Students will have two options for their culminating evaluative exercise:
- A Directed Studies project and oral examination (6)
- A 75- to 90-page thesis (6)
Cross-Registration of courses
VST has a relationship with UBC’s Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies (CNRS) Department that allows VST students to take graduate courses offered by that department as electives. For a course listing and detailed descriptions, please see the CNRS Department website (cnrs.ubc.ca). Students are also welcomed to take advantage of course offerings at Regent College and St. Mark’s College, our theological neighbours on the UBC campus. In all cases, the VST Registrar will confirm eligible courses for transfer.
Supervised Field Experience for MA IIS
Normally, a Supervised Field Experience (SFE) for a student in the MA IIS program is set up by VST in conjunction through the Inter-religious Studies Program or the Indigenous Studies Program. The SFE included the following elements:
- Agreement between VST, the student, and an approved Supervised Field Experience site with appropriate mentorship in an Indigenous, Christian, Jewish or Muslim community or organization, or in an Inter-religious organization.
- The equivalent of 13-15 hours per week at the field site over one or two semesters or in intensive format, totalling 260 – 300 hours.
- Naming of a mentor who can appropriately guide and evaluate the experiential and academic aspects of the experience, or naming of two mentors for those components respectively who agree to coordinate their supervision of the student.
- Establishment and reading of a relevant bibliography, averaging 50 pages/week.
- Establishment and accomplishment of evaluative exercises—written, oral, or performative, with a guideline of 12-15 pages per semester or the equivalent.
- Specification of a learning covenant at the beginning of the Field Experience, setting out the learning goals and agreements between the student and the mentor(s).
- A mid-term evaluation by the student and mentor(s).
- A final evaluation by the student and mentor(s).
In addition to its own core and adjunct faculty, VST has available a range of resources for the program. The Inter-religious Studies Program offers expertise in the Abrahamic traditions and will bring visiting scholars, post-doctoral fellows and other specialists to the degree courses. VST’s collaboration with Indigenous partners across North America makes available a number of traditional and academic educators in the field of Indigenous knowledge. Proximity to Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia and other Vancouver-area post-secondary institutions affords other research interactions, and appropriate course credits may be accepted from some of these institutions for transfer into the MA IIS, as determined by VST.
Information Literacy and Research Skills
All degree and diploma students are required to complete six hours of non-credit, no-fee research modules in Information Literacy. The modules will engage students in hands-on as well as theoretical work intended to develop knowledgeable, disciplined and critically astute researchers.
See the Research Skills Module Schedule for further information.