The specialization will enable students to study the largely unexplored interface among Indigenous religions, Judaism, and Christianity. Through course work and integrating seminars, students will treat pedagogically matters which cross a number of spiritual, cultural and intellectual boundaries. 24 credit hours will be allocated among:
- Advanced textual or oral narrative study – 3 credits
- Language – 3 credits
- Indigenous epistemologies – 3 credits
- Integrating Seminar – 3 credits
- Senior electives, including independent study options – 6 credits
- Culminating assignment – 6 credits
All electives must be in related fields.
In the case of language studies, if a scriptural language is chosen, credit will be given only for courses that involve reading of texts (second year of study or greater). For the study of an Indigenous language, one year of study of the language within its cultural context is expected.
Each candidate must demonstrate a sufficient mastery of the Indigenous, ancient or modern language required for the Culminating Assignment before that assignment is undertaken.
All work for any course undertaken as a part of the ThM program must be completed within one month of the end of the term in which the student registered for the course.
Distinctive Resources Needed
In addition to its own core and adjunct faculty, VST has available the necessary resources for the specialization. VST and the Inter-religious Studies Program offer expertise in the Abrahamic traditions* and will bring visiting scholars, post-doctoral fellows and other specialists to the degree courses. Through the Indigenous Studies Program, VST’s partnership with the Centre for Indian Scholars, the Native Ministries Consortium and Wilp Wilxo’oskwhl Nisga’a Institute 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 provides other research interactions.
Students will have three options for their culminating evaluative exercise:
- A Directed Studies project and oral examination
- A 90- to 120-page thesis (22,500 to 30,000 words)
- A publishable article
*At present courses, course units, and lectures on Islam are offered regularly at VST and nearby institutions. Given that currently we do not have a full-time faculty member specializing in Islam, however, we are not able at this time to offer a specialization in Islam within the ThM degree program.