M.A. in Theology

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The MA program is intended for candidates who already have a good basic formation in Theology, with courses in various areas of Theology such as systematic theology, history, biblical studies, ethics and spirituality.

It is designed to allow these students to gain greater familiarity with the various research methods in Theology, and to begin a specialization in a specific area, while promoting an integration of the theological formation already acquired.

Flexible in its structure, the program includes three courses that are periodically renewed, and that will allow students to tackle cutting edge topics directly related to modern questions and concerns that theology seeks to answer.

The program prepares students to teach at the undergraduate level, to undertake doctoral studies in Theology, and to assume administrative responsibilities in various institutions or organizations requiring a formation in religious studies or theology.

By virtue of the federation of Saint Paul University with the University of Ottawa, the Faculty of Theology of Saint Paul University offers graduate programs leading to the degrees conferred jointly by the senates of both universities.

To be admitted the candidate must:

  • hold an honours bachelor's degree (60 units in theology) or its equivalent, with a minimum B (70%) average; a candidate who holds an honours bachelor's degree, with a minimum B (70%) average but who has completed less than 60 units in theology (or their equivalent) will be required to do a Qualifying Year prior to enrolment in graduate courses.
  • have an active knowledge of either English or French is required.

Compulsory Courses (12 units)

THO6304 Theology in the 21st Century (3u)
THO6305 The Bible: How it Came to Be and its Scientific Interpretation (3u)
THO6334 Issues and Debates in Contemporary Ethics (3u)
THO6399 Methodologies in Theology (3u)

Optional Courses (MA with Research Paper: 9 units; MA with Thesis: 3 units)

To select in consultation with the student’s research supervisor and the director of graduate studies. The options are:

a) the following THO courses:

  • THO6301 Special Topics in Theology I (3u)
  • THO6302 Special Topics in Theology II (3u)
  • THO6303 Special Topics in Theology III (3u)

b) graduate courses offered by the Faculties of Canon Law, Human Sciences, Philosophy (Saint Paul University);

c) graduate courses offered in the University of Ottawa;

d) Any other graduate course approved by the director of graduate studies.


THO6999 Research Paper / Mémoire (6u)
THO7999 Master’s Thesis / Thèse de maîtrise (12u)

When deemed necessary by the director of graduate studies in consultation with the student’s research supervisor, the Faculty may require that the student must master either a modern language or an ancient language specifically related to the student’s field of research.

The student is evaluated on reading only, irrespective of the modern or ancient language selected. The student must be evaluated before the program is completed.

Subject to exceptions, the language requirements when they apply do not count toward the 27-unit degree requirement.

Fast-track from MA to PhD Program

Students enrolled in the MA program may be allowed to transfer to the PhD program without being required to write a master’s thesis provided they meet the following conditions:

  1. Achievement of an A- average in the last two years of undergraduate studies;
  2. Completion of at least four graduate courses (12 units) with a grade of A- or better in each;
  3. Written recommendation by the supervisor;
  4. Approval by the director of graduate studies.

The student must request permission to fast-track during the fourth term of registration or earlier and must register in the PhD in the fifth term at the latest. Following the transfer, all the requirements of the doctoral program must be met.


Students in either the MA (with Thesis) or MA (with Research Paper) may transfer between the two options and qualify for the MA as long as all degree requirements are completed.

THO 6301 - Special Topics in Theology I

A course whose content can vary, and which is renewed periodically, dealing with a specific theological matter.

THO 6302 - Special Topics in Theology II

A course whose content can vary and which is renewed periodically, dealing with a specific theological matter.

THO 6303 - Special Topics in Theology III

A course whose content can vary and which is renewed periodically, dealing with a specific theological matter.

THO 6304 - Theology in the 21st Century

The main historical landmarks of the theological world through the 20th and 21st centuries. The place and role of theology and theologians in a post-modern society. The main questions and debates in theology today. The relation between theological discourses and their expression in relation to cultures.

THO 6305 - The Bible: How it Came to Be and its Scientific Interpretation

The coming together of the biblical text (Old and New Testaments) over a period of nearly a thousand years. Birth of the canon and the issues related to this question. Theoretical and practical grasp of the main scientific methods used today in exegesis (historical-critical, narrative, socio-rhetorical, etc.).


Exploring in depth the basic concepts of theological tradition with regard to Christian ethics, as well as the main questions related to ethical research in a contemporary context. Reflection on what is at stake with regard to the public relevance of the Christian ethical discourse in a pluralist and multicultural society.


Various methodologies used in the main fields of theological research. Theoretical and practical aspects of writing a paper or a thesis: matters of research, defining the problem, a working hypothesis, choosing a method, bibliographical research, writing up the status questiones, etc.


The research paper, approximately 40 pages in length, aims at a deeper understanding of a precise theological topic, with the help of pertinent methodological tools.


The master’s thesis, about 100 pages long, must show that the student can work independently and in a rigorously scientific manner.

Contact Us

Office of the Associate Vice-Rector, Strategic Enrolment Management
Room 148
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, ON
K1S 1C4

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Telephone: 613-236-1393
Fax: 613-782-3014

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Please leave your documents in the mailbox in front of room 148 when our offices are closed.

Information for future students

Saint Paul University

223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1S 1C4


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