MDiv (Hon) - Master of Divinity (Honours)

The purpose of the Master of Divinity (Honours) degree is to give an enhanced preparation to students who are considering doctoral study and a teaching career in one of the areas of VST’s program of theology, but who also want the full scope of preparation offered by the MDiv degree. The MDiv (Hon) program will also provide the church with pastors and other leaders who have highly developed skills in specific areas of ministry, theology, spirituality, history, or bible.


Program Length
Distance Learning

Length of Program

The MDiv (Hon) degree program adds an additional 15 credit hours to the regular MDiv program for a total of 105 credit hours. Students entering this program should plan carefully in advance and should be aware that, in some cases, it may not be possible to complete the program in three years of study.


See MDiv


  • All requirements for the MDiv program
  • Three additional elective courses (9 credit hours) in the area or areas of concentration. Interdisciplinary projects are encouraged.
  • HON680: this 3-credit hour directed study reading course will provide the preparation and readings necessary for the writing of the major paper. Readings will be done in the student’s area of concentration. The readings course is typically supervised by the faculty advisor for the Honours Major Paper and the student will typically register for their readings course in the Fall term of their final year of study
  • HON699: A major research paper, for which a student is awarded 3 credit hours, is the final evaluation for the Honours MDiv degree program. A student will typically register for their major paper in the Spring term of their final year of study

Major Paper Guidelines

The major paper will be approximately 12,500 words (50 pages) in length and will have two readers, the primary faculty person working with the student on their readings course, and a second to be chosen by the primary faculty person in consultation with Public and Pastoral Leadership Committee.

The major paper is due by the 10th week of the final term of studies and must be approved by both readers. Any revisions required must be submitted by the last day of term prior to graduation.



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.


Students are eligible to apply to the Honours after completing all core courses (30 credit hours) in the MDiv. Application will be made to the Chair of the Public and Pastoral Leadership Committee and will include the student’s previous record and VST transcript to date. A Statement of Intent indicating the student’s proposed area of study, and one Reference Letter from a VST faculty member is also required for application to the MDiv (Hon).

Distance Learning

MDiv and MAPPL (ministry-oriented programs) require that 1/3 of the degree be completed on-site at VST’s main campus.

MATS and ThM (research-orientated programs) can be completed entirely via distance. The MAIIS has course requirements which are only available on-site and will require the student to come onto campus to complete those course requirements.

On-site requirements are fulfilled in 3 ways:

  • Intensive courses offered in the January Interterm or Summer School in which all students are present on campus for the entire course.
  • Hybrid courses in which distance students are present on campus for one intensive 3-day weekend and are connected by Zoom to the rest of the classes spread out over the semester. The intensive weekend falls mid-semester and contains over half the classes of the course (6); the other 5 classes of the course are accomplished through synchronous or asynchronous Zoom connections.
  • Specialized on-site weekend intensive courses in which all students are present for the entire course. These short courses (1 – 1.5 credit hours) are used for particular denominational requirements like polity courses or spiritual retreats. This format used in these courses helps address the needs for denominationally-relevant opportunities for interaction, peer learning, development of pastoral skills, and growth in personal, spiritual formation

Please contact the Registrar for more information,