St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, the first Roman Catholic seminary in the United States, celebrated the graduation of 22 students from its Ecumenical Institute of Theology May 12, including eight laypersons from the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In addition, 14 seminarians received degrees from the School of Theology. An honorary degree was conferred on Rev. Eugene H. Peterson for his contribution to the spiritual life and to pastoral ministry for people of many different Christian traditions, and for his special contribution to the Ecumenical Institute of Theology. Rev. Peterson gave the graduation address. Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien presided.
Recipients of the Ecumenical Institute’s master’s degree in theology from the archdiocese include Roberta L. Epps of St. Gregory the Great, Baltimore; Timothy A. Janiszewski of Our Lady of the Chesapeake, Pasadena; and Richard Koritzer of St. John the Evangelist, Severna Park. The master’s degree in church ministries was awarded to Mary Katherine Gosnell-Caplan of St. John the Evangelist, Hydes; Susan Haak of St. Joseph Parish, Cockeysville; and John Messler of St. Margaret Parish, Bel Air. Laura Weatherington of St. Anthony of Padua/Most Precious Blood, Baltimore, received master’s degrees in theology and in church ministries. Carol Zieba of St. Agnes, Catonsville, received the Certificate of Advanced Studies.
Gosnell-Caplan won the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in theological studies; Janiszewski the Robert F. Leavitt Award for Outstanding Achievement in theological studies; and Messler the Deans’ Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the study and practice of ministry.
“My experience at the Ecumenical Institute has been edifying, challenging, and fulfilling,” said Janiszewski. “I truly enjoyed it. Through my studies I developed a profound appreciation for ecumenism, deepened my love for and understanding of Catholicism, and intensified my faith in God. I recommend that everyone explore what the E.I. has to offer.”
Gosnell-Caplan, “What I discovered [at the Ecumenical Institute] was a vibrant spiritual environment that challenged and nurtured understanding, faith, and love. Most dear is the brother- and sisterhood of fellow students from various denominations and faith-walks who accompanied me along an indelible life-changing journey for which I will be forever truly grateful.”
Through the Ecumenical Institute of Theology, its evening division, St. Mary’s offers fully accredited ecumenical theological education at the graduate level to qualified women and men in the greater Baltimore area. In addition to the two master’s degrees, the Ecumenical Institute program includes graduate-level certificates, a post-master’s certificate for clergy and others, and a variety of classes for credit or for audit.
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