Many traditions. One Spirit.



Ecumenical Theological Seminary began as the Institute for Advanced Pastoral Studies (IAPS) sixty years ago in an affluent Detroit suburb. It was the first continuing education center for Clergy in the United States. Later, as the Ecumenical Theological Center (ETC), a Doctor of Ministry Program was inaugurated. The Doctor of Ministry program opened the door for a Cooperative Master of Divinity Program with accredited seminaries in Chicago, Ohio and other locations. Ecumenical Theological Center evolved into Ecumenical Theological Seminary (ETS), and in 2005 became fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).   

ETS is the only ATS-accredited seminary of the Protestant Tradition located within the City of Detroit. Unlike other major urban communities, Detroit has not attracted graduate schools of theology. ETS intentionally left the affluent suburbs many years ago and is now located on the campus of historic First Presbyterian Church in Midtown Detroit. The Seminary has remained true to its legacy of providing an academically-rigorous curriculum for clergy and laypersons to pursue a quality theological education in Southeastern Michigan.  

At ETS we see our graduates as our legacy. They serve in this community and other areas around the US, Canada, and nearly every continent of the world. Our students are primarily second and third career mature persons who arrive at seminary after many years of absence from the classroom. They bring with them many years of experience in ministry, business, civil service, education and non-profit organizations.  Many of them balance dual-career responsibilities. Seminary matriculation adds another level of responsibility.   

Students spend many years at ETS pursuing their dreams and completing degrees. There are many success stories:  pastors who make significant contributions to urban neighborhood groups and community organizations, and laypersons who serve the church and civic-political organizations. They serve families and children, run non-profit housing corporations, provide affordable health care, offer after-school and other educational services, and feed the hungry. They are clergy, seminary professors and academic deans, business persons, attorneys, political officials, judges, board members of non-profit organizations and laypersons who are committed to service in local parishes.

In addition to courses, students are required to also complete other requirements: Supervised Internships, MAPS Final Projects, Ministry Practicum and MDiv and DMin Colleague Groups. During the past three years, many of these students have successfully completed their studies. ETS proudly provides a brief summary of graduation statistics of our students in the chart below:

The information has been updated as the result of new SIS software.  Additional data is forthcoming in future updates.  A recent ATS visit affirmed improvements in our Assessment activities and the Assessment Committee with expand the use of surveys to assess additional aspects of educational/institutional effectiveness.

To file a complaint regarding ETS with the State Licensing Bureau, please use the following link:


Ecumenical Theological Seminary

2930 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 48201-3035

(313) 831-5200

Statement of Educational Effectiveness