Master of Religious Education Degree (MRE)

This professional program is designed to prepare individuals for the ministry of religious education. It welcomes women and men from various aspects of this ministry such as teaching or supervising in schools, parishes, dioceses, or international settings.

The curriculum helps students:

  • To appropriate and integrate the Catholic intellectual heritage and understand its relevance for educational ministry in current cultural contexts,
  • To develop and apply the knowledge and skills required for inclusive educational ministry, in response to contemporary social issues, from a faith perspective, and
  • To foster growth in personal and spiritual maturity, a capacity for authentic public witness, and a commitment to life-long learning.
  • Prerequisites for the MRE

    Applicants must have at least one year of full-time experience in teaching or other forms of education ministry. Applicants without full-time experience should provide a resume detailing comparable experiences. The teaching experience need not be in school-based education, but may be of a more informal nature. If there is some question, an interview with the Programs Coordinator may be required.

  • Program Requirements

    Depending on a student’s qualifications, between 16 and 20 courses (or their equivalent in the case of transfer students) are required for the MRE degree. An average of B- (2.7 GPA) with no mark below B- is requisite for the granting of the degree.

    A student seeking exemption from particular courses or curricular requirements because of previous study or experience must have permission from the professor of the course(s) in question. If an exemption is granted, the student must substitute another course in the same area to fulfill the requirement.

  • Curriculum

    The 16-20 units of study are distributed as follows:

    Biblical Department (3 units)

    • Introduction to the New Testament (SMB1501)
    • Introduction to the Old Testament. (SMB1007)
    • 1 unit from either the Old Testament or the New Testament.

    Theology Department (5 units)

    • Foundations of Theology (SMT1101)
    • 1 unit, Christology or Trinity
    • 1 unit Sacramental Theology or Liturgy
    • Fundamental Themes in Christian Ethics (SMT1904)
    • Catholic Social Teaching (SMJ3609)
    • Core Systematic and Ethics courses must be taken from offerings in the Roman Catholic tradition.

    History Department (1 unit)

    • 1 unit, History of Christianity I, II or III, or History of Catholicism (1648-present)

    Pastoral Department: Religious Education (4 to 6 units)

    • Faith Development Across the Lifespan (SMP 3421)
    • Catholic Educational Documents (SMP 3428)
    • 4 electives in the area of Religious Education.

    N.B. Students with a BEd or equivalent may be exempt from one Religious Education elective.  Students who have completed OECTA III or show evidence of completing it during the MRE program may receive the same exemption.

    Free Electives (1 to 3 units)

    • 3 electives from any department.

    N.B. A Student with 1 year of full-time teaching experience or a student with two (2) years in parish catechesis/religious education may have one free elective reduced from the program. A student with a second year of full-time teaching experience may have a second free elective reduced from the program.

    Theological Field Education (2 units)

    Theological Field Education begins with SMP 2600: Theology of Ministry or SMP3515: Pastoral Care in the Classroom. 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 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 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 100 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, one unit of credit in Theological Field Education is granted.

    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.

    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.

  • Duration of Studies and Course Load

    The MRE may be completed in between two and eight years, and may be done entirely on a part-time basis.

  • Further Study

    In some cases, MRE graduates are admissible to advanced degree programs subject to establishing M Div equivalency. This normally requires one year of study beyond the MRE. Graduates wishing to pursue advanced degree studies should consult with the Advanced Degree Director in planning this year of study.

  • MRE and the Ontario College of Teachers

    The MRE degree is one of the degrees recognized by the Ontario College of Teachers. Students who successfully complete the program may use it for entrance into the Principal’s Qualification Program and/or the Supervisory Officer’s Qualification Program.

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