About MST

The Montreal School of Theology is an ecumenical body consisting of two autonomous theological colleges and a theological program affiliated with one of Canada’s leading universities, McGill University. Students of the School are registered at one of the denominational colleges (either 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 until 2022 it included the Anglican, Presbyterian and United Church seminaries. From 2022, there are two affiliated colleges (Presbyterian and Anglican) where the Anglican college offers a United Church Studies program.

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. Mary Puddington
  • Rev. Dr. Jesse Zink

Representatives UTC:

  • Cathy Hamilton

Representatives PC:

  • Mr. Donald Walcot (Chair)
  • Mr. Jim MacKinnon
  • Rev. Dr. Roland De Vries (MST Director)

Representatives McGill School of Religious Studies:

  • Prof. Garth Green
  • Prof. Patricia Kirkpatrick

Student representatives:

  • Jessica Stilwell (MDTC)
  • Kevin Cole Thompson (PC)
  • Ozioma Obijiofor (UTC)

Administrative support:

  • Kornel Zathureczky

The Montreal School of Theology is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the US and Canada (ATS) since 1989. The following degree programs are approved by the Commission on Accrediting: Master of Divinity.

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 December 2018)

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

Between 2019-2022, graduating students were asked to evaluate MST’s educational effectiveness in facilitating key skill areas. The highest ranked skill areas were:

  • Ability to preach well
  • Ability to conduct worship/liturgy
  • Awareness and appreciation of the globalized context in which ministry is practiced
  • Ability to think theologically
  • Ability to use and interpret Scripture
  • Ability to work effectively with both women and men
  • Ability to work effectively within one’s own religious tradition

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

  • Class size
  • Quality of teaching
  • Accessibility of faculty
  • Adequacy of library collection
  • Accessibility of administrative/staff support
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Academic Advising

Time to Complete the Program

Between 2019 and 2022, 32 % of our students finished their program in three years, while a majority (74 %) finished the program within four years.

Low-level of incurred Indebtedness of our Graduates:

A significant accomplishment of the Montreal School of Theology is that its graduates incur almost no debt during their studies. According to the GSQ surveys conducted among our graduates between 2018 and 2021, well over two thirds of our graduates incurred either no or less than 10,000 dollars of debt during their studies. The lack of indebtedness contributes greatly to a successful and worry-free beginning of their vocational placements.

Vocational Placement of our Graduates

The Montreal School of Theology is a partnership of two denominational schools (Anglican, Presbyterian) serving students from a diversity of denominational backgrounds, with an additional program for students of the 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 between 2018 and 2021: 74 % 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.

Overall, the program demonstrates effectiveness in addressing program learning outcomes over the past four years. Data from analysis of student learning indicates overall effectiveness, which also correlates with student responses to questions about the program. MST is successful in fulfilling its stated learning outcomes. The overwhelming majority of students for whom data is available meet or exceed core program learning outcomes.

MST has undertaken to develop a simpler and more efficient LEAP process with a focus on program-level outcomes aligned with course-level outcomes.

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.

Students studying at the Montreal School of Theology who have an active McGill ID card and are currently McGill students (M. Div. I and II students) have access to all electronic resources (on campus and remotely) and services (including borrowing privileges and Interlibrary Loans) available through McGill Libraries.

M. Div. III students and students who are not registered at McGill (such as those taking certificate/online courses) have different privileges. See below for more information about library access for each of these groups. Please also see our “Other library resources” section for more options for those not registered as McGill students.

M. Div. III Students

Electronic resources: you can access McGill’s e-journal, e-book and database collection on site with a guest login at a McGill Library. No remote access is provided, however.

Borrowing books and other services: As per the “Borrowers from Other Quebec Universities” page, “Faculty members and 3rd year Masters of Divinity students of the Montreal School of Theology who don’t already have a McGill ID may request a McGill Library Borrowing Card on presentation of a letter from the School.” This letter will be presented to you at orientation and  will allow you to borrow books and other physical materials from McGill libraries (including the Birks Reading Room) as well as the Rev. Dr. Joseph C. McLelland Library at the Presbyterian College.

Consultation with a McGill librarian: you can contact a McGill librarian or the Religious Studies Librarian.


Certificate/Online Course students

Electronic resources: if you are in Montreal, you can access McGill’s e-journal, e-book and database collection on site with a guest login at a McGill Library. No remote access is provided, however.

Borrowing books and other services: in order to borrow materials from McGill Libraries you will have to purchase a McGill Library Borrowing Card.

Consultation with a McGill librarian: you can contact a McGill librarian or the Religious Studies Librarian.


Other Library Resources

In addition to the resources mentioned above, you may also have access to other resources, specifically:

  • BANQ
  • Alumni resources
  • Public library resources