For nearly 50 years, the Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry brought the wisdom and insights from historic spiritual and religious traditions into the core curriculum of six graduate degrees and professional certificate programs: the Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies, Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership, Master of Arts in Couples and Family Therapy, Master of Divinity, Doctor of Ministry, a general Master of Arts program inspiring research and spiritual exploration, post-master's certificates in Transforming Spirituality and Pastoral Leadership, and a certificate in graduate studies in Leadership in Faith and Economics.
The School of Theology and Ministry promoted the Jesuit Catholic tradition of a faith committed to justice. It addressed the needs of an increasingly intercultural, ecumenical, and interreligious church and society, and represented over seventeen religious traditions and associations, including Reformed, Protestant, Evangelical, Unitarian, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Jewish, and Muslim faith communities. As teacher-scholar-practitioners, faculty engaged in pastoral, clinical, and professional leadership, enabling them to address the implications of what they taught for service to church, the academy, and society.
Within a collaborative teaching and learning environment, including course work and contextual field-based education, for decades, students developed 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 emerged as more integrated persons capable of inspiring and leading others in various professional and ministerial contexts. They served 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.
On April 30, 2020, the Seattle University Board of Trustees voted to close the School of Theology and Ministry. Though no longer accepting applications, the School will continue to offer its courses, allowing its current students to complete their programs. The School of Theology and Ministry has been accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) since 1993 and will continue to be accredited through to its closure on June 30, 2023.
In September 2021 the STM Committee was convened by SU Provost Shane Martin composed of thirteen students, faculty, alumni and friends of the School of Theology and Ministry. The group was co-chaired by an SU faculty member (Jodi O’Brien) and staff leader (Joe Orlando), who are special assistants to the provost and who also have had many opportunities to share in the life of the School of Theology & Ministry over the years. The committee met monthly through May 2022 and provided a report to the provost with ideas on how to carry suggestions to celebrate and honor the legacy of the school in a spring, 2023 celebration