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.
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Compulsory Courses: 63 credits
Optional Courses: 24 credits
1. Three Credits from each category:
(a) Learning to Think Theologically
(b) Contextual Issues in Church and Theology
(c) Spiritual Depth and Moral Integrity
(d) Perspectives on the Church in the Modern World
(e) Old Testament Sources
(f) New Testament Sources
2. Six Credits from:
(a) Tradition Shaped in the Crucible of History
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
Patristic approaches to Scripture. Literal and non-literal exegesis. Allegory, theoria, typology. Alexandrian and Antiochene schools. Scripture in Byzantine worship. Contemporary Orthodox authors.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The sacramental foundations. Major trends. Contemplation and praxis. Forms of holiness.
Essence and Energies in God. God as Three and One. Christ as Divine and Human. The procession and activity of the Holy Spirit.
Historical evolution and theological analysis of the Byzantine liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil, St. James, and the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.
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.
An overview of the distinctive sources, history, spirit and methods of Eastern Christian ethics, past and present.
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.
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.
Vespers, Matins, Lesser Hours, and the liturgical seasons and feasts of the Byzantine tradition. Theologies of time and ritual. Historical, pastoral, and theoretical considerations.
Wisdom Texts and Intertestamental Literature.
Prerequisite: THO 3160.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Master of Divinity
*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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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada