Diploma in Interfaith Dialogue

This diploma springs from the reality that the Greater Toronto Area is one of the most diverse places on earth. It is designed to introduce students to the spirituality of many of the different religions and faith communities who are our neighbours, leading to meaningful dialogue and new points of connection with other people.

We have been able to keep costs low due to a generous donation from the Scarboro Mission society.

We are pleased to announce that we are offering the possibility of completing this diploma online. The possibility of running in-person classes will be contingent on the recommendations of the University of St. Michael’s College in conjunction with Public Health. Please contact Anthony De Feo, Programs Coordinator for further details.

  • Requirements
    • The certificate is a 10-course program. Most courses require 12 hours of contact time, with scheduling set by the instructor – e.g., four classes of three hours each, or a weekend with two six-hour days.
    • The program requires students to take two set foundational courses, a minimum of two courses examining faith communities, a minimum of two course in topics of interfaith encounter, and a capstone, project-based course worth two credits.
  • Admission + Application Form
    • Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.
    • Admission is open to people of all faith traditions. A prior degree is not required to apply.
    • Submit the application form with a $25 processing fee.
    • Please note that no candidate will be considered until all documentation has been received. Please send your completed application form with a non-refundable fee of $25.00 CAD payable to the University of St. Michael’s College to:

    Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing
    Faculty of Theology, University of St. Michael’s College
    81 St. Mary St.,
    Toronto, ON
    M5S 1J4

  • Fees
    • The current tuition cost for each course is $100. (The full price per course is actually $350, but a generous donation from the Scarboro Missions society allows us to offer courses at a reduced rate. The rate may be subject to change.)
  • Fall 2020 Courses

    SMD 301
    Sacred Architecture

    This course explores the most significant religious architectural expressions in the world. We will study Taoist and Shinto shrines, Buddhist and Hindu temples, Jewish synagogues, Christian churches, and Islamic mosques. A global perspective will allow for comparisons and contrasts between Western and Non-Western architecture. Students will analyze sacred spaces and share their own experiences, in order to evaluate the design intentions and their accomplishments.

    Dates: September 28, October 5, 19, 26
    Time: 18:00-21:00
    Instructor: David Pereyra

    SMD303
    Religion and Disability

    Every religion articulates what makes an ideal human being, but often people with disabilities are excluded. This course explores disability narratives in major world religions, placing disability theologies at the center of religious inquiry. Students will examine the ways ability and disability impact spiritual engagement across religious traditions. Both sacred and modern texts will be used to understand the historical interpretations of disability and the ways religious communities engage with disabled persons today.

    Dates: November 9, 16, 23, 30
    Time: 18:00-21:00
    Instructor: Kate McCray

  • Winter 2021 Courses

    SMD 203
    Islam

    “Islam 101” course is an exploration of the basics, traditions, and values of the religion of Islam and the Muslim community.

    One of the three Abrahamic traditions, along with Judaism and Christianity, Islam presents itself as a way of life and the final Divine message of God. The core message of Islam, submission to One God, is promoted by Islamic texts as the message that was delivered to people throughout history by Prophets from Adam to the last Prophet Muhammad. Muslims, therefore, have a lot in common with people of other faith communities.

    Like all faith communities, the Muslim community has diverse schools and cultures. Diversity of schools of thought and traditions within the Muslim community has significantly contributed to the enrichment of the Islamic civilization.

    Dates: January 18, 25, February 1, 8
    Time: 18:00-21:00
    Instructor: Imam Dr. Wael Shehab

    SMD 304
    Women and Religion

    In this course, students will explore some of the social, ritual, and legal barriers women experience in their spiritual communities, and learn about the ways in which women of diverse religious backgrounds are challenging these barriers through the re-examination of traditional texts and practices. Reflecting on their own roles as both readers and interpreters, students will explore texts in translation from classical religious sources, as well as critical, feminist and other contemporary women’s interpretations of these texts (including guest speakers, films, blogs, social media, etc.), considering the influence these ideas may be having on religious practices in the 21st century.

    Dates: March 1, 8, 15, 22
    Time: 18:00-21:00
    Instructor: Dr. Shari Goldberg

Questions? Please contact inquiry.usmctheology@utoronto.ca or call 416-926-7128.

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