Master of Theological Studies

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This Theology program encourages students to develop a critical approach to the problems and challenges facing modern society. The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) 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.

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.

This degree is recognized by the Association of Theological Schools.

The diploma is conferred jointly by the senates of the University of Ottawa and Saint Paul University by virtue of the federation agreement between both institutions.

Why choose Saint Paul University?

  • For its solid reputation, history and Catholic tradition
  • For its internationally renowned professors
  • For its small classes on a human scale
  • For its affordable tuition fees and admission scholarships
  • For its bilingual setting in the heart of the national capital, ranked as the best place to live in Canada (MonseySense 2016 and 2017)
  • For its safe and friendly campus

 Career opportunities

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

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

Courses sequences

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 units)

THO2189 Can We Talk About God?
THO3160 Introduction to the Old Testament: Pentateuch and Historical Books
THO3161 Introduction to the New Testament: Synoptic Gospels
THO3162 Christian Faith: Encounter with a Self-Revealing God
THO3165 Community, Conflict, Salvation: Why the Church?
THO3166 The Good Life: Ethics and Christian Tradition
THO3167 Early Christianity: The First Five Centuries (0-600 CE)
THO3168 Ways of Christian Life and Prayer – Spiritual Life
THO3169 Liturgy and Experience

Optional Courses (15 units)

1. Three units from each category:

(a) Foundations for Dialogue with People of Other Faiths
MIS2108 Theory and Praxis of Interreligious Dialogue
THO2410 World Religions
THO4204 Christianity and Religious Pluralism

(b) Contextual Issues in Church and Theology
THO3172 Faith and Contemporary Culture
THO4124 Feminist Perspectives in Theology
THO4202 Global Christianity
THO4203 Christianity in a Secular Age

(c) Summative Exercise
THO4140 Theological Synthesis
THO4207 Major Research Paper

2. Six units from:

(a) Divine Self-Disclosure: The Foundation of Christian Hope
THO3163 The Christian God: Speaking of the Divine Mystery
THO3164 Who is Jesus Christ?
THO4125 Christologies, Past and Present

Elective Courses (18 units)

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 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 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 - Who is Jesus Christ?

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 - Community, Conflict, Salvation: Why the Church?

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. Contemporary crises in the 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 – Spiritual Life

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 and Experience

Exploring the dimensions of human experience in terms of the common prayer of the Christian community through a consideration of sacred time, space, symbols, 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, the liturgical year, and inculturation.

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 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 4140 - Theological Synthesis

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

Prerequisite: 30 cr. theology.

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 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.

Contact Us

Office of Admissions, Registrar and Student Services
Room 154
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, ON
K1S 1C4

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

Hours of Operation

August 15 to May 31

Monday to Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

June 1 to August 14

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

Information for future students

Saint Paul University

223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1S 1C4


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