Master of Divinity Program (M.Div.)

The Master of Divinity Program (M.Div.) is a basic degree program designed for the theological and professional preparation of students for both ordained and non-ordained ministry. It aims at giving students a general introduction to the major areas of theological inquiry. There are two routes for this program namely a seminary route and a lay route. The requirements for seminarians include additional formational and ordination requirements.

M.Div. 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 Master of Divinity at NTC.

Program Outcomes

A graduate of NTC’s M.Div. shall:

  • Possess an integral academic formation of the foundations of all areas of Catholic Theology.
  • Have demonstrated growth towards a maturely developed spiritual life and human formation.
  • Have an integrated understanding of the theological disciplines and how they complement one another and enrich one’s ministry.
  • Be prepared to engage in professional ministry whether ordained or lay at the service of the Church.
  • Ability to work as a member of a pastoral team in an interfaith and ecumenical context.

Admission Requirements

Candidates for the M.Div. program must possess a previous university degree (such as B.A., B.Ed.). A student‘s previous university work should include 12 credits in philosophy. Deficiencies in this area must be made up before students will be allowed to proceed into the third year of the program.  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.

Since the M.Div. is a professional as well as an academic degree, a screening process to determine the candidate’s aptitude for ministry is involved. Initial screening interviews will take place during the candidate's first semester at NTC. A second screening interview will be held prior to the student‘s participation in STP 470 Theological Field Education to determine readiness for practicum learning. On-going evaluation may result in a student being asked to interrupt or to leave the program for reasons over and above academic competence.

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

  • Complete an Application Form and submit with payment of $45.00 non-refundable application fee (International Student Application Fee $250.00).
  • Arrange for official transcripts to be sent to the Registrar‘s Office from all high school and post-secondary institutions attended. An official transcript is one that has been received by the Registrar‘s Office directly from the issuing educational authority. No photocopies allowed.
  • Personal autobiography and curriculum vitae.
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to judge the character and intellectual ability of the applicant.  Letters must be sent directly to the Registrar‘s Office.
  • Security Clearance Check*.

Application Deadlines: Refer to the Academic Schedule.

*Guidelines for the security clearance check can be requested from the Office of the Registrar.

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.

Degree Requirements

The M.Div. degree is awarded upon the completion of 90 credit units distributed as follows: 22 core courses (66 credits), 4 elective courses (12 credits), field education (6 credits), the integrative seminar and the comprehensive exam (3 credits), and the theological synthesis (3 credits). All requirements for credit in the M.Div. program are normally met through 400/500 level courses. M.Div. students are also required to:

  • Complete BST 400 Introduction to Scripture, STD 400 Introduction to Theology, STD 450 Christology, STP 400 Introduction to Pastoral Theology, and STP 461 Introduction to Moral Theology during the first year of the program.
  • Participate in an integrative seminar during their senior year.
  • Participate in THEO 020 - Lay Formation. Full-time, part-time and distance lay students are required to participate in Lay Formation for six semesters. Lay Formation students are required to have an approved Spiritual Director.
  • Participate in a mid-program assessment and screening interview early in the student’s second year (after completing 36-45 credits of study at NTC).
  • Have read all of the books listed on the M.Div. required reading list. This basic material constitutes matter for the comprehensive examinations.
  • Provide an acceptable written synthesis and pass an oral comprehensive examination on the basics of theology, during the last semester of their program or in the second week of June.

Normally, all requirements for the degree should be completed within six years from the date of initial registration in the program. Extenuating circumstances may allow for an extension to be granted by the NTC Admissions and Evaluations Committee.

Theological Field Education

Theological field education is based on the assumption that theology should not only inform pastoral practice, but that the lived experience of ministry should inform theology. The basic goal of this component of the program is the integration of one’s theology through a process of experiential learning. Broadly speaking, its objectives are: personal growth and development, acquisition of pastoral skills for various settings, and learning to do theology in a practical context. Ordinarily this is accomplished through a ministry practicum completed in the second or third year of the M.Div. program. This involves a time commitment of 10 to 12 hours a week throughout the academic year.

Residency

M.Div. 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.

Transfer Credits

A student may transfer a maximum of 45 credits towards the M.Div. degree from other recognized colleges and universities. Such credits must not be part of a previous degree program. The transfer of credits is subject to the approval of the NTC Admissions and Evaluations Committee.

Program Outline

Core Courses

* Courses must be taken during the 1st year of the M.Div. program.
** Students who take BST 425 cannot take BST 421 and/or BST 422 for credit.

Foundational Theology

12 Credits

FTH 400  Early Church History
FTH 402  Christianity and World Religions
FTH 410  Medieval Church History
FTH 411  Modern Church History

Sacred Scriptures

15 Credits

BST 400* Introduction to Sacred Scripture and Their  Interpretation

Plus 4 of:

BST 421 Matthew and Mark**
BST 422 Luke-Acts**
BST 423 Pauline Literature
BST 424 Johannine Literature
BST 425 Synoptic Gospels
BST 433 The Pentateuch and Historical Books

Systematic Theology

21 Credits

STD 400* Introduction to Theology
STD 401 Theology of Revelation
STD 450* Christology
STD 451 Theology of God
STD 452 Theological Anthropology
STD 453 Ecclesiology

AND one of the following two courses:

STD 440 Liturgical Theology
-OR-
STD 442 Introduction to the Sacraments and Christian Initiation

Moral, Pastoral, and Spiritual Theology

24 Credits

STP 400* Introduction to Pastoral Theology
STP 461*  Introduction to Moral Theology
STP 462   Introduction to Spiritual Theology
STP 463   Theology of Ministry
STP 464   Practice of Ministry
STP 470   Theological Field Education
STP 471   Social Teaching of the Church

Electives

12 credits

12 elective credits chosen from graduate level courses listed under the Foundational, Sacred Scriptures, Systematic, and Moral, Pastoral, and Spiritual Theology areas.

Integrative Seminar and Comprehensive Exam

3 credits

M.DIV. 900  M.Div. Integrative Seminar and Comprehensive Exam

Theological Synthesis

3 credits

M.DIV. 901  M.Div. Synthesis

The integrative seminar, theological synthesis and comprehensive examination are taken in the final year of the program.

M.Div. Required Reading List

Foundational Theology

Kelly, J.N.D. Early Christian Doctrines. Revised. San Francisco/New York: Harper and Row, 1960, 1976.

Pelikan, J. Christian Doctrine and Modern Culture (since 1700). (The Christian Tradition. A History of the Development of Doctrine. Volume 5.) Chicago/London: The University of Chicago Press, 1989).

Moral, Pastoral, and Spiritual Theology

Bouyer, L. Introduction to the Spiritual Life. Notre Dame, In: Ave Maria Press, 2013.

Cahalan, K. Introducing the Practice of Ministry. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2010.

May, W. An Introduction to Moral Theology. 2ND ed. Huntington, IN: Our Sunday Visitor Publishing Division, 2003.

Pinackaers, S. The Sources of Christian Ethics. Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1995.

Kinast, R. Making Faith Sense. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1999.

Wood, S. K. ed. Ordering the Baptismal Priesthood. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2003.

Wood, S. K. Sacramental Orders. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 2000.

Sacred Scriptures

Bechard, D. P. The Scripture Documents. An Anthology of Official Catholic Teachings Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2001.

Brown, R.E. An Introduction to the New Testament. New York: Doubleday, 1997.

De Lubac, H. Scripture in the Tradition. Milestones in Catholic Theology, Crossroad, 2001.

Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth - from the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration. Doubleday, 2007.

Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth - Holy Week: from the entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection. Ignatius Press, 2011.

Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth - The Infancy Narratives. Image, 2012.

Pope Benedict XVI, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Verbum Domini. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2010.

Systematic Theology

Balthasar, H.U. von. Theological Aesthetics. Vol 1. Seeing the Form. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1982.

Kasper, W. The Catholic Church: Nature, Reality, and Mission. London: Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2015.

Kasper, W. The God of Jesus Christ. New York: Crossroad, 1984.

Nichols, A. The Shape of Catholic Theology. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1991.

O’Neill O.P., C. E. Meeting Christ in the Sacraments. Revised Edition, Romanus Cessario O.P. 2002. New York: Alba House, 1991.

Schoenborn, C.C. God Sent His Son: A Contemporary Christology. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010.

Sachs, J.R. The Christian Vision of Humanity: Basic Christian Anthropology. Collegeville: The Liturgical Press, 1991. 

Course Descriptions

Foundational Theology

FTH 400  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.


FTH 402  Christianity and World Religions

3 Credits
Founders of religions and the meaning of religion. Christianity in relation to other religions. An introduction to Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese Religions, and Amerindian Religions. New religious movements. Interfaith dialogue, especially between Christians and Jews.


FTH 410 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.


FTH 411 Modern Church History

3 Credits

The 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, ultramontanism 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

BST 400  Introduction to Sacred Scriptures 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.


BST 421  Matthew and Mark

(Prerequisite: BST 400)

3 Credits 
Methods of interpretation. The synoptic problem. Structures of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. A comparative study of the message of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark emphasizing the tradition and redaction levels and introducing literary, structural and narrative approaches as well.


BST 422  Luke-Acts

(Prerequisite: BST 400)

3 Credits
A study of the text, biblical theology and introductory questions. Jesus the Saviour, the infancy narratives, parables and miracles, death and resurrection. The gift of the Spirit and the birth of the Church, mission and ministry, the role of women, the universality of salvation.


BST 423  Pauline Literature

(Prerequisite: BST 400)

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.


BST 424  Johannine Literature

(Prerequisite: BST 400)

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.


BST 425 The Synoptic Gospels

(Prerequisite: BST 400)

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 the 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


BST 433 The Pentateuch and Historical Books

(Prerequisite: BST 400)

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

STD 400  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.


STD 401  The Theology of Revelation

(Prerequisites: STD 400 and STD 450)

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.


STD 440  Liturgical Theology

(Prerequisites: STD 400 and STD 450)

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.


STD 442 Introduction to the Sacraments and Christians Initiation

(Prerequisites: STD 400 and STD 450)

3 Credits
A historical, scriptural and theological study of the Church’s developing understanding of the notion of Sacrament through five main periods: New Testament, Patristic, Scholastic, Modern, and Contemporary. A close study of the theology of Baptism and Confirmation as Sacraments of Initiation with their goal in the Eucharist. Liturgical renewal and the R.C.I.A. process. Cultural, pastoral, and ecumenical considerations.


STD 450 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.


STD 451  Theology of God

(Prerequisites: STD 400 and STD 450)

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.


STD 452  Theological Anthropology

(Prerequisites: STD 400 and STD 450)

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.


STD 453  Ecclesiology

(Prerequisites: STD 400 and STD 450)

3 Credits

The 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

STP 400 Introduction to Pastoral Theology

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


STP 461 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.


STP 462 Introduction to Spiritual Theology

3 Credits
Definitions 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.


STP 463 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.


STP 464  Practice of Ministry

3 Credits
The basic responsibilities, skills and attitudes of ministry today, particularly in the parish context. These include: understanding the parish reality today and its pastoring; working with Parish Councils and Finance Committees; sacramental preparation; collaborative ministry and team building; conflict resolution; spirituality for today’s ministry; pastoral approaches to today’s youth; self-care for ministers; and some other practical issues for today’s effective ministry in parishes.


STP 470 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 in order to schedule for an assessment and ministry placement.

Students have three options:

  • STP 470ab – 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 (STP 470b) 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 the Registrar in order to receive transfer credit for STP 470a which accounts for the practicum component of Field Education.
  • STP 470P – To take a full pastoral internship year at the parish with supervision followed by a Theological Reflection Seminar (STP 470b) in the following Fall semester. This option is available to seminary students. Students register for STP 470P for the Fall of internship year and then STP 470bin the following Fall.

Registration for all three options of STP 470 requires formal approval by the Director.


STP 471  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.


For Elective Courses please go to Graduate Course Descriptions

What can you do with a M.Div.?

Our Master of Divinity graduates have found employment in a number of areas such as hospital, university, high school, prison and military chaplaincy, in retreat work, as pastoral assistants in parishes, as diocesan directors of catechesis, marriage and family life, ecumenism, social justice and adult faith formation.

M.Div. Testimonials

'Originally from B.C., my husband, daughter and I moved out here for me to go to Newman. After seven years of volunteering in prison ministry, I felt called to pursue my MDiv so that I could work as a chaplain. We instantly felt welcomed by the community at Newman. The faculty is very personable and supportive of the students. The lay formation program has been vital for my spiritual and human formation as I come to the end of my degree. Newman has both challenged me and given an opportunity to deepen my knowledge and faith in an engaging atmosphere. Through Newman, I have also been able to make valuable connections to other people in ministry'

Angela V. (NTC Alumnus, M.Div., 2013)


Years spent at Newman were very fruitful for me both academically and personally. I learned much about the theological traditions of the church and was well prepared for doctoral studies in the United States. The classes also encouraged me to reflect on my own faith and the beliefs of the church. Overall, I was guided to consider what it means to be a Christian in the twenty-first century. I will always be thankful for my time of study, prayer and community life at NTC.

Matt Hoven, Ph.D, Assistant Professor of Religion and Education, St Joseph's College, University of Alberta (NTC Alumnus, M.Div. 2002)


More Testimonials