The evolution of Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry began nearly 45 years ago.
The summer of 1969, local faith community leaders partnered with Seattle University to launch an intensive summer program for Masters Degrees in Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry. By 1971, the programs together boasted over 300 students.
In 1985, Seattle University and the Archdiocese of Seattle partnered to prepare women religious and other lay ministers for parishes of the Archdiocese.
By 1994, The Association of Theological Schools accredited and approved three graduate degrees: The Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies, the Master of Arts in Transforming Spirituality, and the Master of Divinity. The following year, 10 Protestant, Anglican and Unitarian traditions became official partners with Seattle University and the Archdiocese of Seattle in offering Master's level degrees. In 1996, The Seattle University Board of Trustees formally established the School as a graduate school of Seattle University.
Over the last sixteen years, the Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership and Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling degrees (now augmented to be the Master of Arts in Relationship and Pastoral Therapy) were created and accredited. Fourteen Christian denominations have signed formal partnership agreements with the School, establishing it as truly ecumenical and diverse with these important faith traditions. Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry has build collaborative relationships with ecumenical and interreligious groups locally, regionally, nationally and internationally including Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and other traditions.
Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry is a unique ecumenical institution with a strong commitment to interreligious dialogue and collaborations. There are only two other institutions in the world with the School's breadth of ecumenical and interreligious commitments.
The School's eclectic student body of over 270 individuals find the School a safe place to engage their own stories, move beyond their story to intersect with other perspectives, and ultimately contribute to a more just and humane world.