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Higher Education in Maryland

Religious Educational Institutions

A religious educational institution:
  1. Is established for religious educational purposes;
  2. Provides educational programs only for religious vocations or purposes;
  3. Offers only sectarian instruction designed for and aimed at individuals who hold or seek to learn the particular religious faiths or beliefs taught by the institution;
  4. Does not offer instruction in nonsectarian or general education; and
  5. States on the certificate or diploma the religious nature of the award.
A religious educational institution must apply for an exemption from the requirement to hold a certificate of approval to operate in the State of Maryland. Applications require a $250 fee.

Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13B.02.04 (PDF) govern Exemption Procedures for Religious Educational Institutions.

An exemption is valid for two years, and to renew the exemption the institution must submit a renewal application every two years.
  1. A cover letter addressed to the Secretary of Higher Education from the institution’s chief executive officer requesting a religious exemption to offer religious educational courses, and programs as a Religious Educational Institution in Maryland.
  2. The completed religious exemption application form (PDF).
  3. The completed financial statement (PDF) evidencing that the institution has adequate financial resources.
  4. Articles of incorporation or other organizing documents and by-laws.
  5. Proof of Good Standing with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.
  6. Current or proposed catalog
  7. One sample of each formal award to be granted
  8. A copy of the required written notice and disclosure form provided to enrolled students, in accordance with Education Article 11.202.1(h)((2), declaring that the institution’s instructional program is only designed for and aimed at persons who hold or seek to learn the particular religious faith or beliefs of the church or religious institution, and provides only educational programs for religious vocations or purposes.
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