Graduates of the program will be equipped and prepared to exercise a vocation of theological scholarship, characterized by independent initiative, personal responsibility, collegial cooperation, ethical behavior consistent with academic integrity, and an appreciation of the limitations of one’s own work and discipline, of the complexity of knowledge, and of the potential contributions of other interpretations, methods and disciplines.
This program allows students to concentrate their studies in one of four areas. Students will choose one of the following areas before beginning their courses:
Biblical Studies – This concentration is intended for those seeking an in depth and rigorous analysis of scripture from various perspectives along with biblical language training. Students choosing the Biblical Studies concentration are required to complete 6 credit-hours of either Biblical Hebrew or Biblical Greek as part of their coursework.
History and Theology – For those with a passion for history and theology, this program offers an opportunity to explore historical, ethical and constructive dimensions of the contemporary theological imagination. Students within this concentration are required to take at least 3 credit hours of advanced coursework in both historical and theological studies.
Practical Theology – This concentration offers an opportunity to bring together theory and practice to re-imagine and actively engage God’s world. Students in this concentration are required to take the PT500; PT502; PT610 or PT611, as well as a full-year PPL ‘studio’ (PT651/652) as part of their program (including all associated field placements).
Integrative Studies – A generalist’s choice, this concentration allows study in all the above subject areas and equips the degree-holder with a broad base of knowledge in theological studies. At least one advanced elective must be taken from each of the above concentrations.
A graduate of the MATS program at VST will:
- Demonstrate an introductory knowledge of theological disciplines,
- Apply appropriate hermeneutical methods to accomplish an introductory level interpretation of a biblical text both in its ancient context and in contemporary contexts
- Analyze the central topics in theology and engage in theological reflection in light of particular issues and topics and articulate an understanding of the theological task
- Demonstrate analytical skills applied to historical data such as use of primary and secondary source materials
- Demonstrate introductory level awareness of the content, methods, issues, and contexts of one other theological discipline (spirituality, public and pastoral leadership, inter-religious studies, Indigenous studies, or ethics)
- In the student’s discipline of concentration, identify the basic working concepts in the critical study of the discipline, offer discussion of the basic content of the discipline, and employ research skills sufficient to present the basic content of that discipline
- For an Integrative Studies concentration, demonstrate intermediate level familiarity with the content, methods, issues and contexts of two or more theological disciplines, and ability to make comparative and integrative judgments between or among the fields chosen
- Demonstrate proficiency in clear and effective communication in both oral and written forms; the construction of a logical argument; the making of informed judgments on complex issues, and the use of standard conventions of style for scholarly writing