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Master of Theological Studies - Eastern Christian Studies

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Program description

Theology is the study of the nature of God and religious belief. The Theology program encourages students to develop a critical approach to the problems and challenges facing modern society. The Master of Theological Studies is a two-year (60 cr.) second-entry  program, (that is, it requires a BA or its equivalent for admission but no prior theological training). As such, it is a general degree in theological education whose purpose is to provide students a basic understanding of theological disciplines in view of further studies in theology, or for general educational purposes. It also prepares students to do upper-level graduate study in subsequent years. For example, those who graduate with an M.T.S. are eligible to apply to the M.A., in Theology, a program in advanced theological research.

A summative exercise is required at the end of the degree, comprising either a comprehensive examination or a major research paper.

What you’ll learn

The M.T.S. is a general theological degree that is recognized by the Association of Theological Schools and has a wide appeal to mature students. The program provides a strong formation for students looking to develop a critical understanding of the heritage of the Christian tradition and its contributions to contemporary society and culture through dialogue and service.

Students will gain a broad, general knowledge of the Catholic theological tradition and the plurality of its expression, with the possibility of attaining a focused knowledge in a specific discipline or interdisciplinary theme. They will learn to think theologically through the acquisition of knowledge from across various theological disciplines, perspectives and methods. They will be prepared for service both within the church and society at large.

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 Canada’s national capital
  • For its diverse student population and international vision
  • For its solid reputation, experience, history and Catholic tradition

Career opportunities

  • Work in diocesan centers or various organizations such as Bishops’ Conferences
  • Publishing, especially in presses with a religion section
  • Writing for religious and secular media.
  • Resource person, expert or consultant in hospital, agencies, government services, professional organizations, companies, or in the business world.
  • Interreligious and ecumenical dialogue consultant
  • Theological advisors to Church-related organizations and in the business world

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 ability to succeed in a post-baccalaureate program of study attested through two academic letters of reference from professors familiar with the applicant’s previous academic work.

Compulsory Courses: 27 credits

  • 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 3167 Early Christianity: The First Five Centuries (0-600 CE)
  • THO 3301 Hermeneutics and Exegesis in Eastern Christianity
  • THO 3318 Eastern Christian Spirituality
  • THO 3324 Introduction to Eastern Christian Ethics
  • THO 3328 The Holy Mysteries: Byzantine Sacraments

Optional Courses: 15 credits

1. Three Credits from each category:

(a) Foundations for Dialogue with People of Other Faiths (3 cr.)

  • MIS 2108 Theory and Praxis of Interreligious Dialogue
  • THO 2410 Introduction to the Religions of the World
  • THO 3305 Eastern Christianity and the Encounter with World Religions

(b) Contextual Issues in Church and Theology (3 cr.)

  • THO 3172 Faith and Contemporary Culture
  • THO 3309 Contemporary Moral Issues in Eastern Theology
  • THO 3316 Ecclesiology and East-West Ecumenism
  • THO 4203 Christianity in a Secular Age

(c) Summative Exercise (3 cr.)

  • THO 4140 Theological Synthesis
  • THO 4207 Major Research Paper

2. Six Credits from:

 (a) Divine Self-Disclosure: The Foundation of Christian Hope (6 cr.)

  • THO 3319 Eastern Christian Doctrine I: Trinity, Christ, and Holy Spirit
  • THO 3315 Eastern Christian Doctrine II: Salvation, Humanity, the Church and Eschatology
  • THO 3325 Theology and Spirituality of Icons

Elective Courses: 18 credits

Students may choose elective courses from among those offered within the basic degree programs in theology. With the approval of the Faculty of Theology, they may also choose from among course offerings in Human Sciences (Philosophy, Conflict Studies, Social Communication, etc.) in order to pursue a theological theme from an interdisciplinary perspective. Those 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.

MIS 2108 - Theory and Praxis of Interreligious Dialogue

Dialogue as co-constitution of humans thanks to religious faith. Prerequisites and challenges involved in interreligious dialogue: in-depth dimension of faith; necessity of self-criticism; hermeneutic of religious convictions. Orthodoxy and orthopraxis. Harmony, conflict and end of religions.

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 2410 - Introduction to the Religions of the World

Introduction to the great faith traditions of the world understood from a Christian faith perspective; the influence of demographic and cultural shifts on religious identities and diversity; interactions with other faith communities.

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 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 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 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 3324 - Introduction to Eastern Christian Ethics

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

THO 3325 - Theology and Spirituality of Icons

Icons and image theory in Byzantine Christology and anthropology. Theology of icons, theology in icons. Use of icons in worship and personal prayer.

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 4140 - Theological Synthesis

The interrelationship and convergence of various divisions of theology. Critical considerations concerning theological method.

Prerequisite: 30 cr. theology.

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 4207 - Major Research Paper

The research paper, approximately 40 pages in length, will be evaluated by both the supervisor, who must be from the student's research field, and another professor from the Faculty of Theology.

Print the Course Sequence

 

MASTER OF THEOLOGICAL STUDIES (60 credits)

 

Main Program
14 courses
(42 credits)

Elective Courses
6 courses
(18 credits)

1st Year

THO 2130
THO 2131
THO 3160
THO 3161
THO 3301
THO 3118
THO 3324

3 courses

2nd Year

THO 3167
THO 3328
1 COURSE FROM: MIS 2108;THO 2410; THO 3305
1 COURSE FROM: THO 3172;THO 3309; THO 3316;THO 4203
1 COURSE FROM: THO 4140;THO 4207
2 COURSES FROM: THO 3319;THO 3315; THO 3325

3 courses

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

Contact Us

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Room 154
Saint Paul University
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Ottawa, ON
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CANADA

Telephone: 613-236-1393
Fax: 613-782-3014
admission@ustpaul.ca

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June 1 to August 14

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Saint Paul University

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1S 1C4

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