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Master of Divinity

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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 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 provide students a general theological education and a professional formation. Its aim is to prepare them for ordained and lay ministries and general pastoral leadership in Christian communities and other faith-based agencies serving the wider society.

The introduction of the M.Div. will allow students to pursue a more integrated program where theory and practice are linked more organically. Saint Paul University’s M.Div. distinguishes itself from that offered by other Ontario universities in its emphasis on education for dialogue and collaboration across ecumenical and interreligious boundaries, and its exploration of theology’s engagement with issues in contemporary culture.

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 cursus of study for the M.Div. is parallel to the requirements of the ecclesiastical Sacrae Theologiae Baccalaureatus (S.T.B.). Students registered in the M.Div. wishing to obtain the S.T.B. may be required to complete additional courses.

The M.Div. is a second-entry program. This program presupposes that students have already obtained a first post-secondary degree program or baccalaureate where they have developed basic research, critical thinking, oral and written communication skills.

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 Christian tradition, within the horizon of ecumenical diversity and religion 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: 45 credits

  • IPA 4321 Pastoral Ministry and Psychology
  • IPA 4322 Sociological Perspectives on Christian Community
  • IPA 4481 Practicum in Ministry and Service I
  • IPA 4482 Practicum in Ministry and Service II 
  • THO 2189 Can we talk about God?
  • THO 3160 Introduction to the Old Testament: Pentateuch and Historical Books
  • THO 3161 Introduction to the New Testament: Synoptic Gospels
  • THO 3162 Christian Faith: Encounter with a Self-Revealing God
  • THO 3165 Ecclesiology in an Ecumenical Age
  • THO 3166 The Good Life: Ethics and Christian Tradition
  • THO 3169 Liturgy Life of the Church
  • THO 3171 Introduction to Pastoral Practice I
  • THO 4201 Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist
  • THO 4205 Theology and Practice of Ministry
  • THO 4206 Personal Integration Seminar

Optional Courses: 45 credits

1. Three Credits from each category:

 (a) Old Testament Sources

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

 (b) New Testament Sources

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

 (c) Human Reality and Saving Mystery

  • THO 4107 Humanity: Creature and Creator
  • THO 4108 Grace and Christian Existence
  • THO 4109 Sin and the Question of Evil

 (d) Growing in Communion with Other Christians

  • THO 2167 Catholic Commitment to Ecumenism
  • THO 3175 Anglicans and Unity
  • THO 3316 Ecclesiology and East-West Ecumenism

 (e) Foundations for Dialogue with People of Other Faiths

  • MIS 2108 Theory and Praxis of Interreligious Dialogue
  • THO 2410 Introduction to the Religions of the World
  • THO 4204 Christianity and Religious Pluralism

 (f) 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

 (g) Christian Leadership

  • ECS 2123 Dialogue
  • THO 4302 Leadership in Faith Formation
  • THO 4303 Leadership in Christian Liturgy

2. Six Credits from each category:

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

  • THO 3163 The Christian God: Speaking of the Divine Mystery
  • THO 3164 Jesus the Christ and the Language of Christian Hope
  • THO 4125 Christologies, Past and Present

 (b) Gathered Together in Prayer and Praise

  • DCA 3106 Sacramental Law
  • THO 3170 Proclaiming the Word of God in the Liturgy
  • THO 3176 Theology of Christian Marriage
  • THO 4111 Sacraments of Healing: Reconciliation, Anointing, Funeral Rites

 (c) 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)

 (d) Spiritual Depth and Moral Integrity

  • THO 3168 Ways of Christian Life and Prayer – Spirituality
  • THO 4104 The Sexual Self and Ethics
  • THO 4105 Spirituality and Social Justice
  • THO 4106 The Ethics of Medicine, Sickness and Health

DCA 3106 - Sacramental Law

Sacraments and their celebration; legislation and rites; pastoral attitudes in the interpretation and application of law; in the case of students preparing for the priesthood, special attention given to the sacraments of penance and marriage in view of preparation for the examination for the faculty to hear confessions.

ECS 2123 - Dialogue

Examination of dialogue as a means of exploring hidden beliefs and the exchange of ideas between participants. Practical exercises that explore the use of dialogue as a means of resolving and transforming conflicts. Training in the use of structured dialogue in professional activities. Specificities of dialogue among ethnic and religious groups.

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.

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 2167 - Catholic Commitment to Ecumenism

A study of the basic principles of Catholic ecumenical engagement, the contributions to progress in unity through the study of selected inter-church dialogues. Implications for common prayer, common witness, and collaboration in ministry.

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 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 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 3163 - The Christian God: Speaking of the Divine Mystery

The self-disclosure of the mystery of God throughout history. Theological reflection on the mystery of God the Trinity; the caring God; the question of the suffering and compassionate God; the human experience of God; speaking of God in the context of contemporary culture.

THO 3164 - Jesus the Christ and the Language of Christian Hope

Understanding Jesus of Nazareth, his message and works. Theological interpretations of his death, resurrection, exaltation, and the eschatological event of salvation. Jesus as Messiah and Saviour, son of Mary and Son of God.

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 3169 - Liturgy Life of the Church

Exploring the common prayer of the Christian community through a consideration of sacred time, space, symbol, language and music; Jewish origins of Christian worship; the history of the Western liturgy. The structure and dynamics of the eucharistic liturgy, the liturgy of the hours, Sunday worship without a priest, the liturgical year, inculturation, and trends for the future.

THO 3170 - Proclaiming the Word of God in the Liturgy

The theology and practice of preaching in the context of the liturgy, with attention to the structure of the liturgical year and the Sunday lectionary of readings. Practical experience in the preparation and delivery of a homily.

THO 3171 - Introduction to Pastoral Practice I

Learning and growth in pastoral ministry through critical reflection in small groups and integration of academic knowledge, personal experience and the practice of ministry.

Prerequisite: 9 cr. Theology.

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 3175 - Anglicans and Unity

A study of ecumenical issues in Anglican history, in the work of major theologians, in contemporary ecumenical dialogues; the pastoral implications of full communion and interim agreements with ecumenical partners.

THO 3176 - Theology of Christian Marriage

The human reality and covenantal commitment of marriage considered from psychological, moral, social, and sacramental perspectives. Historical and cultural developments and their impact on the understanding of Christian marriage; religious and secular understandings of marriage in the contemporary context; inter-church and inter-faith marriage.

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 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 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 4104 - The Sexual Self and Ethics

The meaning of human sexuality in social, psychological and Christian perspective. Sexuality and personal growth. Discernment of moral values in sexual behaviour.

Prerequisite: THO 3166.

THO 4105 - Spirituality and Social Justice

The principles of Catholic social teaching and their significance for life in contemporary society and culture. The human being as personal and social being; respect for human rights; freedom in the socio-political context; society as the milieu of personal growth.

Prerequisite: THO 3166.

THO 4106 - The Ethics of Medicine, Sickness and Health

An exploration of contemporary ethical issues relating to health and the integrity of the human person: respect for human life; the right to physical integrity; genetics; abortion, euthanasia and the end of human life.

Prerequisite: THO 3166.

THO 4107 - Humanity: Creature and Creator

Christian anthropology. Responsibility and freedom of the human person as co-creator. Relationship between creation and redemption. Creation and a scientific world view. Ecology and theology.

Prerequisite: THO 3162.

THO 4108 - Grace and Christian Existence

Divine grace and human freedom. Historical development of the theology of grace. Christian existence as faith, hope, and love. God’s presence in the world and in the human person. Contemporary challenges.

Prerequisite: THO 3162.

THO 4109 - Sin and the Question of Evil

Understanding the meaning of sin: personal, social, and original. Conversion, finitude, culpability. The anthropological and Christian significance of suffering, death, and evil.

Prerequisite: THO 3162.

THO 4111 - Sacraments of Healing: Reconciliation, Anointing, Funeral Rites

The (Roman Catholic) Sacraments of Healing: Reconciliation/Penance, Anointing of the Sick, Viaticum. Funeral rites and pastoral concerns.

Prerequisite: THO 3169.

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 4125 - Christologies, Past and Present

Exploring the systematic understanding of the incarnation of God in Jesus the Christ, including the unity and diversity of Christologies in the New Testament; the development of the Christological dogmas; history of theological reflection on Jesus; modern Christologies; Christ and contemporary culture.

THO 4201 - Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist

Baptism as the foundation of Christian identity. The Rite for the Christian Initiation of Adults and its history. Infant baptism. Issues in Confirmation. Theology and contemporary questions in the celebration of the liturgy of the Eucharist.

Prerequisite: THO 3169.

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 4204 - Christianity and Religious Pluralism

Exploring theological approaches to the fact of religious pluralism. Historical perspectives on the question of salvation outside the church; Catholic teaching and commitment to dialogue with other faiths; exclusivist, inclusivist and pluralist approaches.

THO 4205 - Theology and Practice of Ministry

An exploration of the biblical foundation, historical evolution and modern developments in the ordering of ministries in the church, with attention to forms and practice of ordained and lay ecclesial ministries, and the vocation of the laity in the world.

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.

THO 4302 - Leadership in Faith Formation

Theological reflection on the practice and principles of catechesis. The development and growth of faith in current pastoral contexts. Methodologies, learning styles, growth processes and approaches tailored in view of various groups and settings.

THO 4303 - Leadership in Christian Liturgy

Theological reflection on the liturgical experience and expression of Christian communities. Principles, dynamics, and actualization of liturgical celebration, including sacraments, paraliturgies and prayer services. Roles and ministries in liturgical celebrations.

 

Print the Course Sequence

 

Master of Divinity

 

 Main Program

1st Year

IPA 4481
THO 2189
THO 3160
THO 3161
THO 3162
THO 3165
THO 3166
THO 3169
2 COURSES FROM: THO 3163;THO 3164; THO 4125

2nd Year

IPA 4482
THO 4201
1 COURSE FROM: THO 4100;THO 4101
1 COURSE FROM: THO 4102;THO 4103
1 COURSE FROM: THO 4107;THO 4108; THO 4109
1 COURSE FROM: THO 2167;THO 3175; THO 3316
1 COURSE FROM: MIS 2108;THO 2410; THO 4204
1 COURSE FROM: THO 3172;THO 4124; THO 4202;THO 4203
2 COURSES FROM: DCA 3106;THO 3170; THO 3176;THO 4111

3rd Year

IPA 4321
IPA 4322
THO 3171
THO 4205
THO 4206
1 COURSES FROM: ECS 2123; THO 4302;THO 4303
2 COURSES FROM: THO 3123; THO 3167; THO 3124; THO 3250
2 COURSES FROM: THO 3168; THO 4104; THO 4105; THO 4106

*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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