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Master of Divinity - Eastern Christian Studies

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Program description

Theology is the study of the nature of God and religious belief. This Theology program encourages students to develop a critical approach to the problems and challenges facing modern society. The Master in Divinity (M.Div.) is a three year (90 cr.) second-entry  program, (that is, it requires a B.A. or its equivalent for admission but no prior theological training). As such, it is a general degree in theological education whose purpose is to prepare students for ordained and lay ministries and general pastoral leadership in Christian communities and other faith-based agencies serving the wider society.

Continuing the tradition of a Catholic theology’s dialogical engagement in the context of contemporary culture and religious pluralism, Saint Paul University offers a distinctive stream within the M.Div. to meet the formation needs of students from the Eastern Christian traditionsin order to allow them to pursue a degree focused on Eastern Christian studies. Students in the Eastern Christian Studies stream of the M.Div., designed to prepare candidates for ordained and other ministries in the churches of the Eastern Christian tradition, will take sixteen of the twenty-one compulsory courses in the Eastern Christian theological tradition.

While the program may be completed on a part-time basis, students are required to register full-time for at least one year with a view to the integration of academic study, supervised field experience, and personal formation.

The M.Div. is the most widely recognized degree for the preparation of candidates for ministry. The program is designed to assist students in integrating theory and practice through supervised field placements and practica.

Graduates of the M.Div. are eligible to apply to the M.A, in Theology, a program in advanced theological research.

Graduates holding a M.Div., after five years of professional ministry, may be admitted to the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.).

What you’ll learn

Students will learn about the heritage of the of the Eastern Christian theological, liturgical, spiritual, and canonical tradition within the horizon of ecumenical diversity and religious pluralism. They will gain an understanding of the contemporary cultural context, with attention to the dialogue between faith and culture; growth in spiritual depth and moral integrity, through an appreciation of the interiority of the human person and of the principles of social justice. They will develop a capacity for ministerial and public leadership through formative experience and personal integration, including study in conflict and dialogue.

Why choose Saint Paul University?

  • For its reduced class sizes and small student-teacher ratio
  • For its safe, secure and friendly campus with personalized services
  • For its bilingual setting in the heart of the national capital
  • For its diverse student population and international vision
  • For its solid reputation, experience, history and Catholic tradition

Career opportunities

  • Catechist
  • Community or not-for-profit organization worker
  • Missionary
  • Ordained minister
  • Pastoral agent in a school, hospital or prison setting
  • Pastoral associate
  • Youth development worker
  • Youth minister
  • Youth services worker

Click here to find out more about Admission Scholarships at Saint Paul University.

Other programs that may interest you

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate with a minimum average of 70% or B;
  • Evidence of suitability for pastoral leadership attested through a letter of recommendation and pre-admission interview;
  • Evidence of ability to succeed in a post-baccalaureate program of study, attested in a letter of reference from a professor familiar with the applicant’s previous academic work.

Compulsory Courses: 63 credits

  • IPA 4481 Practicum in Ministry and Service I
  • IPA 4482 Practicum in Ministry and Service II 
  • THO 2130 Foundations of Eastern Christian Theology
  • THO 2131 General Introduction to the Eastern Churches
  • THO 3160 Introduction to the Old Testament: Pentateuch and Historical Books
  • THO 3161 Introduction to the New Testament: Synoptic Gospels
  • THO 3251 Byzantine and Slavic Church History
  • THO 3301 Hermeneutics and Exegesis in Eastern Christianity
  • THO 3305 Eastern Christianity and the Encounter with World Religions
  • THO 3309 Contemporary Moral Issues in Eastern Theology
  • THO 3315 Eastern Christian Doctrine II: Salvation, Humanity, the Church and Eschatology
  • THO 3316 Ecclesiology and East-West Ecumenism
  • THO 3318 Eastern Christian Spirituality
  • THO 3319 Eastern Christian Doctrine I: Trinity, Christ and Holy Spirit
  • THO 3322 Byzantine Eucharistic Liturgies
  • THO 3323 Canonical Tradition of the Christian East
  • THO 3324 Introduction to Eastern Christian Ethics
  • THO 3328 The Holy Mysteries: Byzantine Sacraments
  • THO 3338 Byzantine Liturgical Celebration
  • THO 3347 Byzantine Liturgy of the Hours and Liturgical Year
  • THO 4206 Personal Integration Seminar

Optional Courses: 24 credits

1. Three Credits from each category:

  (a) Learning to Think Theologically

  • THO 2189 Can we talk about God?
  • THO 3162 Christian Faith: Encounter with a Self-Revealing God

(b) Contextual Issues in Church and Theology

  • THO 3172 Faith and Contemporary Culture
  • THO 4124 Feminist Perspectives in Theology
  • THO 4202 Global Christianity
  • THO 4203 Christianity in a Secular Age

(c) Spiritual Depth and Moral Integrity

  • IPA 4321 Pastoral Ministry and Psychology
  • THO 3166 The Good Life: Ethics and Christian Tradition
  • THO 3168 Ways of Christian Life and Prayer – Spirituality

(d) Perspectives on the Church in the Modern World

  • IPA 4322 Sociological Perspectives on Christian Community
  • THO 3165 Ecclesiology in an Ecumenical Age

(e) Old Testament Sources

  • THO 4100 Wisdom Texts and Intertestamental Literature
  • THO 4101 The Prophetic Books

 (f) New Testament Sources

  • THO 4102 Pauline Literature and Theology
  • THO 4103 Johannine Literature

2. Six Credits from:

 (a) Tradition Shaped in the Crucible of History

  • THO 3123 The Medieval Church (600-1400 CE)
  • THO 3124 The Church in the Reformation Period (1400-1648 CE)
  • THO 3167 Early Christianity: The First Five Centuries (0-600 CE)
  • THO 3250 Modern and Contemporary Church History (1648 – present)

Elective Courses: 3 credits

Students anticipating further theological studies in advanced degree programs are urged to consider the study of Latin, biblical Greek or biblical Hebrew in order to study texts in their original language. The may also choose elective courses from among those not chosen above or any other course approved by the Faculty of Theology.

IPA 4321 - PASTORAL MINISTRY AND PSYCHOLOGY

Interaction between theology and psychology with reference to pastoral ministry, the experience of the believer, the development of faith and of religious attitudes. The pastoral implications of psychological theories of the individual and his/her social relations: impact on cognitive processes, emotion, behaviour, competence, values. Psychological perspectives on the pastoral minister's practice, role and identity.

IPA 4322 - Sociological Perspectives on Christian Community

Interaction between theology and sociology with reference to pastoral ministry. A study of the pastoral implications of socio-historical structures, and of social and cultural change. Analysis of how the social milieu forms the way people think, feel and act, and the reflection on the importance of this formation for values and beliefs. Sociological perspectives on Christian communities' practice, role and identity.

IPA 4481 - Practicum in Ministry and Service I

Students are engaged in the practice of ministry while working under supervision in a local church or other ministry setting (5 hours per week). The student is introduced to theological, sociological, and psychological theories in order to become a reflective practitioner in context. The student will become familiar with basic resources for intentional practice: creation of a pastoral profile; learning contracts; disciplined individual and group reflection; supervisory relationships; introduction to professional ethics. Cognitive, behavioural, motivational, and emotional components are related to individual, social, and interpersonal life.

IPA 4482 - Practicum in Ministry and Service II

In collaboration with a supervisor, the student identifies learning goals that emerge from pastoral practice I (e.g., relationships, leadership in community, conflict resolution skills). Development of action plans for ministry and learning in a local church or other ministry setting (5 hours per week). Emphasis is placed on critical, informed involvement, resource and time management, cultivation of collegial and co-responsible lay and ordained leadership in ministry.

Prerequisite: IPA 4481.

THO 2130 - Foundations of Eastern Christian Theology

Revelation, and our access to it. The Trinitarian nature of Revelation. Interaction of Logos and Spirit in the process of Holy Tradition. Scripture within and above Tradition. The sources of Tradition: Bible, Councils, Creeds, Fathers, Liturgy, Icons, etc. Tradition vs. traditionalism. Questions of theological method.

THO 2131 - General Introduction to the Eastern Churches

A general survey of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches of the East, with attention to the history as well as the theological, liturgical and spiritual traditions of ecclesiological considerations: Church as an image of the Trinity; Church as communion of eucharistic communities; Church as eschatological reality. Pentarchy and Papacy; The conciliar process "sobornost".

THO 2189 - Can we talk about God?

An exploration of the origins of Theology as a discipline, of significant moments in its historical development, of its presuppositions, methods, and the basic questions it seeks to answer.

THO 3123 - The Medieval Church (600-1400 CE)

An examination of church history in the Middle Ages with attention to key figures, movements, and developments in church theology and practice.

THO 3124 - The Church in the Reformation Period (1400-1648 CE)

A study of church history from 1400 to 1648, movements of Catholic and Protestant Reform, significant social and cultural developments and their influence on the evolution of theology and church structures.

THO 3160 - Introduction to the Old Testament: Pentateuch and Historical Books

An introduction to the writings of the Old Testament through the study of the Pentateuch and Historical Books, with particular attention to their historical and cultural context, the role of the Yahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist and Priestly traditions, and Deuteronomist History.

THO 3161 - Introduction to the New Testament: Synoptic Gospels

An introduction to the study of the New Testament through a critical study of the Gospels of Mark, Matthew and Luke. Attention to the cultural and religious context of the New Testament and history of the formation of the Gospels; contemporary methods of biblical interpretation.

THO 3162 - Christian Faith: Encounter with a Self-Revealing God

A Christian theology of revelation: Creation as a locus for revelation; reflection on how God has spoken in the history of Israel; fulfillment of revelation in Jesus Christ; impact of divine self-disclosure in shaping early Christian communities; faith as a human response to divine self-disclosure; implications for understanding the inspiration of Sacred Scripture and the meaning of Tradition; Christian revelation and other world religions.

THO 3165 - Ecclesiology in an Ecumenical Age

The church as a sign of communion and salvation in service of the human community. Catholic ecclesial self-understanding, the unity of the Christian churches, structuring of ministries, the laity, and diversity of life within a world church.

THO 3166 - The Good Life: Ethics and Christian Tradition

An introduction to the field of ethics within theology. Historical development of ethical approaches within theology. Constitutive elements of moral existence. Moral existence and Christian faith.

THO 3167 - Early Christianity: The First Five Centuries (0 – 600 CE)

Exploring the relationship between history and theology, methodologies of historical research. Survey of the historical evolution of Christianity from its beginnings to the end of the fifth century, with attention to early Christological debates.

THO 3168 - Ways of Christian Life and Prayer – Spirituality

Exploring the nature of Christian spirituality, its definition, foundation, diverse expressions; major periods and movements of Christian spirituality; the importance of spirituality for theological reflection and personal integration.

THO 3172 - Faith and Contemporary Culture

An exploration of the dialogical stance of the Christian churches, at once learning from the riches of contemporary culture and sent in service to the human community. Challenges to the enculturation of the gospel. Contextualization of theologies to reflect the lives of particular communities.

THO 3250 - Modern and Contemporary Church History (1648 – present)

A study of church history from the era of confessionalisation, through the period of European revolutions, to the modern ecumenical age. Significant social and cultural shifts, in particular the changing relations of church and state, their impact on theology and ecclesial life.

THO 3251 - Byzantine and Slavic Church History

Christianity in the eastern half of the Roman Empire from the fourth to fifteenth centuries; and the East- and South-Slavic Churches from the era of Cyril and Methodius (ninth century) to the present.

THO 3301 - Hermeneutics and Exegesis in Eastern Christianity

Patristic approaches to Scripture. Literal and non-literal exegesis. Allegory, theoria, typology. Alexandrian and Antiochene schools. Scripture in Byzantine worship. Contemporary Orthodox authors.

THO 3305 - Eastern Christianity and the Encounter with World Religions

Study of the interaction between the Eastern Churches and other world religions over the centuries. Issues in the life of the Church today which arise out of this encounter.

THO 3309 - Contemporary Moral Issues in Eastern Theology

A survey of moral thought in modern Eastern Christian authors and ecclesiastical pronouncements in the areas of both personal and social morality, with special attention to emerging thought in the areas of bioethics, sexual ethics, and a response to social, political, and technological changes in the world today.

THO 3315 - Eastern Christian Doctrine II: Salvation, Humanity, the Church and Eschatology

The human person before God. Creation, fall, and salvation in their anthropological and cosmological aspects, as well as an examination of understanding of the Church, according to the ancient and modern exponents of the tradition of the Christian East.

THO 3316 - Ecclesiology and East-West Ecumenism

Inculturation of the Gospel: the cultures of the Mediterranean basin and their Christianization. Growing diversity in the Church. Doctrinal, liturgical and politico-social issues involved in the estrangement of the East and West. Schisms and their healing. Unionistic activity. Modern ecumenism and East-West relations.

THO 3318 - Eastern Christian Spirituality

The sacramental foundations. Major trends. Contemplation and praxis. Forms of holiness.

THO 3319 - Eastern Christian Doctrine I: Trinity, Christ and Holy Spirit

Essence and Energies in God. God as Three and One. Christ as Divine and Human. The procession and activity of the Holy Spirit.

THO 3322 - Byzantine Eucharistic Liturgies

Historical evolution and theological analysis of the Byzantine liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil, St. James, and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.

THO 3323 - Canonical Tradition of the Christian East

The Eastern Churches and ecclesial communion. Historical development of the canonical tradition of the Eastern Churches, both Orthodox and Catholic. The teaching of Vatican II and post-conciliar documents on the Eastern Churches. The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. General principles of Eastern Catholic canon law with particular reference to the dispensing authority of ordinaries. Ecclesial institutions: eparchies, parishes. General principles of Eastern sacramental legislation.

THO 3324 - Introduction to Eastern Christian Ethics

An overview of the distinctive sources, history, spirit and methods of Eastern Christian ethics, past and present.

THO 3328 - The Holy Mysteries: Byzantine Sacraments

The Holy Mysteries in the Byzantine tradition. Historical, theological and practical considerations. The Seven Sacraments and the issue of other sacraments. Sacramentality of the world and the Church.

THO 3338 - Byzantine Liturgical Celebration

Elements of good liturgical style for both presiding and participating in Byzantine liturgy. Byzantine hymnographic books. The irmologion, the hlasopisnets, Kyivan and Galician tonal systems. Historical, theological and practical considerations.

THO 3347 - Byzantine Liturgy of the Hours and Liturgical Year

Vespers, Matins, Lesser Hours, and the liturgical seasons and feasts of the Byzantine tradition. Theologies of time and ritual. Historical, pastoral, and theoretical considerations.

THO 4100 - Wisdom Texts and Intertestamental Literature

Wisdom Texts and Intertestamental Literature.

Prerequisite: THO 3160.

THO 4101 - The Prophetic Books

General introduction to the prophets through a chronological study, with attention to their cultural and religious contexts. The evolution of prophetic literature towards an apocalyptic form.

Prerequisite: THO 3160.

THO 4102 - Pauline Literature and Theology

An overview of the life of Paul and his work. Exegesis of selected letters, with attention to key themes in Paul’s theology.

Prerequisite: THO 3161.

THO 4103 - Johannine Literature

A study of Johannine writings, their structure, theology, and cultural setting. Exegesis of selected passages in the Gospel of John and Letters of John, and the Apocalypse.

Prerequisite: THO 3161.

THO 4124 - Feminist Perspectives in Theology

An introduction to feminist perspectives and methods of interpretation and their application to the study of the Christian tradition. The contributions of major feminist theologians; issues in contemporary debate.

Prerequisite: THO 3166.

THO 4202 - Global Christianity

An exploration of the emergence in the twentieth century of Christianity as a worldwide faith. The changing face of Christianity, with attention to the changing demographics diverse "families" of churches and the developments in differing geographic regions.

THO 4203 - Christianity in a Secular Age

Christian faith in a world of religious pluralism; church and state; freedom of religion; differing approaches to the secularity and secularism. Dialogue between faith and science, faith and atheism.

THO 4206 - Personal Integration Seminar

Theological reflection on the experience of ministry and service in a supervised setting (5 hours per week). Development of goals for continuous learning and integration. Personal identity as a minister, including the capacities for shared leadership, pastoral effectiveness according to context.

Prerequisite: IPA4482.

Print the Course Sequence

 

Master of Divinity

 

 Main Program

1st Year

IPA 4481
THO 2130
THO 2131
THO 3160
THO 3161
THO 3301
THO 3316
THO 3324
THO 3328
1 COURSE FROM: THO 2189;THO 3162

2nd Year

IPA 4482
THO 3318
THO 3319
THO 3322
THO 3323
THO 3338
THO 3347
1 COURSE FROM: THO 3172; THO 4124; THO 4202;THO 4203
1 COURSE FROM: IPA 4322;THO 3165
1 COURSE FROM: IPA 4321;THO 3166; THO 3168

3rd Year

THO 3251
THO 3305
THO 3309
THO 3315
THO 4206
1 COURSE FROM: THO 4100;THO 4101
1 COURSE FROM: THO 4102;THO 4103
2 COURSES FROM: THO 3123 THO 3124; THO 3167;THO 3250
ONE ELECTIVE COURSE

*This recommended course sequence can be modified depending on Saint Paul University's annual course offering or a student's choices.

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K1S 1C4

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