The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree is offered by the Colleges affiliated with the School of Religious Studies through the Montreal School of Theology.
Students who have completed a first degree prior to the Bachelor of Theology with a minimum CGPA of 2.7 are eligible to apply the B.Th. degree towards the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree conferred by the theological colleges.
The Master of Divinity Program is divided into two years of foundational studies at McGill School of Religious Studies (i.e. the Bachelor of Theology degree) and a year of professional studies, known as the In Ministry Year, offered jointly by the three affiliated theological Colleges under the auspices of the The Montreal School of Theology. The program is administered and monitored by the Academic Committee of the Montreal School of Theology, on which all three Colleges and the McGill School of Religious Studies are represented.
Students from the affiliated colleges may be eligible for bursary assistance if they are properly registered candidates for ministry. Information about church requirements and the professional year should be sought from the appropriate colleges.
One biblical language, usually Greek, is required by some of the colleges. Ministerial candidates should consult with their college advisors regarding biblical language requirements.
The primary language of work and instruction in the In-Ministry Year is English. However, students may write assignments and make class presentations in French. Wherever possible, field placements operating in French will be arranged for francophone students. Where the number of francophone or bilingual students makes it practicable, sections of the In-Ministry Year courses and seminar groups working in French will be arranged.
Both French and English are used in the community life of the theological colleges and in the conduct of liturgy.
The In-Ministry Year is an integrated program of personal and pastoral formation intended as an immediate preparation for the exercise of Christian ministry. It combines a major component of field education with course work in practical theology and pastoral subjects, reflective seminar groups, workshops, field trips, and the writing of an integrative paper.
While the program was developed primarily for the participating churches, the Montreal School of Theology welcomes students from other denominations and traditions, who are invited to participate through the sponsorship of one of the colleges. Admission to the In-Ministry Year may be granted to students who complete the Master of Sacred Theology, the Montreal Diocesan Theological College Reading and Tutorial Course, or the United Church of Canada short course. Combined with the In-Ministry Year, these courses lead to the accredited Diploma in Ministry.
Graduation requires the satisfactory completion of all the course and field components of the program. The field placement component needs to be satisfactorily completed or repeated as no "make-up" is possible in this area.
The BTh. and the Professional Year, which together make up the M.Div. program, are both certified by the Association of Theological Schools in U.S. and Canada.
About fifty percent of the In Ministry Year is spent by students in their field placements, where they minister to persons under the supervision of experienced pastors. In this situation students are led to integrate all aspects of theological learning and to develop the art of reflecting theologically on events in ministerial life. In this way growth in understanding and competence in practice are fostered. There is a close relationship between field experience and course work. Practical experience in the field is brought into the classroom for critical consideration, while the more theoretical learning of the classroom is expressed practically through work in the field placement.
Two and a half days a week are spent in course work at the colleges. Courses taken in common include Preaching, Pastoral Care and Counselling, Leadership, Education in the Church and Mission in Context. Each of the colleges offers courses specific to their denominations.
Workshops and field trips
At regular intervals throughout the year, time is set aside for an in-depth, experiential look at a particular subjects. A Workshop in Conflict Management is normally offered as well as field trips to examine first hand the problems of rural and inner city ministry. Particularly important among the field trips is a visit to Cuba at the beginning of the second term, a trip which has become the highlight of the year for many students.
The purpose of this paper is to provide students with an awareness of their own journey of faith, an understanding of the Gospel, the church and the world, and also the task of integrating these two into a theology of ministry which is reflected in the actual work of ordained people.