Master of Divinity Program

Is this the right program for you?

The M.Div. degree, the most widely recognized and accepted degree for ministry professionals, is designed to prepare students for ordained and other forms of ministry in Christian churches in Canada and abroad. Through this degree students gain knowledge and understanding of the Christian faith and gain the ability to interpret the Gospel within the contemporary world. The program stresses growth in personal faith as well as development of skills and competencies required for effective pastoral ministry within the congregation or other forms of ministry.

The M.Div. degree offered by MST is ecumenical and inclusive: traditionally, the main student body is composed of Anglican, Presbyterian and United Church seminarians, but many students of other Christian denominations have joined MST over the years. This brings a rich variety to the educational experience. The majority of courses are taken together, while assuring the denominational specificity through each college’s denominational courses and college life (worship, community building, retreat etc.).

Through participation in a community of scholars dedicated to teaching and research, students receive a solid foundation in theology. The final year of the M.Div. program is an intensive year of supervised pastoral formation, during which students integrate theology and ministry, dividing their time between the study of pastorally-oriented disciplines and the exercise of ministry.

All of this takes place in an enchanting urban context where the French and English-speaking cultures of North America meet and mingle. Added vitality is contributed by the rich diversity of ethnic and religious communities in and around Montreal. Native communities, located nearby, remind us of the heritage and aspirations of the aboriginal population. Canada’s distinctively bi-national character as well as the problems and opportunities of North American urban life are experienced here at first hand.

Structure of the Program

Generally, to obtain the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree, the following steps have to be taken:

  • Successfully complete the M.Div. years I and II

  • Successfully complete the M.Div. year III (In-Ministry Year)

The majority of courses in the M.Div. years I and II consist of courses taken in the B.Th. program at McGill University (B.Th. years 2 and 3) and some college specific courses.

The majority of courses in the M.Div. III, called the In-Ministry Year, are taken at the Montreal School of Theology (tri-college), with some college specific courses. The field placement in the In-Ministry Year takes up approximately fifty percent of the time; course weeks are alternated with field placement weeks. In the final year students also participate in an intercultural learning experience that brings them into conversation with Christians and others from different cultural backgrounds.

Regular route:

B.Th. years 2 and 3
at McGill, plus
integrative studies
and practical
formation as
specified by the
In-Ministry Year B.Th.(McGill) and M.Div. or Dip.Min.* (Montreal School of Theology)

In some cases the Diploma of Ministry will be obtained instead of the M.Div.:

Alternate routes:

Master’s degree in
Theology or Religion from another institution (to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the denominational
college) + 30 credits of the McGill B.Th.
+ In-Ministry year M.Div. (Montreal School of Theology)
B.Th. and additional year of Master’s studies (McGill) + In-Ministry Year B.Th. and S.T.M.
(McGill) and Dip.Min. (Montreal School of Theology)
Reading and Tutorial Course (open to the students affiliated with the Montreal Diocesan Theological College only) + In-Ministry Year Lic.Theol.(College) and Dip.Min. (Montreal School of Theology)
Degree in theological studies from another institution: to be reviewed on a case by case basis by the denominational College. Additional courses for completion to be assigned. + In-Ministry Year Dip.Min.(Montreal School of Theology)

Courses are all given in person, during day-time hours, Monday to Friday. Exceptionally there may be workshops that go into the evening, or Saturdays.

Students can study full time or part time at McGill.

The In-Ministry Year can be taken over one or two years.

M.Div. years I and II

The majority of courses in the M.Div. years I and II consist of courses taken in the B.Th. program at McGill University (B.Th. years 2 and 3). Each college has specific requirements with regards to course choices to make at McGill, plus additional denominational courses.

Example of courses taken at McGill in the M.Div. year I:

Literature of Ancient Israel 1 RELG 302
Literature of Ancient Israel 2 RELG 303
New Testament 1 RELG 311
New Testament 2 RELG 312
 Church in History 1  RELG 322
 Church in History 1  RELG 323
 Principles of Christian Theology II  RELG 434
Intro to Philosophy of Religion RELG 341
Elementary New Testament Greek RELG 280D1
RELG 280D2

Example of course taken at McGill in the M.Div. year II:

The Prophets RELG 408
Exegesis of Greek New Testament RELG 482
Canadian Church History RELG 420
Christianity in Global Perspective RELG 479
Principles of Christian Theology I RELG 333
Theological Ethics RELG 370
Theology Elective – RELG…
Interfaith Studies Elective – RELG…
Adv. New Testament Greek RELG 381
Elective – RELG…
Elective – RELG…

For complete details on McGill courses please consult the McGill webpage .
For college-specific requirements and denominational courses please contact the theological college of your choice: MDTC, Presbyterian College or United Theological College.

M.Div. year III

Most courses in the third year of the Master of Divinity Program (sometimes referred to as the In-Ministry Year) are taken within the Montreal School of Theology, with some courses also taken in the denominationally specific colleges. The following represent the key components of M.Div. 3.

Field Placement

The Field Placement provides a context for the practice of ministry and theological reflection—the placement is usually within a congregational setting, though it may also be within another type of community-based organization. There is a close relationship between the Field Placement and the instructional content of M.Div. 3, with an action-reflection model of learning between course work and placement context. The Field Placement constitutes 12 out of 30 credits (or 40 %) of M.Div. 3.


Course Descriptions

Pastoral Care and Counselling: Introduction to the basic skills of pastoral care, and exploration of the particular gifts and challenges the student brings to this ministry.

Principles of Preaching: This year-long course focuses on the fundamentals of sermon preparation, exegesis for preaching, developing a message, and sermon structure. It also includes a preaching tutorial component in which students present sermons for feedback and reflection.

Mission: Explores the scriptural and theology foundations of mission and examines the significance of context for the life and mission of the church, with a focus on congregational mission.

Congregational Leadership: Provides students with lenses to study the congregation, and explores the various dynamics of leadership, particularly in the context of ordained ministry.

Education and Formation: Examines educational theory, theology and practice, and develops skills and knowledge for ministerial leadership in faith formation and education. The third section of the Integrative Paper is also completed within the context of this course.

Denomination-Specific Courses (taken in individual colleges)

 For Montreal Dio Students:

  • Anglican Liturgy and Worship
  • Anglican History and Theology

For Presbyterian College students:

  • Presbyterian Worship, History, and Polity
  • Presbyterian Confessions and Ecclesiology

For students seeking ordination in the United Church of Canada:

  • United Church History and Theology
  • United Church Polity
  • United Church Worship


Intercultural Learning Experience

During the course of their degree, students in the Master of Divinity program are required to participate in an intercultural learning experience that brings them into dialogue and conversation with Christians and others from other cultural backgrounds. Historically this study tour has taken students to Mexico or Cuba for encounter with local congregation members, church leaders, theological students, and community organizations.

This intercultural learning experience is an important part of the ministry of the Montreal School of Theology, both in terms of its educational and transformational potential, but also for the role it plays in connecting the school with Christians in other cultures. Other Canadian participants from outside the MST context may also participate in the experience. This diversity of faith perspective and life experience greatly enriches the quality of the learning, reflection, and sharing that take place during the intercultural learning experience.

The primary goal of the intercultural experience is to have students reflect on the Christian gospel outside of their own context – as a basis, also, for reflecting on these within their own context.

Accelerated M.Div.

A degree for young people who sense a call to leadership in the church that combines a first undergraduate degree with preparation for ministry.

For some young people, the call to leadership in the church is clear and obvious. They are ready to serve God in the world and lead churches now.

The accelerated Master of Divinity takes advantage of Montreal School of Theology’s unique relationship with McGill University to combine a first undergraduate degree with preparation for ministry. Accelerated M.Div. students enrol in the Bachelor of Theology program at McGill University for three or four years of full-time study. This provides a broad and deep engagement with the Christian tradition at one of Canada’s leading universities while also offering opportunities for study in related disciplines, such as history, economics, literature, or any of the many others available at McGill.

Following these studies, students enrol in M.Div. Year III (described above) where they continue to learn about ministry while putting it all into practice in a full-year church placement. Students leave prepared for faithful and creative leadership in churches charting their way to a new future. The M.Div. is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

Admission requirements and procedure

The M. Div. program is open to students with a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a recognized college or university with a minimum cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 2.7 (70%). Students have to enroll in the B.Th. program of the McGill School of Religious Studies and the M.Div. program of one of the three colleges of MST concurrently. Alternate routes are described under Structure of the Program above.

Tuition and Fees

The Colleges each have their own tuition and fees schedules, depending on a number of factors (denominations courses, college-specific contributions).

For fee details and refund policies of the Colleges please consult the individual College website pages on this subject:
PC: Fee schedule
MDTC: Fee schedule.

Apply for the M.Div. through your college: