1 for Fall admission
- Jan. 1 for Summer admission
- April 1 for Fall admission
All applicants (Pastoral Leadership Program applicants—see program information ) must provide the following for consideration:
- Completed Application for Graduate Admission and non-refundable $55 application fee (waived for Seattle University alumni)
- Two sets of official transcripts reflecting a four-year equivalent bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and any post-baccalaureate coursework with:
- Liberal arts background which best prepares a person for the thinking and writing skills required,
- Two undergraduate courses in theology or equivalent,
- 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. Pastoral Counseling and international applicants must have a 3.00 GPA. If GPA falls below the required minimum, then the Miller Analogy Test (MAT) is required.
- Résumé reflecting two years of experience in some form of education, ministry, or service as a professional or volunteer (including experience in social service for admission to the Pastoral Counseling program)
- STM recommendation forms completed by two ministry-related professional individuals who can attest to readiness for ministry (specifically counseling ministry for admission to the Pastoral Counseling program).
- An autobiographical statement (5-8 pages) that includes:
- An account of important events and relationships in your life, highlighting the impact of these on your development (3-5 pages).
- 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,
- Listing of formal and informal education you have engaged in over the last three years, e.g., workshops, institutes, reading, etc,
- Major ministry or church-related experiences, noting whether they are part-time or full-time and the years you were engaged in them.
- 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.
Students may petition to transfer graduate credits earned from another regionally accredited institution or a program accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) into the School of Theology and Ministry (STM).
Graduate course credits earned with a letter grade of B or above in academic work comparable to core course requirements at the STM may be transferred upon evaluation and approval of the associate dean for academic programs, the dean and the registrar. Courses that do not meet core requirement standards may be accepted as electives.
Up to 10 credits may be transferred toward the master of arts in pastoral studies (MAPS) degree, up to 24 for advanced standing in the master of arts in transforming spirituality (MATS) degree, and up to 57 credits may be transferred toward the master of divinity (MDiv) degree. All non-credit formation requirements and related formation courses must normally be taken at Seattle University for work toward any degree.
Students who have completed the MAPS degree from Seattle University may petition the STM admissions committee to accept the earned degree in total or in part toward the MATS or MDiv degrees.
All work toward a degree from the School of Theology and Ministry must be completed within six years. This limit includes transfer credit.
Summer: The summer schedule offers one-week, two-week, and weekend intensives. Courses meet on campus daily and are scheduled all day long or mornings, afternoons, and evenings. 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: Courses are offered on campus in weekly three hour sessions during fall, winter and spring quarters. Most courses are scheduled during mornings and afternoons with at least one course a quarter scheduled in the evening.
Weekends: At least two courses per quarter are scheduled in the weekend program. Each course consists of a total of two weekends per quarter. Students can access only one course per quarter in this format.
Combinations of these scheduling options determine the rate of completion of the degrees. Internships, practica, spiritual direction, retreats, and independent studies allow commuting students to complete some of their educational experiences in their own geographic areas.
Each degree is rooted in the conviction that ministers and educators serve more effectively when they combine personal and professional growth with a Gospel vision of service to the community. Each degree integrates three major components:
- Academic foundation in scripture and theology
- Development of pastoral skills
- Personal and pastoral spiritual formation
Students are expected to participate in spiritual formation, which includes building community with their peers. Students are assigned according to degree program or evening/weekend status to one of four reflection groups which celebrate prayer, enter a commitment of faith sharing, and develop ways of caring for student needs. Orientation, days or evenings of reflection, spiritual direction, leadership experiences, and requirements for liturgy and hospitality help students practice ministerial competencies with each other while contributing to the deepening of adult learning communities. Upon admission, students are advised to join the reflection group appropriate to their course of study.