Bachelor of Theology Program (B.Th.)

The Bachelor of Theology (B.Th.) is an undergraduate degree in theology. It is intended to give students a basic understanding of theology and religious sciences and provide a foundation for pastoral leadership. The program is ideal for students preparing to work in pastoral ministry, sacramental preparation, catechesis, social justice work, youth work and health care ministry, although some of these areas will need further formal training.

The Bachelor of Theology degree is not intended to prepare persons for ordained ministry. As well, it is not intended to be an undergraduate Arts degree with a major in theology. It is a specialized degree in theology and religious sciences.

There are two routes for this program namely a seminary route and a lay route. The requirements for seminarians includes additional formational and ordination requirements.

B.Th. Seminary Route

Before the seminarian enters formal academic studies at NTC, he must – as part of his ordination requirements – begin with a propaedeutic or preparatory year at St. Joseph Seminary. During this ten month period, the seminarian resides full-time at the seminary and follows a program of non-academic classes in the seminary, spiritual exercises, human formation sessions, and a regular volunteer pastoral placement in the community. The propaedeutic year is intended to build the foundation for philosophical and theological studies and to help with integration and discernment. When the seminarian has completed the required philosophical studies after the propaedeutic year, he will commence the Bachelor of Theology at NTC.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Bachelor of Theology degree must have an Alberta High School Diploma (with English 30) or its equivalent. Applicants, 30 years of age or older, who do not have a high school diploma may also be admitted upon successful completion of English 30 or an acceptable equivalent. Screening interviews are held to determine the candidate’s aptitude for ministry.  At present we are not able to offer Distance Education courses to residents of the U.S.A., but we welcome inquiries from anyone so interested. 

This program is a Designated Learning Program and eligible to receive foreign nationals on a study permit.  See International Student Admissions for DLI number.

Procedure for Admission

Core Courses

* courses must be taken in the First Year of Studies
** Students who take SCR 154 cannot take SCR 151 and/or SCR 152 for credit.

Lay Formation THEO 020

Foundational Theology

(6 Credits)

FND 100 Early Church History
FND 101 Medieval Church History 
-OR-
FND 102 Modern Church History


Sacred Scripture

(18 Credits)

SCR 100 Introduction to Sacred Scripture and their Interpretation*

Plus 5 of:

SCR 131 Psalms and Wisdom Literature
SCR 132 The Prophets
SCR 151 Matthew and Mark**
SCR 152 Luke-Acts**
SCR 154 Synoptic Gospels**
SCR 155 Pauline Literature
SCR 156 Johannine Literature
SCR 163 The Pentateuch and Historical Books


Systematic Theology

(24 Credits)

SYT 100 Introduction to Theology*
SYT 108 The Theology of Revelation
SYT 110 Liturgical Theology
SYT 114 Introduction to the Sacraments and Christian Initiation
SYT 184 Christology*
SYT 185 Theology of God
SYT 187 Theological Anthropology
SYT 188 Ecclesiology


Moral, Pastoral, and Spiritual Theology

(21 Credits)

MPS 100 Introduction to Pastoral Theology*
MPS 120 Introduction to Moral Theology
MPS 122 The Social Teaching of the Church
MPS 130 Theology of Ministry
MPS 139 Theological Field Education (6 Credits)
MPS 170 Introduction to Spiritual Theology


Philosophy

(6 Credits)

PHIL 200 Introduction to Philosophy*
PHIL Elective


Electives

(15 Credits)

see Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Degree Requirements

The B.Th. is awarded upon completion of 90 credits including:

  • 69 core credits
  • 6 philosophy credits
  • 15 elective credits.

Full-time, part-time and distance lay students are required to participate in THEO 020 Lay Formation or Theo 020i Distance Lay Formation for six semesters.

Most undergraduate courses offered in conjunction with graduate courses, with an appropriate difference in workload. In addition to the courses listed above, students who have been admitted to the Dip.Th. program may take certain courses for credit from the graduate course listing with the approval of their Faculty Advisor and the Academic Dean.

Residency

B.Th. education expects regular and substantive student-faculty interaction to achieve the stipulated learning outcomes, and this interaction requires that at least one year of full-time academic study (30 credits) shall be completed at our main campus.

Program Outline

  • Submit a completed Application Form and $45.00 non-refundable application fee(International Student Application Fee $250.00).
  • Arrange for official high school transcripts and transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended to be sent directly to the Registrar’s Office from the issuing educational authority.
  • Submit an autobiography and curriculum vitae.;
  • Letters of reference from three persons qualified to judge the applicant’s character and intellectual ability as well as aptitude for ministry.

Submit a Security Clearance Check obtained six months or less from the submission date of your application package.

*Guidelines for the autobiography, curriculum vitae, letters of reference and Security Clearance Check can be obtained from Student Services.

When all required documentation is received the applicant’s file will be reviewed by the Admissions & Evaluations Committee. Applicants conditionally admitted will have an interview with three members of the faculty during their first semester. The interview team is responsible for recommending that the conditional admission be changed to a full admission. The interviewers may also advise that admission to the program is not recommended.

Transfer Credits

Students who enter the program having completed the NTC Diploma in Theological Studies or the Diploma of Theology will be granted advanced standing of 60 credits towards the B.Th. degree. Students who enter the program with an equivalency to the NTC Diploma in Theological Studies or Diploma of Theology may be subject to further core requirements. Students who enter the program having completed the NTC Certificate of Theology will be granted advanced standing of 30 credits towards the B.Th. degree.

Students may transfer in a maximum of 21 credits towards the B.Th. Degree from other recognized colleges and universities. The transfer of credit is subject to the approval of the NTC Admissions and Evaluations Committee

Course Descriptions

Foundational Theology

FND 100 Early Church History

3 Credits
The historical development of the Church from the second century to the rise of Islam. The relationship of Church and Empire, the beginnings of monasticism, the contributions of women, the development of institutions and doctrine, and the missionary activity of Christians beyond the Greco-Roman World.


FND 101  Medieval Church History

3 Credits
The historical development of the Church in the Medieval Era from the beginning of the eighth century to 1500. Monasticism and religious orders, heretical movements and popular religion, intellectual development, Church and State relations.


FND 102  Modern Church History

3 CreditsThe church from the end of the fifteenth century until today. Calls for reform. Key reformers: Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Cramner. Catholic reforms and the Council of Trent. The Enlightenment and its aftermath: liberalism, anti-clericalism, ultra-montanism and Vatican I. Byzantine churches. Missionary movements and North American Protestantism. The church as global: Latin America, Asia, Africa. Modernism, ecumenism, Vatican II and toward the 21st century.


Sacred Scriptures

SCR 100 Introduction to Sacred Scripture and their Interpretation

3 Credits
This course introduces students to the Sacred Scriptures of the Christian faith, their academic study and their interpretation.  The various books of the Old and New Testaments of the Catholic Bible are introduced in relation to their historical, cultural, and religious backgrounds, with timely references to geographical and archaeological data.  Concurrently, students are introduced to the concepts of biblical inspiration, biblical inerrancy, and the formation of the canon.

This course also includes a seminar that explores the question of the interpretation of scripture with the Mind of the Church, during which key Church documents will be analyzed while some major contributions from the world of academia to the field of biblical interpretation will be considered.  The aim is to equip students with a range of exegetical tools and building blocks that will be necessary in subsequent scripture courses in their chosen program, and indeed in their various ministries as exegetes of Sacred Scripture.


SCR 131 Psalms and Wisdom Literature

(Prerequisite: SCR 100)

3 Credits
This course considers the Canonical corpus of the Old Testament traditionally referred to as the Psalms and Wisdom literature (Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs, Wisdom of Solomon and Sirach/Ecclesiasticus).  The Psalter and Wisdom Literature are covered in turn, with specific emphasis given to historical, literary, exegetical and theological questions.  In particular, the themes of faith and hope, human condition and suffering, and perceived absence of God, in selected texts form the Psalter and the book of Qoheleth/Ecclesiastes are examined for their contribution to pastoral ethical contemporary issues.

The seminar component of this course will invite students to engage, at a level pertinent to their program of study, with contemporary issues raised by the literature at hand.


SCR 132 The Prophets

(Prerequisite: SCR 100)

3 Credits
This course considers the Canonical corpus of the Old Testament traditionally referred to as the Prophets.  The literature is investigated as a distinct body and in relation to the Canon of Scripture, with particular emphasis given to historical (pre-exilic), literary (including text critical), exegetical and theological questions.  The relationship between the Israelites and God—as portrayed by the biblical prophets—is explored from the perspective of messianism and ‘new covenant theology’.

The seminar component of this course will invite students to engage, at a level pertinent to their program of study, with contemporary issues raised by the literature at hand.


SCR 151 Matthew and Mark

(Prerequisite: SCR 100)

3 credits
This course considers the Canonical Gospels of Matthew and Mark. Initial considerations of the historical backdrops to these gospels lead to a closer examination of the literature. Both gospels are read in their entirety, with particular attention given to their Christology, Pneumatology, Discipleship, Ecclesiology,
Missiology, Eschatology, and overall theological perspectives within and in relation to the Canon of Scripture.

The seminar component of this course invites students to investigate, at a level pertinent to their program of study, questions arising from a consideration of the interrelationship between the two gospels.


SCR 152 Luke-Acts

(Prerequisite: SCR 100)

3 credits
This course considers the Canonical compositions attributed to St. Luke: the Gospel and the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. An initial consideration of the historical backdrops to these literary compositions leads to a close sequential examination of the Gospel and the Book of Acts. Both works are read in their entirety, with particular attention given to their Christology, Pneumatology, Ecclesiology, Missiology, Eschatology, and overall theological perspectives within and in relation to Salvation History.

The seminar component of this course invites students to investigate, at a level pertinent to their program of study, historical and theological questions arising from a consideration of the Lukan material.


SCR 154 The Synoptic Gospels

(Prerequisite: SCR 100)

3 Credits
This course focuses on the Canonical Gospels of the Synoptic tradition.  The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are introduced, with particular attention given to their structure, their specific characteristics and historical circumstances, as well as their presentations of Jesus Christ and their teachings on Christian discipleship. This course also includes a seminar, during which students will investigate, at a level pertinent to their program of study, questions arising from a consideration of the interrelationship between the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.


SCR 155 Pauline Literature

(Prerequisite: SCR 100)

3 Credits
This course considers the epistolary literature of the New Testament attributed to the Apostle Paul.  A brief survey of the Apostle’s life and gospel gives way to a close reading of the Pauline Letters.  Although all Pauline Epistles will be read (1 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Romans), students will in particular consider central Pauline themes (Christology, Ecclesiology, Soteriology, Pneumatology) as expounded in the First Letter to the Corinthians and the Letter to the Romans. 

The seminar component of this course will invite students to engage, at a level pertinent to their program of study, with contemporary issues raised by the literature at hand.


SCR 156 Johannine Literature

(Prerequisite: SCR 100)

3 Credits
This course considers the Canonical literature traditionally attributed to the Fourth Evangelist (Gospel of John; 1, 2 and 3 John, the Book of Revelation).  An initial consideration of the milieu from which the Johannine Community/School emanated (date, authorship, and provenance) serves as a backdrop to a closer examination of the literature.  The entirety of the Johannine corpus will be read, with particular attention given to the distinctive Christology (Signs, “I AM” Sayings), Pneumatology (the Spirit-Paraclete), Ecclesiology, Missiology, Eschatology, and overall theology of this Canonical body of literature.

The seminar component of this course will invite students to engage, at a level pertinent to their program of study, with contemporary issues raised by the literature at hand.


SCR 163 The Pentateuch and Historical Books

(Prerequisite: SCR 100)

3 Credits
This course considers the Canonical corpus of the Old Testament traditionally referred to as the Pentateuch (the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy) and their cognate literature known as the Historical Books (Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah). The literature is investigated as a distinct body and in relation to the Canon of Scripture, with particular emphasis given to historical, literary (including text critical), exegetical and theological questions. The relationship between the Israelites and God—as portrayed by the biblical authors of the Pentateuch and Historical Books —is explored through the theme of covenantal love.

The seminar component of this course will invite students to engage, at a level pertinent to their program of study, with contemporary issues raised by the literature at hand.


Systematic Theology

SYT 100 Introduction to Theology

3 Credits
The nature of theology. The relationship between theology and the following: revelation (Scripture and Tradition), spirituality and liturgy, philosophy and the human sciences. Faith and reason. The high points of theology throughout the history of the Church.  The importance of theology for the Church. Theology and the teaching office of the Church. Theology and Church before and after Vatican II.  Writing skills in theology.


SYT 108 The Theology of Revelation

(Prerequisite: SYT 100)

3 Credits
The modern problem of the compatibility between an authoritative divine revelation and human knowledge, freedom and experience. The development of a “theology of revelation” from Vatican I to Vatican II. Revelation and the Enlightenment. Dei Verbum. Jesus Christ as the revelation of God and humanity. Pluralism and the unity and universality of the Christ event. The Church's teaching on revelation and faith. The Christian act of faith. The question of truth and of on-going revelation.


SYT 110 Liturgical Theology

(Prerequisite: SYT 100)

3 Credits
The biblical origins of the Christian Liturgy.  The development of distinct rites in the Eastern and Western Church with a special attention to the ongoing development of the Roman Rite. The theology of Liturgy as a work of the Trinity, an Action of Christ and the Church. The sanctification of the Year and the Day through the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours. The liturgical movement prior to and following the Second Vatican Council. Cultural, pastoral, and ecumenical considerations.


SYT 114  Introduction to the Sacraments and Christian Initiation

(Prerequisite: SYT 100)

3 Credits
The sacraments of initiation. Their biblical roots and their historical and theological development in the Christian Church. Contemporary revisions, pastoral applications and ecumenical consideration.


SYT 184 Christology

3 Credits
The contemporary problematic in Christology. The claims and challenges posed by Jesus in his preaching and life. His rejection, death and resurrection. Jesus Christ as divine and human. Traditional and contemporary Christologies.


SYT 185 Theology of God

(Prerequisite: SYT 100)

3 Credits
Aspects of the problem of God in the modern era. Preparations for belief in the Trinity in the history of Israel. The Christ event and the Trinity. The Trinity and the early Church Councils. “Explanations” of the Trinity old and new. Special questions regarding the Trinity (the Trinity and the immutability of God, creation, modern science, evil, gender, Christian worship and spirituality). Pneumatology.


SYT 187 Theological Anthropology

(Prerequisite: SYT 100)

3 Credits
The Christian understanding of evolution and of the human person. The origin, the structure and the condition of the person in the world; the relationship of the person to God, to others and to the environment. Sin and the origin of evil. The role of grace and love. The relationship between infinite and finite freedom. Hope and the final end of the person.


SYT 188  Ecclesiology

(Prerequisite: SYT 100)

 

3 CreditsThe Church before and after Vatican II. The vision of the Church underlying the basic biblical images (People of God, Body of Christ, Temple of the Holy Spirit). The Church as constituted by the Word of God. The Church as constituted by the Word made flesh. The Church and holiness (including Mariology). The Church as one and apostolic. The Church and the world.


Moral-Pastoral-Spiritual Theology

MPS 100 Introduction to Pastoral Theology

3 Credits
Biblical and historical roots of pastoral theology; theological foundations; current understanding; initial exploration of a theology of ministry and the study of specific ministries; introduction to theological reflection; formation for ministry.


MPS 120 Introduction to Moral Theology

3 Credits
The basic elements of moral theology since Vatican II. Biblical and theological themes that define the person in Christ. The Christian meaning of sin, virtue, conscience, law and moral discernment. The Christian experience of conversion and reconciliation in the way of discipleship.


MPS 122 The Social Teaching of the Church

3 Credits
The roots of social justice in the tradition. Major themes in the social teaching documents of the Church. Social teaching in the Canadian/North American church. Social justice, ministry and evangelization. Liberation theology. Social analysis as a tool for Christian ministry.


MPS 130 Theology of Ministry

3 Credits
Origins of Christian community and relationship with the mission of the Church. The meaning and development of ordained ministry as well as history of lay ministry and the relationship between the two. Current issues and ecumenical initiatives. Contemporary models of collaboration in ministry.


MPS 139 Theological Field Education

6 Credits
An introductory practicum consisting of a ministry placement under individual supervision, related classes, and theological reflection in groups on the experience gained. Students must meet with the Director of Field Education at the beginning of their 2nd academic year on the B.Th. program in order to schedule for an assessment and ministry placement.

Students have three options:

  • MPS 139ab – To do a year-long ministry placement with a concurrent theological reflection session during the 3rd academic year.
  • To complete a Clinical Pastoral Education(C.P.E.) unit during the summer followed by a Theological Reflection Seminar (MPS 139b) in the Fall semester of the 3rd academic year. Copy of the C.P.E. certificate must be provided to the Director of Field Education and Registrar in order to receive transfer credit for MPS 139a which accounts for the practicum component of Field Education.
  • MPS 139P – To take a full pastoral internship year at the parish with supervision followed by a Theological Reflection Seminar (MPS 139b) in the following Fall semester. This option is available to seminary students. Students register for MPS139P for the Fall of internship year and then MPS139b in the following Fall.

Registration for all three options of MPS 139 requires formal approval by the Field Education Director.


MPS 170 Introduction to Spiritual Theology

3 CreditsDefinitions and understandings of spirituality. Examination of its biblical foundations. Development of spirituality as a discipline of theology. Theological and anthropological dimensions of Christian faith and spirituality. Introduction to the classical spiritual writers, schools of spirituality and contemporary forms of spirituality. The theology and practice of prayer, spiritual discernment and asceticism.


Philosophy

PHIL 200 Introduction to Philosophy

3 Credits
A general introduction to the major areas of philosophy and philosophical method.  Issues that may be addressed include knowledge, truth, beauty, God’s existence, evil, free-will, happiness, morality, political theory.

Recommended first philosophy course. Required for B.Th.


For Elective Courses please go to Undergraduate Course Descriptions


What can you do with a B.Th.?

The program is ideal for students preparing to work in pastoral ministry, sacramental preparation, catechesis, social justice work, youth work and health care ministry, although some of these areas will need further formal training.

B.Th. Testimonials

Having completed my Bachelor of Theology degree at Newman, I feel very grateful for this opportunity to increase both my knowledge and understanding of my faith - and in the process my faith itself. I was first drawn to Newman because of intellectual curiosity, and a belief that the greater my knowledge of the Church and its teachings, the better I could serve the various commitments I have been entrusted with as a lay member of the Archdiocese of Vancouver. This has proven to be the case.

Newman Theological College provides an excellent environment from which to grow and develop intellectually and spiritually. The academic programs and the individual courses are well structured, comprehensive and challenging. The professors, teaching staff and entire support tam are excellent. All are committed to both Newman's mandate and your personal learning experience. Newman Theoilogical College truly reflects the best of the rich Catholic intellectual and learning tradition. Whatever your goals, and or, responsibilities are, you will benefit immensely from the Newman experience, and in turn, be better prepared for the challenges and opportunities ahead.

William McCarthy, Property Manager, Developer and Consultant, Burnaby, BC. Bachelor of Theology graduate 2013.


After my ordination as a deacon, it quickly became apparent that I needed to be committed to ongoing learning about my Church and my faith.  It was extremely challenging however, to find a quality learning opportunity that would accommodate both my busy work schedule and Diaconate responsibilities.  The NTC online Bachelor of Theology program is a perfect fit.  The flexibility that online* learning provides is invaluable for my hectic life.  Although, better than the flexibility, is the quality of the program itself.  The teaching is solidly Catholic and has enhanced my ministry, particularly my preaching, immeasurably.  The courses are engaging and have brought me to a much greater appreciation of the depth and breadth of Catholic theology.  The staff and the professors are absolutely committed to their students and have consistently gone out of their way to assist me when needed.  The NTC BTh program is an ideal program for anyone who wants to grow in their understanding of our faith and the Church.  I particularly recommend it to my brother deacons.

Joe Murphy, Permanent Deacon in Brampton, ON. Currently studying at NTC towards a B.Th.

*(The B.Th. program is not currently available completely at a distance please refer to the Dip.Th.) 


After a couple years of parish youth ministry, I came to realize that both my faith and my service to the Church required further formation, and at the encouragement of my parish priest, I explored the possibility of studying at Newman Theological College. For both my own faith as well as my service to the Church, it is an experience I am very grateful for. My five years of studies provided me an opportunity to begin to more clearly understand the faith that I love, and to help better pass that faith on to the young people I've served. Completing my BTh gave me the opportunity to fill in my enthusiasm to share the faith with a clearer ability to understand and articulate my faith to others. My time at Newman College has both helped form me as a better man as well as made me much more effective in my ministry.

Mike Landry, youth worker (NTC Alumnus, B.Th. 2009)


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