MDiv - Master of Divinity

The Master of Divinity degree program is for those seeking an academic program with practical applications within which to explore the depth of their faith and prepare for a variety of public and pastoral ministries. VST’s Master of Divinity program is accepted for ordination by the Anglican, United and Presbyterian denominations in Canada and by the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. Many other denominations accept all or part of this degree program, though some require at least a year in their denominational schools. Students should check with their denomination for specific ordination requirements.

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Program Length
Outcomes
Courses
Admissions
Distance Learning

Length of Program

This 90-credit hour degree may be completed in three years of full-time study or it may be completed on a part-time basis. There is a limit of seven years from the date of initial enrollment to the completion of this degree.

Outcomes

A graduate of the MDiv program at VST will be equipped and prepared to exercise a vocation of theological scholarship in the service of the flourishing of God’s people:

Self and Contextual Knowledge

  • Articulate critical knowledge of self, one’s own denominational or faith tradition, and contemporary cultures, communities, and contexts both locally and globally.

Bible, Preaching and Worship

  • Demonstrate knowledge of biblical texts and their contexts in order to integrate biblical vision with contemporary realities in varied expressive formats such as preaching, teaching, and social ministry that witness effectively the mission of the church.
  • Demonstrate theoretical and practical knowledge of worship traditions and lead worship celebrations that interpret divine agency and hold space where God and people meet.

Pastoral and Public Leadership

  • Evidence spiritual maturity to care effectively for the pastoral and spiritual well-being of individuals, congregations, and communities.
  • Demonstrate deep formation within the student’s own denominational tradition.
  • Practice effective leadership in pastoral and public situations amidst a climate of change, being a sign of Christ’s presence while making use of and possibly going beyond current models of ministry.

Indigenous and Inter-Religious Studies

  • Demonstrate awareness of a variety of Indigenous ways of knowing and being and show willingness to engage the Indigenous community locally and advocate for Indigenous issues globally.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of and sensitivity to religious traditions other than one’s own and show ability to identify and engage in areas of ‘overlapping consensus’ for the good of the world.

Theology and History

  • Demonstrate knowledge of theology and history in the service of the flourishing of the church.

Integration

  • Demonstrate integration of knowledge drawn from scripture, history, and theology with spiritual and practical insights to analyze and respond imaginatively to contemporary challenges in the practice of ministry.

Courses

Biblical Studies

Historical and Theological Studies

Public and Pastoral Leadership

Elective Areas

Certain denominations will have their own requirements which students will take to fulfill the general requirements as outlined below.

  • 9 credits in the Practice of Public and Pastoral Leadership: (Pastoral Theology; Education; Liturgy; Homiletics; Denominational Studies)
  • 6 credits in Bible (3 credits in each Testament)
  • 6 credits in History
  • 6 credits in Theology
  • 3 credits in Religious Pluralism
  • 6 credits in Spirituality
  • 6 additional elective hours

Denominational Requirements

VST’s sponsoring denominations have designated courses that their candidates for ordination must take as part of a VST MDiv program. These courses fulfill all or part of the elective area requirements in the 90 credit-hour MDiv

Anglican Church Requirements

Presbyterian Church Requirements

United Church Requirements

Cross-Registration of Courses

Many of the courses offered at Regent or St. Mark’s College can be taken for VST credit. With the exception of Summer and online courses at Regent College (available only as transfer courses, if approved), VST students register and pay for the courses at VST rates and must acquire a cross-registration form from the Registrar’s office to be signed by the Registrar at Regent or St. Mark’s. For course listings see their websites (regent-college.edu or stmarkscollege.ca). Certain courses in the Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies department at UBC may also be available for transfer into your VST program. In all cases, the VST Registrar will confirm eligible courses for transfer.

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.

Admissions

An undergraduate degree is required, preferably in the humanities.

Distance Learning

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

MATS and MA IIS (research-orientated programs) require that 25% of the degree be completed on-site.

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, registrar@vst.edu.