The Toronto School of Theology (TST) is pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Dr. Darren Dias, O.P. as the new Executive Director of TST. A long-time member of the University of St. Michael’s College community where he has served in its Faculty of Theology since 2008, Dr. Dias will assume his duties as Executive Director on September 1, 2022, while continuing his research and teaching as an Associate Professor of Systematic Theology in the newly formed Regis St. Michael’s Faculty of Theology.
“Dr. Dias is a firm believer in the ecumenical mandate of the Toronto School of Theology and will offer strong leadership to our unique consortium of theologates,” says Rev. Dr. George Smith, CSB, who is Chair of TST’s Board of Trustees. “The board was unanimous in its decision and I am pleased to welcome him to TST.”
The first Faculty member from St. Michael’s to hold the position, Dr. Dias’s appointment to TST comes just as the theological faculties of USMC and Regis College are brought together, an exciting new venture in TST’s 52-year history, notes Regis St. Michael’s Dean, Jaroslav Skira.
“This is a positive development for all,” says Skira.
Dr. Dias earned his doctorate under the supervision of Prof. Robert M. Doran, S.J., where he received the Governor General’s Gold Medal for Academic Excellence. Dr. Dias’ current research and publications revolve around interreligious dialogue, relations and decoloniality.
Currently the President of the Canadian Theological Society, he is also now working on a project with Dr. Stephan Van Erp, funded by a Templeton Foundation grant, entitled Metaphysics of Contemplation: Religious Life and Form of Thought.
As a member of St. Michael’s Faculty, Dr. Dias took on numerous administrative roles. At TST, he has served on the Basic Degree Council and the Graduate Studies Council. He also serves on the University of Toronto Faculty Association’s Gender and Equity Committee. In addition, Dr. Dias serves in various ecclesial leadership roles and committees, nationally and internationally.
Dias succeeds Dr. Pamela Couture, the Jane and Geoffrey Martin Chair in Church and Community at Emmanuel College, who assumed the role of TST’s Executive Director in 2020. Among her leadership accomplishments, Dr. Couture led the TST members through the rigorous UTQAP review process during her tenure.
“I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Dr. Pamela Couture, who served TST so well during the extraordinary circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Dr. Smith. “We are grateful for all she has brought to the position.”
The Toronto School of Theology, founded in 1970, is a consortium of seven theological schools, each accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Academic standards are consistent with those of the University of Toronto, which is regularly ranked among the top 25 research universities in the world.
TST’s seven member colleges are: Emmanuel College (United Church of Canada), Knox College (Presbyterian Church in Canada), Regis College (Roman Catholic: Jesuit), St. Augustine’s Seminary (Roman Catholic: Diocesan), University of St. Michael’s College, Faculty of Theology (Roman Catholic: Basilian), University of Trinity College, Faculty of Divinity (Anglican), and Wycliffe College (Anglican, Evangelical).
In addition, TST has connections with three affiliated member institutions: Conrad Grebel University College (Mennonite) at the University of Waterloo, the Institute of Christian Studies (Christian Reformed) in Toronto, and NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community, based from Prince Edward Island.
The TST consortium offers a full range of professional and academic degrees. Some are primarily professional while others are oriented to general theological studies or research. All degree programs operate at the post-baccalaureate level, and a number of degrees are conferred conjointly by the University of Toronto.