Master of Theological Studies (MTS)

The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) at St. Stephen’s College invites students to encounter diverse faith traditions and cultures in ways that enrich their person and deepen their social engagement. The core courses are oriented toward cross-cultural and inter-religious experiences, personal and intellectual formation, and development in community leadership. Dedicated study tracks allow students to specialize in ways that deepen their spiritual understanding and/or focus on one of several vocational fields. The MTS can be taken as either a 42-credit course-based degree or a 48-credit thesis-based honours degree.

MTS Learning Objectives

Students who complete the Master of Theological Studies will:

  1. Demonstrate a growing capacity to honour and engage differences in individuals, communities, and social issues
  2. Have an increased capacity for spiritual and theological reflection
  3. Be able to articulate how leadership engages diverse faith commitments
  4. Have demonstrated a capacity for critical thought and cogent communication

MTS SpecializationS

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Faith and Culture Specialization

The MTS in Faith and Culture is an academic degree that is open to students across denominations and faith-traditions. Designed for students who wish to deepen their appreciation of the diverse expressions of human spiritual awareness in our society, this degree combines the study of religious traditions as well as contemporary developments. Students who desire a challenging program of self-enrichment, wish to augment their professional practice with a greater understanding of the human spirit, or prepare to pursue further doctoral studies in theology, will be drawn to this stream.

Additional Learning Objectives:

In addition to the core MTS learning objectives, students who complete the MTS in Faith and Culture will:

5.  Have deepened their appreciation of diverse expressions of human spiritual awareness.

 

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Spiritual Care Specialization

The Spiritual Care Specialization is an academic-professional degree that equips students with the foundational skills and aptitudes needed for a variety of spiritual care or chaplaincy contexts (such as healthcare, prisons, the military, postsecondary, business and corporations, inner-city/street organizations, and civil services such as city, police, fire). Curriculum in this specialization is designed to equip students in four areas of competency: (a) skills for professional spiritual care practice, (b) disciplines for self-knowledge and selfcare, (c) leadership skills, and (d) the ability to engage in spiritual care across lines of diversity and difference. This specialization has been developed through a partnership of St. Stephen’s College with four other theological colleges in the Province of Alberta: Ambrose Seminary (Calgary), Taylor College and Seminary (Edmonton), Newman Theological College (Edmonton), and Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary and College (Cochrane).

Additional Learning Objectives:

In addition to the core MTS learning objectives, students who complete the MTS in Spiritual Care will:

5.  Be able to demonstrate skills for professional spiritual care in ways that honour and engage diverse faith commitments and worldviews.

6.  Demonstrate disciplines for self-knowledge and selfcare.

 

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Contemplation, the Arts, and Social Engagement

The Contemplation, the Arts, and Social Engagement Specialization offers students the opportunity to integrate the arts into contemplative practice and societal engagement. Students will explore how aesthetic practices of different faith traditions connect to human health and wholeness. This stream includes opportunities to deepen the professional practice of those studying or already working in the field of spiritual direction.

Additional Learning Objectives:

In addition, students in the Contemplation, the Arts, and Social Engagement specialization will:

5.  Demonstrate a growing capacity to connect art to contemplative practices and social engagement.

6.  Be able to articulate how the wholeness of body, mind, and spirit has been understood within various traditions and/or worldviews.

 

Length of Program

Students taking a full course load can complete the MTS in three years. Many students take four or five years to complete the degree. Students must complete all requirements within seven years from the date on which they register in the program. Extensions beyond the seventh year are considered in exceptional circumstances (see Program Extensions policy).

General Program Information

MTS: Faith and Culture Specialization Requirements 42 Credits Course-Based; 48 Credits Thesis-Based Honours
MTS CORE COURSES (15 credits) Credits
SSC535V Theological Studies Collegium (enrolled for three years) 0
SSC511 Introduction to Theology: Wisdom and Interreligious Theology 3
SSC547 Diversity in Faith and Culture 3
SSC5028 Scriptures and Sacred Stories 3
SSC539 Leadership: Power, Privilege, and Allyship 3
SSC579V Graduate Academic Skills 3
SPECIALIZATION COURSES (21 credits)
SSC501 Hebrew Scriptures, or approved substitute 3
SSC505 Christian Scriptures, or approved substitute 3
SSC521 Sacred History, or approved substitute 3
SSC5540 Spirituality: Contemplation to Action 3
SSC5154 Intersectional Theology 3
Elective 3
Elective 3
FINAL WRITING PROJECT (6 OR 12 CREDITS)
SSC5710/771 Inquiry, Research and Evaluation 3
Culminating Paper (3cr) or Thesis (9cr) 3/9

Course-Based Stream: Student’s complete a 30-40 page Culminating Paper. This project of guided review, research and reflection integrates learning in the area of the student’s specialization. It is designed to demonstrate the researcher’s ability to correlate learning from a variety of disciplines and integrate theoretical and personal meaning within a professional setting. The focus of the study is within the student’s area of major concentration. The Culminating Paper must not involve research with human subjects.

Thesis-Based Honours Stream: Students in the Honours stream complete a 100-150 page, formally written thesis based upon the student’s research of a stated question. The thesis integrates an introduction, a thorough literature review, explication of methodology, data presentation and analysis, and a summary of findings, conclusions, and synthesis. It is intended to address not only the candidate’s research interest, but to make a contribution to the body of knowledge in that field. Upon approval of the thesis proposal, students pay a thesis fee. Note: Students may choose from a variety of arts-based research methodologies, incorporating visual arts, music, dance, theatre, etc.

MTS: Spiritual Care Specialization Requirements 42 Credit Course-Based; 48 Credit Thesis-Based Honours
MTS CORE COURSES (15 credits) Credits
SSC535V Theological Studies Collegium (enrolled for three years) 0
SSC511 Introduction to Theology: Wisdom and Interreligious Theology 3
SSC547 Diversity in Faith and Culture 3
SSC5028 Scriptures and Sacred Stories 3
SSC539 Leadership: Power, Privilege, and Allyship 3
SSC579V Graduate Academic Skills 3
SPECIALIZATION COURSES (21 credits)
One of: SSC589 Theological Reflection in Professional Practice, SC501 Foundations of Spiritual Care (Ambrose) 3
One of: PPSYC583 Professional Ethics in Psychotherapy and Spiritual Care, SC625 Professional Ethics (Ambrose), STP576 Bioethics: Moral Issues from Life Sciences (Newman) 3
One of: LE503 Leadership & Leadership Formation (Ambrose), 2P3231 Spiritual Leadership (CSBSC) 3
Either: CPE5889 Supervised Pastoral Education (6cr), or approved Field Placement plus Elective (total 6cr) from list of approved Spiritual Care courses at participating Colleges 6
Spiritual Care Elective from list of approved Spiritual Care courses at participating Colleges (3cr) 3
Elective 3
FINAL WRITING PROJECT (6 OR 12 CREDITS)
SSC5710/771 Inquiry, Research and Evaluation 3
Culminating Paper (3cr) or Thesis (9cr) 3/9

Course-Based Stream: Student’s complete a 30-40 page Culminating Paper. This project of guided review, research and reflection integrates learning in the area of the student’s specialization. It is designed to demonstrate the researcher’s ability to correlate learning from a variety of disciplines and integrate theoretical and personal meaning within a professional setting. The focus of the study is within the student’s area of major concentration. The Culminating Paper must not involve research with human subjects.

Thesis-Based Honours Stream: Students in the Honours stream complete a 100-150 page, formally written thesis based upon the student’s research of a stated question. The thesis integrates an introduction, a thorough literature review, explication of methodology, data presentation and analysis, and a summary of findings, conclusions, and synthesis. It is intended to address not only the candidate’s research interest, but to make a contribution to the body of knowledge in that field. Upon approval of the thesis proposal, students pay a thesis fee. Note: Students may choose from a variety of arts-based research methodologies, incorporating visual arts, music, dance, theatre, etc.

MTS: Contemplation, the Arts, and Social Engagement Requirements 42 Credits Course-Based; 48 Credits Thesis-Based Honours
MTS CORE COURSES (15 credits) Credits
SSC535V Theological Studies Collegium (enrolled for three years) 0
SSC511 Introduction to Theology: Wisdom and Interreligious Theology 3
SSC547 Diversity in Faith and Culture 3
SSC5028 Scriptures and Sacred Stories 3
SSC539 Leadership: Power, Privilege, and Allyship 3
SSC579V Graduate Academic Skills 3
SPECIALIZATION COURSES (21 credits)
Spirituality: Contemplation to Action (SSC 5540) 3
Pathways to Wholeness: Wisdom from the Desert, the Mountain, and the Cosmos (SSC 548) 3
Theological Reflection in Professional Practice (SSC 589) 3
Sacred Beauty: Theology through the Arts (SSC 5152), or an elective in either Art Studio or Contemplative Practice 3
Elective, or approved Spiritual Direction Program 3
Elective, or approved Spiritual Direction Program 3
FINAL WRITING PROJECT (6 OR 12 CREDITS)
SSC5710/771 Inquiry, Research and Evaluation 3
Culminating Paper (3cr) or Thesis (9cr) 3/9

Course-Based Stream: Student’s complete a 30-40 page Culminating Paper. This project of guided review, research and reflection integrates learning in the area of the student’s specialization. It is designed to demonstrate the researcher’s ability to correlate learning from a variety of disciplines and integrate theoretical and personal meaning within a professional setting. The focus of the study is within the student’s area of major concentration. The Culminating Paper must not involve research with human subjects.

Thesis-Based Honours Stream: Students in the Honours stream complete a 100-150 page, formally written thesis based upon the student’s research of a stated question. The thesis integrates an introduction, a thorough literature review, explication of methodology, data presentation and analysis, and a summary of findings, conclusions, and synthesis. It is intended to address not only the candidate’s research interest, but to make a contribution to the body of knowledge in that field. Upon approval of the thesis proposal, students pay a thesis fee. Note: Students may choose from a variety of arts-based research methodologies, incorporating visual arts, music, dance, theatre, etc.

Approved Spiritual Care Courses at Participating Colleges

TAKING COURSES AT OTHER THEOLOGICAL COLLEGES

Students at St. Stephen’s College are permitted to enrol in any of the courses listed below, even when those courses are offered by a college other than St. Stephen’s. Each college maintains their own course registration process; students of St. Stephen’s must contact the registrar of the partner college to enrol in their desired course. Students are required to pay the tuition rate as set by the college offering the course. When transferring one of the approved courses back to St. Stephen’s College, students must complete a Transfer Credit Request form.

Course offerings and registration at the partnering colleges are as follows:

Complete List of Approved Spiritual Care Courses at Participating Colleges
Note: CPE (= 6 cr.) fulfills one Elective (3 cr.) + Field Education (3 cr.)

St. Stephen’s College
Theological Reflection in Professional Practice (SSC589)
Professional Ethics in Psychotherapy and Spiritual Care (PPSYC583)
Diversity in Faith and Culture (SSC547)
Spiritual Assessment in the Promotion of Health (SSC5823/INTD577)
Supervised Pastoral Education (CPE5889; 6 cr. Field Placement)

Ambrose Seminary
Foundations of Spiritual Care (SC501)
The Ministry of the Chaplain (SC610)
Introduction to Prison Chaplaincy (SC613)
Spiritual Care of the Dying (SC615)
Professional Ethics (SC625)
Leadership & Leadership Formation (LE503)
Leadership and Resilience (LE633)
Crisis Counselling (CC602)
Personal Formation & Development (PT501)
Intercultural Competence (MI502)
Pastoral Internship or Mentoring (PT712/721; 3 cr. Field Placement)
Intercultural Internship or Mentoring (MI712/720; 3 cr. Field Placement)
Clinical Pastoral Education (SC715/716; 6 cr. Field Placement)

Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary
Dealing with Conflict (2C1243)
Spiritual Formation (2P3215)
Spiritual Leadership (2P3231)
Capstone Ministry I & II (2P2341/2P2342; 3 cr. Field Placement)

Newman Theological College
Spiritual Direction (STP575)
Bioethics: Moral Issues from Life Sciences (STP576)
Introduction to Pastoral Counselling (STP586)
Theological Field Education (STP470; 3 cr. Field Placement)

Taylor College and Seminary
Gospel in Multi-Cultural/Faith World (MI620)
Personal Dev. & Ministry (PC431)
Crisis Intervention (PC632)
Spiritual Formation (PT540)
Field Education (FE442/443/444; 3 cr. Field Placement)

Application and Admissions Information
Admission Requirements
    1. Academic Requirements: Baccalaureate Degree from an institution of higher education approved by a Canadian provincial authority, or the demonstrated educational equivalent. Grade average minimum must be 72%/B/3.0 during last 60 credits of course weight.
    2. Personal Requirements: Willingness to engage in a program that is broadly ecumenical and multifaith, and readiness to engage deeply in personal and spiritual reflection as part of a learning community. These will be assessed through the applicant's written statements and admissions interview.
    3. Language Requirements: All applicants must be proficient in English prior to admission. Proficiency is demonstrated by either (a) possession of a prior degree where the primary language of instruction was English, (b) demonstration of sufficient coursework completed in English, or (c) a satisfactory score on an approved English language examination (either TOEFL iBT, IELTS, CAEL, or PTE Academic). For full details, see the "English Language Proficiency" section of the St. Stephen's College Academic Calendar.

Application Deadline: February 1 for Canadian and Permanent Resident applicants. November 1 for international applicants and applicants applying for a Baccalaureate equivalency review (equivalency fee $225); if equivalency is granted, applicants then pay the normal application fee.
Interview: Applicants will attend an admission interview as part of the application process. Intake interviews will reflect on the applicant’s learning goals and determine her/his appropriateness for admission to the program.

Orientation Day and Program Start Date: Upon admission, students are expected to register for the St. Stephen’s College Orientation Day (usually in early June). Incoming students can expect to take their first course in early June of their starting year.
Other Program Information

OPTIONS EQUIVALENT TO CREDIT

The following options are considered equivalent to credit in the MTS Program. Students must consult with the Department Chair prior to applying for equivalency; acceptance of equivalencies will be in accordance with program and course requirements, and will be at the discretion of the Chair. Equivalencies granted for work done prior to entry into the MTS program will apply to work no older than five years. Original certificate of completion must be presented to the Registrar’s Office.

ACADEMIC WORK EQUIVALENCY to ELECTIVE CREDITS
One unit Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) 6
Spiritual Direction Programs (Phase I & II) (eg. Jubilee Programs, Presence Program) 6
Healing the Healer Program, Providence Renewal Centre 6
Canadian Foundation for Trauma Research and Education (CFTRE) certificates in Self-Regulation Therapy® (SRT) SRT Foundation Level Certificate: 6cr
SRT Advanced Level Certificate: 6cr
Taking Flight International Corporation certificates in Trauma Recovery and Grief Support Trauma Recovery Certificate: 6cr
Grief Support Certificate: 3cr

OPPORTUNITES FOR SPIRITUAL CARE PROVIDERS

St. Stephen’s College—through many of its course offerings—supports students working towards professional certification by the Canadian Association for Spiritual Care/Association canadienne de soins spirituels (CASC/ACSS). Students seeking professional certification may need to take additional courses and training over and above the requirements of the MTS Degree Program. The onus will be on the student to consult with CASC/ACSS regarding certification categories and specifications; and to meet the expressed requirements of CASC/ACSS, both during and subsequent to their academic training.

TRANSFERRING FROM THE MTS DEGREE PROGRAM TO A GRADUATE CERTIFICATE

Students enrolled in the MTS program who do not wish to complete their Degree will have the option to transfer to the Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies or the Graduate Certificate in Spiritual Care program. Students opting out of the Degree Program would graduate with the Certificate instead—providing they have met its requirements (see Certificate descriptions above).

**Note: The Master of Theological Studies degree is conferred by St. Stephen's College, not by the University of Alberta. For more information, see our About Graduate Studies at SSC and Institutional Charter.

**Note: Prospective students applying for admission in 2022 should note that the MTS: Contemplation, the Arts, and Social Engagement stream received initial approval at the September 2021 meeting of the St. Stephen’s College Senate, and it will receive final approval at the February 2022 Senate meeting.


Apply Now!

Maureen Ferra
Business and Department of Theology Administrator

ferra@ualberta.ca
780.439.7311