About MST

The Montreal School of Theology is an ecumenical body consisting of three autonomous theological colleges affiliated with one of Canada’s leading universities, McGill University. Students of the School are registered at one of the denominational colleges (either the United Theological College or the Presbyterian College or the Montreal Diocesan Theological College). Students in the M.Div. program also have to register at McGill University.

Our Mission

The mission of the Montreal School of Theology is equipping faithful leaders for ordained and lay ministries in the church and the world.


We are committed to building a consortium that values:

  • Diversity
  • Being rooted in one’s own theological traditions
  • Building and being part of the larger church of Christ
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Engagement in the world
  • The intersection of scholarship and ministry

Our vision is to support a faith-based learning community within a collaborative ecumenical partnership, that encourages:

  • Biblical interpretation and theological reflection
  • Exploration of the Christian faith
  • Competency for missional leadership in a changing world
  • Integration of learning with life and witness
  • Personal faith development and spiritual formation
  • Personal integrity and authenticity
  • Understanding and respecting the faith of others
  • Engagement in the larger society in the Quebec context and beyond
  • Inter-disciplinary study
  • Life-long learning

We serve students and lay people from various Christian traditions and from around the world. We are committed to building a faculty with strong academic formation as well as ministerial and leadership experience.

Over 100 years ago, in 1914, a major ecumenical initiative in theological education was created in Montreal – we believe it was the first in North America and one of the first two or three in the world.

A group of colleges associated with McGill University came together, under the encouragement of lay business leadership, to provide education to future Christian leaders. These colleges – Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist and Congregational – kept their own identities, but worked together to provide strong teaching capabilities  – it was therefore a consortium, in which even to this day, students can be educated in their own denominational tradition, but with exposure to the traditions of other churches.

Over the years, membership has changed, and now include the Anglican, Presbyterian and United Church seminaries.

The consortium from the beginning has been affiliated with McGill University – students take their first two years of study in the highly regarded McGill School of Religious Studies, and then spend a final year in their own College.

The relationship with McGill has also evolved over the years, with the roles and responsibilities of the various parties most recently clarified and defined in a Memorandum of Agreement signed in 2016.

Building on this unique and successful heritage, the school looks forward to the future with renewed enthusiasm and vigour.

Montreal Birks MST

100th anniversary celebration

Representatives MDTC:

  • Ms. Jane Aitkens (Chair)
  • Rev. Eric Dyck
  • Rev. Dr. Jesse Zink
  • Mary Puddington

Representatives UTC:

  • Dr. James Vanstone
  • Ms. Ruth Sword
  • Ms. Renate Sutherland
  • Rev. Dr. Philip Joudrey

Representatives PC:

  • Mr. Donald Walcot (Vice Chair)
  • Rev. Dr. Dale Woods (Director)
  • Dr. Michael Pettem
  • Mr. Jim MacKinnon

Representatives McGill School of Religious Studies:

  • Prof. Garth Green
  • Prof. Torrance Kirby

Student representatives:

  • Jonathan Widell
  • Colleen Lowrie

Administrative support:

  • Joanna Duy

The Montreal School of Theology is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the US and Canada (ATS) since 1989.

ATS is a membership organization of more than 250 graduate schools that conduct post-baccalaureate professional and academic degree programs to educate persons for the practice of ministry and for teaching and research in the theological disciplines. The mission of The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada is to promote the improvement and enhancement of theological schools to the benefit of communities of faith and the broader public.

The Commission on Accrediting contact information is:
The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275 USA
Telephone: 412-788-6505
Fax: 412-788-6510
Website: www.ats.edu

Statement of Educational Effectiveness (Updated October 2017)

The Montreal School of Theology (MST) publishes this public Statement of Educational Effectiveness in accordance with the Standards of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). MST is a full member of ATS, which accredits programs of graduate theological education in the United States and Canada.

The mission of the Montreal School of Theology is to equip faithful leaders for ordained and lay ministries in the church and the world. In fulfillment of its mission, MST offers a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program designed to prepare people for professional ministry within a variety of contexts such as congregational or parish ministry, chaplaincy or spiritual care in institutional contexts, and outreach or community ministries.

Each year, the Montreal School of Theology evaluates learning outcomes and assesses student satisfaction with their educational experience using a variety of tools including a comprehensive learning effectiveness assessment program (LEAP), course evaluations, student-self evaluations, and the Graduate Student Questionnaire administered by ATS.

Graduate Student Survey

In 2016, graduating students were asked to evaluate MST’s educational effectiveness in facilitating key skill areas. For all skill areas, MST was ranked as either “effective” or “very effective. The highest ranked skill areas were:

  • Ability to think theologically
  • Ability to lead others
  • Ability to relate social issues to faith
  • Ability to work effectively within one’s own religious tradition
  • Ability in pastoral counselling
  • Ability to interact effectively with those of cultural/racial/ethnic traditions other than one’s own

Students were asked to explore their satisfaction with their experience at MST. All students (100%) indicated that they were satisfied overall with their experience at MST. The most important areas of satisfaction were:

  • Accessibility of faculty
  • Quality of teaching
  • Class size
  • Library resources

Time to Complete the Program

For graduates from 2013-14, the average completion time for the M.Div. was 3.3 years. Average completion time for our 2016 M.Div. graduates was 4 years. An increasing number of students at MST are part-time.

Vocational Placement of our Graduates

The Montreal School of Theology is a partnership of three denominational schools (Anglican, Presbyterian, and United Church of Canada). Most but not all of our students enter our program as candidates for ordained ministry from these denominations; thus, almost all of our students are ordained shortly after graduation and find employment in a congregational setting in their home denomination. Some of our students complete a year-long denominational internship after graduation and are ordained the following year.

  • Graduates in 2013: 83% employed in a ministry setting within one year of graduation
  • Graduates in 2014: 100 % employed in a ministry setting within one year of graduation
  • Graduates in 2015: 100 % employed in a ministry setting within one year of graduation
  • Graduates in 2016: 100 % employed in a ministry setting within one year of graduation

Assessing Educational Effectiveness

In 2015, MST began a new learning effectiveness assessment program (LEAP) to assess how effectively we are meeting learning outcomes for the program. Student portfolios, self-evaluations, and narrative evaluations by field education supervisors, faculty, and lay committees are analyzed using standardized rubrics to determine how effective our program is in teaching our six core M.Div. program goals. Each year, over a three-year cycle, two of the six goals are evaluated.

Our first three years of analysis demonstrated that:

  • Overall, MST appears to be successful in fulfilling its stated learning outcomes (over 95% of students for whom data is available meet or exceed core program learning outcomes)
  • Faculty-wide workshops to review recommendations from our LEAP analysis are proving valuable to improve our capacity to meet our learning outcomes
  • Our LEAP program has helped us to identify areas within our program that we need to strengthen (for example, refining integrative assignments, new course development).

The Montreal School of Theology is affiliated with the School of Religious Studies (SRS). This affiliation takes form throughout the M.Div. program and is reflected in the administrative and decision-making structure.

The first two years of the M.Div. correspond with the last two years of the Bachelor of Theology program at McGill (for details on the structure of the program please see M.Div. program structure).

The principals of the three theological colleges each have a seat on the B.Th. committee at McGill as well as on the Senate of McGill; the chair of the B.Th. committee and the Director of SRS have a seat on the Board of MST. The Director of SRS also has a seat on the MST Academic Committee.

In virtue of their respective charters, each of the member colleges of the Montreal School of Theology has authority to grant the Master of Divinity degree. In practice, however, none of the colleges exercises its right to grant the degree independently of the concurrence of the other two colleges. This concurrence is guaranteed through the cooperation of the colleges in the Montreal School of Theology. The Montreal School of Theology functions as the administrative body through which the colleges work together in the design, delivery and assessment of the educational program that leads to the M.Div. degree. It is, therefore, the Montreal School of Theology that determines whether a student has successfully met the requirements for the M.Div. degree. MST informs the student’s college to that effect. The college then approves the awarding of the degree to its own student(s) and concurs with the awarding of the degree to students of the other colleges.