The School of Religious Studies offers three different programs to graduate students
The School of Religious Studies in the Faculty of Arts offers graduate programs leading to Master of Arts (with and without thesis) (M.A.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) as well as programs leading to the degrees of Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.), which is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada (A.T.S.).
Coursework and supervision is divided into four areas of expertise: Asian Religions, Biblical Studies, Christian Thought & History, and Religion & Culture. Each of these are further specialized into sub-fields including: Philosophy of Religion, Religious Ethics, Hinduism, Buddhism, Interfaith Studies, Religion and Globalization, Sociology of Islam, Religion and Modernity, Religion and Communication, Religion and the Public Sphere, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, New Testament Studies and Christian History and Theology.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
The School of Religious Studies offers programs leading to the degrees of: Master of Arts (Thesis and Non-Thesis), Master of Arts (Thesis) with specialization in Bioethics, Master of Arts (Thesis) with option in Gender and Women’s Studies.
The purpose of the M.A. (Thesis) degree is to encourage advanced study and research in one of the disciplines of Religious Studies for those who wish to become scholars or teachers, or will be engaged in some field of religious or public service. The M.A. (Thesis) program in Religious Studies offers a specialization in Bioethics and an option in Gender and Women's Studies.
The M.A. without thesis is intended to ensure a student's well-rounded exposure to several religions and to several of the disciplinary approaches currently used in their academic study. Particular to this program is its ability to provide the student with the opportunity to develop three different research papers with reference to the student’s own interests in Religious Studies, under the supervision of professors from various parts of the University.
The graduate option in Gender and Women’s Studies is an interdisciplinary program for students who meet degree requirements in Religious Studies (and other participating academic units and faculties) and who wish to focus on gender-related issues and feminist research and methodologies. Research focus is on a topic relating to gender issues or women’s studies.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
The purpose of the Ph.D. program is to engage students in advanced academic studies normally in preparation for an academic career. The community of graduate scholars in this program is engaged in a broad spectrum of critical research involving any number of interdisciplinary approaches conducted on a number of different religious traditions. The faculty members are committed to the training of teaching scholars, making the School of Religious Studies one of few schools that prioritizes offering graduate students opportunities under faculty supervision to teach/lecture during their time in the program.
Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.)
The Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M.) is an advanced degree for students with a previous undergraduate degree in theology or a related subject. The S.T.M. program is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada.
The normal requirement is two years (of two terms each) of full-time study, but the degree may, by permission, be taken on a part-time basis.
The S.T.M. is meant for those who intend to enter the ministry of the Christian Church or another religious institution, or proceed to a teaching career or to some form of social work. This degree enables students to specialize in one area or discipline of theological study before or after the third year of the M.Div. and is unique in Canada. The S.T.M. program is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada.