Master of Theological Studies Degree (MTS)

This program is designed to strengthen the religious basis of the individual’s life and work, whether in a secular career or church-related career.

  • Degree Goals

    The MTS program provides the individual with a general theological understanding as well as the opportunity for in-depth study and specialization.

    The curriculum seeks to assist students to:

    1. facilitate the attainment of survey knowledge of the Catholic theological tradition with the possibility of attaining a focused knowledge in a specific discipline
    2. enable students to think theologically by considering different theological areas, perspectives, and methods
    3. allow a level of freedom that respects and builds upon a person’s interests, abilities, and past experiences and encourages that individual’s commitment to life-long learning.
  • Degree Outcomes

    The goals are articulated  in more specific terms with these degree outcomes:

    1. Students shall be able to conduct informed and disciplined biblical interpretation and know how the Church interprets scripture
    2. Students shall demonstrate a broad understanding of the historical and theological development of the church, its teachings and practices
    3. Students shall be able to give reasoned theological responses to contemporary ethical and social issues
  • Program Requirements and Program Duration

    A total of 20 units of study with a minimum B (3.0 GPA) average, with no grade lower than a B-, are necessary to complete the degree.

    The degree can be completed in no less than two years, and no more than eight years.

  • Curriculum

    Foundational Courses (5 units)

    • Introduction to the New Testament (SMB1501)
    • Introduction to the Old Testament. (SMB1007)
    • History of Christianity I (SMH1010)
    • Foundations of Theology (SMT1101)
    • Fundamental Themes in Christian Ethics (SMT1904)

    **Foundational Courses must be taken at USMC**

    In-Depth Courses (7 units)

    • any course in Old Testament
    • any course in New Testament
    • Trinity**
    • Christology**
    • Ethics (Social, Sexual, Biomedical, Ecological)**
    • Church History
    • Theology of Ministry, Pastoral Care, Pastoral Counselling, or Spiritual Direction**

    ** Core Systematic and Ethics courses must be taken from offerings in the Roman Catholic tradition. **

    Electives (6-7 units)

    • A total of six or seven (6 or 7) free electives, depending on which Summative Exercise option is chosen.
    • No more than three units of Greek, Hebrew, and or Latin may be included.

    Summative Exercise (1-2 units)

    Students must complete the degree in one of three ways:

    Field Education Option (2 units)

    • 1 unit, Theology of Ministry (SMP 2600). Students wishing to complete the MTS program in two years must take this course in their first year, as the full sequence of Theology of Ministry, Field Placement, and Theological Reflection Seminar requires a minimum of three semesters.
    • A minimum of 1 unit, consisting of at least 100 hours in an approved placement site, and a one-semester Theological Reflection Seminar. Students may take a two (2) unit Field Education program or a second one (1) unit program with the second unit counted as one of the electives.
    • The Theological Reflection Seminar constitutes the summative exercise for this degree option. Consult the Director of Pastoral Formation and Field Education about this component.
    • Students who choose the Thesis option may also choose to take the Theology of Ministry and Field Education/Theological Reflection Seminar courses as electives. Field Education timelines:
    • For September Field Education: notify Director of Field Education by last Friday in June.
    • For January Field Education: notify Director of Field Education by last Friday in November.
    • For summer Field Education: notify Director of Field Education by third Friday in March.

    MTS Thesis Option (2 units)

    MTS students who maintain a minimum A- average, normally after completion of 15 courses, may choose to write a thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the MTS degree. The thesis is worth two units of study and comprises the summative exercise for this option. 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 Programs Coordinator.

    Research Paper Option (1 unit)

    Students may also choose to complete the degree with a major research paper. This paper should be 8000 to 9000 words, and is evaluated by one reader, who may also be the director. This option is worth one unit of study, leaving the rest of the degree to be fulfilled with a further elective course.

  • Degree Specialization

    Students may choose a specialization consisting of a total of six courses from one of the major divisions (Scripture, Systematic Theology, History or Pastoral). In-depth courses and electives may be counted toward a specialization.

  • Theology, Spirituality and the Arts Stream

    The MTS – Theology, Spirituality, and the Arts Stream is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze and interpret the theological dimension of the arts and culture.

    This stream in the MTS program:

    • Allows students to receive focused academic content in the area of theology, spirituality and the arts within the existing learning objectives and structure of the MTS.
    Explores the range of ways that the arts intersect with theological understanding.
    • Builds relationships with artists [painters, sculptors, architects, writers, musicians, performers, filmmakers, etc.] art experts, academics, therapists, and the public and private cultural institutions of Toronto and beyond.
    • Supports student exploration of the possible role of theology in arts related vocations.
    • Uses interdisciplinary methodologies from theology, aesthetics theory, art history, pastoral theology, liturgy and material culture studies, and other related disciplines.


    The Theology, Spirituality and the Arts stream requires a minimum of 8 credits, one of which is the required introductory course RGT 1120 “Theology, Spirituality and the Arts.”

    The remaining 7 courses can be taken either from the following list, or courses from other TST colleges that are deemed appropriate for this particular stream.

    SMB1007H Introduction to the Old Testament
    SMB1501H Introduction to the New Testament
    SMB2251H Israel’s Prophetic Traditions
    SMB2278H Israel’s Wisdom Traditions
    SMB2701H The Life and Letters of St. Paul
    SMB3266H Psalms
    SMB3551H The Role of Emotions in the Letters of St. Paul
    SMB3603H Interpreting the Passion Narratives
    SMH2801H A Journey Through History: The Jesuit Missions in Early Modern Canada
    SMH3058H Early Christian Art
    SMT1101H Foundations of Theology
    SMT1104H Foundations of Early Christian Theology
    SMT2141H Byzantine Christian Sacraments
    SMT2402H Introduction to Liturgy
    SMT2610H Eco-Theology Faith and Practice
    SMT3370H Spirituality and Ecology: Integration and Implications
    SMT3411H Theology of the Holy Spirit
    SMT3433H Sacramental Life
    SMT3451H Byzantine Eucharistic Liturgies
    SMT3540H Interfaith in the City
    SMT3633H Inculturation and Spirituality
    SMT3641H Twentieth-Century Eastern Christian Sacramental Theology
    SMT3652H Introduction to Eco-Theology
    SMP1102H Introduction to Byzantine Christian Worship
    SMP2271H Explorations in Eastern Christian Spirituality
    SMP2241H Spirituality of the Jewish Year
    SMP22XXH Spirituality in the Medical Marketplace

    Please note that the above list is meant to be exemplary, not exhaustive. Students must consult the Programs Coordinator for further details.


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