Master of Theological Studies Degree (MTS)
Advanced Degree Programs
This professional program is designed for the theological education of men and women for leadership in the Church in both lay and ordained ministerial roles. The curriculum thus seeks to assist students:
– To reflect on Scripture and Tradition in light of their original contexts.
– To interpret them in light of present-day Church teaching and in terms of contemporary thought and experience.
– To identify and address the major social issues of the day from the perspective of Scripture and the Church’s teaching.
– To enter into interpersonal and community situations with sympathy and perspective.
– To communicate the Gospel in a way that speaks to contemporary pastoral and social situations.
Additional Admission Requirements for the MDiv
Fifteen semester hours (five courses) of philosophy are required, especially metaphysics, philosophical anthropology, ethics, and some aspects of the history of philosophy. Those who lack the full requirements in philosophy are required to take additional courses in philosophy during their first year of study in the MDiv program. These courses do not count as credits towards the degree.
Thirty courses, or their equivalent in the case of transfer students, are required for the MDiv degree. An average of B- (2.7 GPA), with no mark below B-, is requisite for the MDiv degree. In some cases, a student may apply for advanced standing on the basis of previously completed graduate-level work. The student must submit the request in writing to the Committee on Admissions and Academic Standing and supply official transcripts for the desired credits.
A student may wish to be exempted from particular courses or curricular requirements because of previous studies or experience. In such cases the student must have permission from the professor of the course(s) in question. If the exemption is granted, the student must substitute another course in the same area to fulfill the requirement.
With the approval of the Basic Degree Director, the instructor, and the department concerned, students may substitute supervised reading or tutorial programs for listed courses.
N.B. The minimum requirements for the MDiv degree do not necessarily fulfill all the academic and pastoral training needs of those preparing for ministry in today’s Church. Students are encouraged to complete additional courses in which they have a special interest or which might be necessary for achieving their personal ministerial goals. Candidates for ordination may be advised to supplement the degree requirements with an additional year of full or part-time study. Each student has a faculty advisor to assist in planning a personalized course of study.
Duration of Studies and Course Load
A minimum of two semesters are to be devoted to full-time study. A minimum residency of one year of full-time study is required or, for transfer students, ten units of study. TST work must be completed within a twelve month period.
The degree may not be completed after less than three years or six semesters of study.
The thirty (30) units of study are distributed as follows:
Biblical Department (5 units)
Introduction in the Old Testament (SMB1007)
1 unit in Old Testament
Introduction to the New Testament (SMB1501)
1 unit from the Pauline corpus
1 unit in either Old or New Testament
History Department (3 units)
History of Christianity I (SMH1010)
History of Christianity II
History of Catholicism (1648-Present) or History of Christianity III
Pastoral Theology Department (3 units)
1 unit, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Counselling or Spiritual Direction
1 unit, pastoral elective
Theology Department (10 units)
Foundations of Theology (SMT1101)
Creation – Grace
Fundamental Christian Ethics (SMT1904)
Human Sexuality & Marriage (SMT3931)
Justice: Individual and Social (SMT3925)
Introduction to Liturgy (SMT2402)
Core Systematic and Ethics units must be taken from offerings in the Roman Catholic tradition.
N.B. Students who choose to take the “Sacrament” course in two parts must take both at the same College. Students should seek advice from their academic advisors.
Ministry and Theological Field Education (4 units)
1 Unit, Theology of Ministry: SMP2600
2 units, Field Placement and Theological Reflection Seminar (see below)
1 unit comprised of 3 Pastoral Skills Units
Free Electives (5 units)
5 units from any area, which may include no more than 3 units of Greek, Hebrew, and/or Latin.
Theological Education and Spiritual and Pastoral Formation
Theological education for ministry includes sound academic studies, some experience of supervised practice in ministry, and opportunities for spiritual and pastoral formation. The Spiritual and Pastoral Formation includes: liturgical practice and opportunities for guided spiritual reflection, Theological Field Education (TFE), Pastoral Skills Units (PSU), a Learning Portfolio, and a Summative Evaluation for Ministry (SEM).
Theological Field Education
Theological Field Education begins with an orientation to field based learning in the course, SMP 2600: Theology of Ministry. It continues in an approved field placement where students engage in pastoral action and supervised theological and pastoral reflection on their learning.
Upon completion of the Supervised Field Placement, the students participate on campus in the course, SMF 3010: Theological Reflection Seminar, a guided group experience focused on identifying their operative theology in pastoral practice and on articulating their self-understanding as pastoral ministers.
Students should consult with the Director of Pastoral Formation by the end of their participation in the course, SMP 2600: Theology of Ministry, for assistance with developing their field-based learning goals and the placement suitable for pursuing these goals.
The Field Education Cycle includes:
SMP 2600: Theology of Ministry
A Supervised Field Placement (SFP) for a minimum of 250 hours where the students engage in forms of pastoral practice which challenge them to grow in theological integration and self-identity as pastoral ministers. The students and supervisors articulate this learning experience in a Learning Agreement. The Director of Pastoral Formation approves both the placement site and the learning agreement.
SMF 3010: Theological Reflection Seminar upon completion of the SFP.
Students need to consult with their academic advisors and the Director of Pastoral Formation regarding the timing for completing the three components in the Theological Field Education program, as the full sequence of Theology of Ministry, Field Placement and Theological Reflection Seminar requires a minimum of three semesters. Upon completing the latter two requirements, two units of credit in Theological Field Education are granted.
Field Education timelines:
Placements may include the following:
Evaluation of the students in the Theological Field Education program is an ongoing process involving a learning log, supervisory sessions, and written reports at the completion of the supervised field placement. The Theological Reflection Seminar also entails written work on pastoral practice and a concluding interview with the Director of Pastoral Formation.
MDiv Thesis Option
MDiv students who maintain an A- average at the end of the second year of their program may choose to write a thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the MDiv degree. Students are given two full semesters to write their theses. After two full semesters, students must apply for an extension and will be charged a program continuation fee. Further information is available from the Director of Basic Degree Programs.
Fourth Year Studies
Some Catholic dioceses or religious congregations require a fourth year of theological study for ordination candidates. Requirements for this additional year vary. The Faculty of Theology accommodates these students by providing additional academic instruction and pastoral training experiences.
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