Montreal Diocesan Theological College Student Handbook

Welcome to Montreal and welcome to Dio! We are glad you are here, and we thank God that you have come to study with us. Just as God has called you to serve, we, the faculty and staff of Dio are also called to serve God in this place, and we do that by making your time here with us as productive and meaningful as possible. This booklet has been put together for no other reason other than to do that, and if there are any other questions and concerns that are not found in this booklet, please bring them, along with any suggestions, to us. We are here to help.

O God, you have called us together in this Diocesan College
to a life of study, prayer and ministry.
Grant that your Holy Spirit may work through our study
to bring us to a mature faith,
and through our prayer
to move us to an ardent love,
so that made confident to act in your Name,
we may enable your Church
to accomplish the mission you have entrusted to it,
for the sake of Jesus Christ and his Kingdom.

Principal: Jesse Zink
Tel: 514-849-3004 ext. 222

Director of Pastoral Studies: Hilary Bogert-Winkler
Tel: 514-849-3004 ext. 227

Administrative Assistant: Beth Reed
Tel: 514-849-3004 ext. 221

Accountant: Jennifer James-Phillips
Tel: 514-843-6577

Chaplain: Jen Bourque

Montreal School of Theology

Administrator: Joanna Duy
Tel: 514-849-8511

McGill University

B.Th. Advisor: Ian Henderson

Student Affairs: Margaret Lawrence

  • August 27-28, 2019: Orientation for M.Div. III/Dip.Min. students
  • September 2 (Labour Day), 2019: College Closed
  • September 3, 2019: McGill Classes begin
  • September 5, 2019: B.Th. student orientation
  • September 6-8, 2019: College Retreat
  • September 21, 2019: College Family Picnic
  • October 7 (Thanksgiving Day), 2019: College Closed
  • December 5, 2019: Classes end at McGill
  • December 8, 2019: Advent Lessons and Carols Service +Party
  • December 20, 2019: Last day of Exams at McGill
  • January 6, 2020: McGill Classes Begin
  • March 2-6, 2020: McGill and M. Div. III reading week
  • April 14, 2020: Classes end at McGill
  • April 16, 2020: Reception celebrating graduating Religious Studies students at McGill
  • April 30, 2020: Exams end

History of the College

In 1873, Bishop Ashton Oxenden, the Bishop of Montreal, founded a theological college to train priests. Although it took the name Montreal Diocesan Theological College, Bishop Oxenden acted without consulting his synod, and the college has always had a friendly but not formal relationship with the Anglican Diocese of Montreal. The first principal was J.A. Lobley. When he arrived, the college had ten students and Lobley taught every subject. In 1879, the College was formally incorporated by an act of the Legislature of the Province of Quebec. In 1880, the College formally affiliated with McGill University.

In 1896, the College moved into a new building on University Street, which is still its home today. The building was paid for and endowed by A. Frederick Gault, a prominent layman in the diocese. In 1914, several Protestant theological colleges in Montreal, including Dio, came together to form the Joint Board of Theological Colleges Affiliated with McGill University. This is the oldest ecumenical theological education consortium in North America. In 1931, the Joint Board worked to build Divinity Hall (now known as the Birks Building) to provide a common teaching area and library for the colleges.

In 1948, following many years of negotiations, the McGill Faculty of Divinity was established thanks to the generous gifts of the Joint Board. The Joint Board transferred many of its assets, including Divinity Hall and several endowed professorships, to McGill. In return, McGill undertook to continue to enroll students preparing for ministry and waive tuition for them.

In 1971, the Joint Board instituted the In Ministry Year, its first effort at collaboration in the delivery of “professional” training for ministry. In the mid-1980s, the colleges of the Joint Board were accredited to offer a Master of Divinity degree. Since 2003, the Joint Board has done business as the Montreal School of Theology. The three denominational colleges continue their active affiliation and inter-relationship. The affiliation agreement with McGill was renewed in 2016 for a further 25 years.

In 2008, Dio sold its building to McGill University. The college now rents what used to be the principal’s house from McGill and retains access to the chapel.

Dio exists within a network of inter-institutional relationships. It is these relationships that have allowed it to sustain high-quality theological education at low cost for nearly 150 years. We are glad you are here to join in this story.

Vision and Mission Statement

Growing in God’s redeeming power, Dio is a creative learning community forming leaders for God’s mission.

Dio teaches people to be leaders in God’s world, preparing them to share the Gospel in whatever way God calls them, by

  • offering high quality and innovative programs of theological education, vocational discernment and spiritual formation for lay and ordained people of the Anglican Communion and other traditions;
  • engaging the challenges of the cultural and linguistic context of Montreal and the world of the 21st Century;
  • partnering with world class educational institutions, the global church, and other dynamic organizations.

Dio builds community to foster ongoing learning and support by

  • nurturing an inclusive student body and faculty through meaningful relationships, common worship, and challenging theological reflection;
  • sustaining networks of support and continuing education for alumni;
  • equipping parishes to serve as sites of missional learning and growth;
  • leveraging opportunities with the wider community.

The Montreal Diocesan Theological College (Dio) is part of the Montreal School of Theology, an ecumenical consortium which includes the United Theological College and the Presbyterian College.

Adopted February 11, 2016

Governance and Committees of the College

The College’s charter establishes a Corporation and a Board of Governors. Under the College’s constitution, the college Corporation is a membership organization which any individual or organization may join. There are currently about 100 members of the Corporation who pay a small membership fee to be part of what might be thought of as a “Friends of the College” organization.

The Board of Governors holds responsibility for the governance and strategic direction of the college. The Corporation elects the Board of Governors at its annual general meeting every fall.

As of August 2019, the members of the Board are:

  • The Rt. Rev. Mary Irwin-Gibson, President and Chair
  • The Rev. Wendy Telfer, Treasurer
  • The Rev. James Pratt, Secretary
  • The Ven. Robert Camara, Executive Member at Large
  • Jason Crawford
  • Ann Cumyn
  • The Ven. Ralph Leavitt
  • Vivian Lewin
  • Jessica Stillwell
  • The Rev. Dr. Jesse Zink, ex officio

In addition, the College is served by four standing committees of the Board:

  • Executive Committee
  • Academic Committee
  • Selection Committee
  • Finance Committee

The constitution provides for student representation on the Board of Governors and the Academic Committee.

An Alphabet Soup of Acronyms

There are no shortage of acronyms flying back and forth across University Street. Here are some of the most common you might hear.

ATS: The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. This is the organization that accredits theological education. McGill and MST will receive a regularly-scheduled accreditation visit in November 2019.

B.Th.: The Bachelor of Theology program at McGill, which can be a 2-, 3-, or 4-year program. The 2-year program is incorporated into the Master of Divinity program. The B.Th. program is overseen by the B.Th. Committee at SRS. The three college principals are members of that committee and there is provision for a student representative.

Dio: Not an acronym! Just the widely-used abbreviated version of Montreal Diocesan Theological College. Perhaps the best “backronym” we have come up with is Divine Instruction for Ordination (but you don’t need to be seeking ordination to be a student here!).

Dip.Min.: The Diploma in Ministry, an academic award offered by the colleges to those who already have a graduate theological degree.

IMY: The In Ministry Year, the final year of the M.Div. (or the entirety of the Dip.Min.) which includes a ministry placement and coursework. This is collectively run by the colleges of MST.

M.Div.: The Master of Divinity degree offered by the colleges, working collaboratively with one another and with SRS.

MST: the Montreal School of Theology, the official name of which is the Joint Board of Theological Colleges Affiliated with McGill University. MST has a Board and a director. The director, who is one of the three college principals, serves a two-year term. In 2019-2020, the director of MST is Dio’s principal, Jesse Zink. The MST Board includes one student representative from each college.

PC: Presbyterian College

SRS: The School of Religious Studies at McGill, housed in the Birks Building. Until 2016, it was the Faculty of Religious Studies.

S.T.M.: The Master of Sacred Theology (the acronym is from the Latin name), a degree at SRS which provides advanced study in theology.

UTC: The United Theological College

How do MDTC, Dio, MST, PC, UTC, SRS and McGill relate to each other?

The alphabet soup of abbreviations and institutions can be a struggle to understand. Here’s a brief introduction. Montreal Diocesan Theological College, widely known as Dio, holds a charter from the Legislature of the Province of Quebec for theological education. Since 1880, it has been affiliated with McGill University. Our closest partner at McGill is the School of Religious Studies (SRS). Since 1914, Dio has been part of the Joint Board of Theological Colleges Affiliated with McGill University (more commonly called the Montreal School of Theology). MST consists of Dio, The United Theological College, and Presbyterian College.  Each of the MST college is overseen by a Board of Governors and MST has its own Board as well. Together, these five institutions (SRS, MST, Dio, PC, and UTC) cooperate to deliver high-quality theological education on University Street in Montreal. These complex interrelationships have grown out of a long, shared history. We probably wouldn’t design it quite like this if we were starting from scratch—but by God’s grace it continues to work today!

The Montreal Diocesan Theological College (Dio) is part of the Montreal School of Theology, an ecumenical consortium which includes the United Theological College and the Presbyterian College. – Adopted February 11, 2016

Program Requirements

Dio offers a range of programs in both residential and distance formats. This section describes and summarizes the requirements for the most common programs.

Master of Divinity (M.Div.)

The M.Div. program is integrated with the B.Th. program of the School of Religious Studies of McGill University. Normally, the M.Div. is considered a graduate degree, and students entering the program will already have a Bachelor’s degree. These students will complete a 60-credit B.Th. program which, combined with the M.Div. III Year, amounts to a three-year course of full-time study leading to the M.Div. degree. Under special circumstances, students may be admitted to a 90 or 120-credit B.Th. program, and be awarded an M.Div. after completing the M.Div. III year and meeting all the other degree requirements. Up to 36 credits may be transferred from another theological college, but it is expected that students will complete the whole M.Div. III Year at Dio/MST. The M.Div. degree is awarded by the college in collaboration with the Montreal School of Theology and is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools of the U.S. and Canada. Complete regulations for the M.Div. program are available on the MST website:

The academic and course requirements for the M.Div. program are as follows.

M.Div. I

  • RELG 302         Old Testament Studies 1
  • RELG 303         Old Testament Studies 2
  • RELG 311         New Testament Studies 1
  • RELG 312         New Testament Studies 2
  • RELG 322         The Church in History 1
  • RELG 323         The Church in History 2
  • RELG 333         Principles of Christian Theology 1
  • RELG 321         Western Intellectual Tradition or RELG 341         Philosophy of Religion

Students who have achieved a CGPA of 3.30 at the end of B.Th. 2 (M.Div. 1) may apply for permission to enter the B.Th. Honours program. They will be required to complete RELG 494/495 with a grade of B or better.

M.Div. students are strongly encouraged, but not required, to take 6 credits of a Biblical language. This may be either New Testament Greek or Biblical Hebrew. These count as elective credits.

M.Div. II

  • RELG 420         Canadian Church History
  • RELG 434         Principles of Christian Theology 2
  • RELG 470         Theological Ethics
  • RELG 479         Christianity in Global Perspective
  • one 3-credit course in a religious tradition other than Christianity, such as:
    • RELG 252         Hinduism and Buddhism
    • RELG 253         The Religions of East Asia
    • RELG 306         Rabbinic Judaism
    • RELG 352         Japanese Religions
    • RELG 354         Chinese Religions
  • Complementary Courses (12 credits)
    • one 3-credit course in Old Testament such as:
      • RELG 407         The Writings
      • RELG 408         The Prophets
    • one 3-credit course in Theology such as:
      • RELG 330         Reformed Theology
      • RELG 336         Contemporary Theological Issues
      • RELG 399         Texts of Christian Spirituality
      • RELG 423         Reformation Thought
    • one 3-credit course to be chosen from among the 300 and 400 level courses offered in the B.Th. or B.A. Religious Studies programs. For Honours students, RELG 494/495.

Ministry Seminar (M.Div. I and M.Div. II)

In addition to the course work at McGill, M.Div. students are required to complete four semesters of Dio’s non-credit Ministry Seminar before entering the final year of the M.Div. The Ministry Seminar is on a two-year cycle and is an opportunity to integrate vocation, academic learning, and church life. Normally this class does not require written work, though occasionally reading is required. Evaluation is pass/fail. The Ministry Seminar meets on Friday mornings. A schedule will be distributed at the first class.


Field Placement

Students who are in an ordination process are expected to be actively engaged members of a church during the first two years of the M.Div. program. This looks different for different students depending on individual circumstances. The college can help arrange placements in this part of the program. In general, students are expected to be at their church on Sundays and often one other commitment during the week.

M.Div. III (the “In Ministry Year”)

The course requirements for the M.Div. III are as follows:

  • MST 500          Field Placement (12 credits)
  • MST 511          Pastoral Care (1.5 credits)
  • MST 531          Preaching (3 Credits)
  • MST 541          Education and Formation (3 Credits)
  • MST 561          Christian Mission (3 Credits)
  • MST 562          Congregational Leadership (1.5 credits)
  • MDTC 582       Anglican History and Theology (3 Credits)
  • MDTC 522       Anglican Liturgy and Worship (3 Credits)

The Field Placement is a major component of the M.Div. III Year. The student spends about 20 hours per week in supervised ministry. Elements of the field placement include: (a) the supervisory session, i.e., 1.5 hours per week in intentional theological reflection with the supervisor; (b) the lay committee, i.e., four or five parishioners who offer assistance, prayer and constructive critical feedback; (c) the learning covenant, in which the student identifies specific learning goals for his/her work in the placement, and specific tasks to achieve those goals ; and (d) assignments, i.e., a number of course assignments are of a practical nature and relate to the placement : a congregational analysis, a leadership project, an education project, regular preaching, a funeral.

Successful completion of the In Ministry Year also requires completing an Intercultural Encounter requirement. Students may meet this in different ways, in consultation with the Principal and Director of Pastoral Studies.


Various workshops on preaching, conflict management and topics in Christian Education are held throughout the M.Div. III.  The workshops are associated with particular courses, and as such, attendance is expected as part of successful completion of the program.

Integrative Project

One of the requirements of the M.Div. program is “satisfactory completion of an integrative project that combines personal and theological reflection with an understanding of how the student engages in specific functions of ministry.” This requirement is met through supervised field placements and the writing of a three-part Integrative Paper over the three years of the program. The Director of Pastoral Studies will be in contact with students with more details on this requirement.

Diploma in Ministry (Dip.Min.)

The Diploma in Ministry is a program for students with previous graduate-level study of theology who are now preparing for ordained ministry. The requirements for the Diploma in Ministry are the same as those for the In Ministry Year listed above under M.Div.

Licentiate in Theology (L.Th.)

The college offers a Licentiate in Theology program through non-residential study. More information about this program is available on the college website or by talking to college faculty.

Transfer Credit

Of the 90 credits of the Master of Divinity program, at least 54 must be done in the Montreal School of Theology, meaning students can transfer up to 36 credits from another institution. In general, this requirement is understood to mean that students will complete the In Ministry Year and some further portion of academic study at the Montreal School of Theology and McGill University.


Convocation is held on the first Monday in May at a church in downtown Montreal. All students are invited to attend and participate in the service. At Convocation, prizes and awards are given to students to recognize outstanding academic performance, service to the community, and liturgical leadership. Graduating students should expect to hear from the college administrator in the winter semester prior to Convocation regarding details of the service.

Students who complete McGill degrees are also eligible to take part in McGill Convocation exercises and are encouraged to do so.

Library Privileges

Dio students who are co-registered at McGill have access to all McGill library resources. Students in the third year of the M.Div. program or in the Diploma in Ministry have access to physical McGill library resources. Arrangements for such access are made at the beginning of the school year through Joanna Duy, MST administrator. In addition, the Presbyterian College library is open to all Dio students. The small library in Dio’s basement is also open to all students and is run on an honour system. Please use books those that you need and return them when you are complete.

Various workshops on preaching, conflict management and topics in Christian Education are held throughout the M.Div III.  The workshops are associated with particular courses, and as such, attendance is expected as part of successful completion of the program.

Tuition and Fees

For all programs, tuition is billed by and paid to the college. The college also charges fees, which vary depending on the degree and your full- or part-time status. Students who are co-registered as McGill students will also need to pay fees (but not tuition) directly to McGill. Billing is done on a per-semester basis so students should expect an invoice by the first week of each term. This must be paid within 30 days. Payment can be made via cheque or credit card in the college office. Cash is also accepted but is not preferred.

An overview of the fee structure can also be found on the College website: Tuition and Fees

Students who experience difficulties in paying their bills to the college should be in contact with the principal as soon as possible.

Refund Policy

For full- or part-time students enrolled in M.Div., B.Th., S.T.M., and Diploma in Ministry

Fees paid to McGill will follow the refund policy of McGill University. Tuition and fees paid to the college will be refunded according to the following scale. The first $200 of the tuition assessed is non-refundable. College fees are refunded on the same scale as tuition.

Of the remaining charges, refunds will be made on the following basis when notification is received:

  • 90% is refunded during the first two weeks of classes
  • 60% is refunded during the third and fourth weeks of classes
  • 40% is refunded during the fifth and sixth weeks of classes
  • 20% is refunded during the seventh and eighth weeks of classes

After the eighth week of classes, no refund can be given. Students must give a notice of withdrawal in writing to the principal and college administrator. Fees and corresponding refund will be assessed based on the date of the notice received.


The College has a limited pool of funds available for bursaries to assist students in their studies. Bursary application forms are available on the college website and in the office, and should be returned by the deadline in July for processing during the regular billing cycle for the term.  Bursaries normally cover a full academic year and are disbursed in two equal portions at the beginning of each term.  The bursary is deducted from tuition and fees owed to Dio and the balance is billed to the student.

In general, these are the principles by which bursary funds are disbursed:

  1. Bursaries are primarily available to students studying on a residential program and preparing for ministry in the church. To receive a bursary, students need to be in satisfactory academic standing.
  2. Normally, bursaries will be made available only to those students who are studying on a full-time basis.
  3. All applications for bursaries will be submitted directly to the principal, who will make the final decision on their allocation.
  4. If a student should leave before completing their year of study, the College may require that the bursary be reimbursed.

The college also strongly encourages students to research all avenues for funding their degrees, including such organizations as the Anglican Foundation of Canada, the Society for the Increase of Ministry, as well as approaching their sponsoring diocese and congregation for support.

The college maintains a small hardship fund which students can appeal to during the course of the year. Application is made by inquiring directly of the principal.

Students who experience difficulties in paying their bills to the college should be in contact with college faculty as soon as possible so that the situation may be addressed.

The college seeks to be a welcoming and supportive community to all its members, in which students can grow, learn, and discern where God is calling them into ministry in the world. Faculty and staff are here to help form this community and guide students in this process of growth and discernment.

There is also an evaluative component to our common life. This is most obvious in the grades that you are given for your coursework. However, the faculty also have a broader responsibility to report to sponsoring bishops about your progress and development while you are at the college.

Bishop’s Letters

At the end of each academic year, each student schedules a meeting with the principal to review progress and performance in the past year. For students who are actively in an ordination process in their diocese or synod, this meeting forms the basis of an evaluative and confidential letter the principal writes to the sponsoring bishop. After the meeting, the principal drafts the letter and shows it to the student who is permitted to make corrections before it is sent to the bishop.

Liturgical Formation

Liturgical formation is a key part of our life in the college. Students are given many opportunities to lead and participate in worship so that they can grow and develop as worship leaders. The college is meant to be a supportive place in which students can take roles they’ve never had before and learn new things about worship and worship leadership. It is also an evaluative space. College faculty may offer feedback to students after they have taken a leadership role in worship to help them continue to grow and develop as worship leaders. Students are also encouraged to ask questions about the liturgical leadership decisions of college faculty and staff, who welcome these conversations. All of this is meant to be part of a dialogue within the college community about our worship life and our growth as leaders in the church.

All of the work of feedback and evaluation is designed to help facilitate a process of growth, development, and maturation in Christ. Students should expect that feedback is given in positive, constructive, and encouraging fashion. If you feel that this is not the case, you should make this known.


The Daily Office is said in the College Chapel Monday to Thursday during term time:

Morning Prayer                                   8am

Evening Prayer                                    4:30pm

The college community also celebrates Eucharist on Wednesday at 11.40am and on Friday morning at 7.30am.

The college expects that all students preparing for Christian ministry will have a life of prayer during their time as a student and that that life of prayer will be centred, in some fashion, on St. Luke’s Chapel. The form that that takes will vary from student to student as we seek to adapt an ancient rhythm of prayer to the realities of modern living, commuting, class schedules, and family life. It is generally expected that students will attend at least one service of the Daily Office every day they are on campus.

Attendance at the two weekly community Eucharists is normative for members of the community. These are an opportunity to break bread both at the altar and around the community table and deepen our relationships with one another before Christ. As we welcome guest celebrants and preachers, they are also an opportunity to learn from the preaching and presiding style of a diversity of clergy.

Students are invited into leadership roles almost from the moment of their arrival. The college expects students to take their place on the chapel rota, officiating at the Daily Office and serving at Eucharist. Additionally, all students are invited to join the preaching rota for Friday Eucharists in the winter term and senior students are invited to preach at a Wednesday Eucharist.

Students take the primary responsibility for officiating the Daily Office and for serving in various roles at the Eucharists. A rota is prepared each term, and is circulated and posted.  If a student is not able to lead the office they are assigned, it is their responsibility to find a replacement and note it on the calendar posted by the chapel. Students may ask other students or faculty to replace them.

Several times throughout the academic year, the usual Wednesday Eucharist is replaced by a Tri-college worship.  Students are expected to attend, and to engage with students from other colleges.


Eating together is a big part of what it means to be a Christian community. In our normal pattern of life, the college community eats lunch together on Wednesdays after Eucharist and eats breakfast together on Friday after Eucharist. Please ensure that you note any dietary concerns on your student information form so that these can be accounted for during the year.

The Wednesday meal is catered, though members of the community are asked to be involved in set-up and clean-up. The Friday meal is cooked by a member of the community. The college would like all members of the community to take a turn in preparing Friday breakfast. But we also do not wish this to be a financial hardship for any member of the community. If you would like to be reimbursed for your expenses, please give the receipts for the food you purchase to the college administrator. If you wish, you may simply offer the food as a gift to the community. If covering an out of pocket expense for the breakfast will be difficult for you, please let the principal know. In general, the college will reimburse costs for Friday breakfasts of about $4 per person.


The college holds a retreat at the beginning of the fall term at the CAMMAC Music Centre on Lac MacDonald, in the Laurentians, about an hour and a half north of Montreal.  This year’s retreat will be held from Friday, September 6 to Sunday, September 8. The topic is “Spiritual Practices for Sustainable Ministry” and it will be led by the Rt. Rev. Gordon Scruton, retired bishop of the Diocese of Western Massachusetts.  Transportation will be arranged during the first week of classes. The college will reimburse the travel costs of all vehicles that take at least four people to and from the retreat. Attendance at this retreat is expected of all students in the S.T.M., M.Div., and Dip.Min. programs. Students in other programs are strongly encouraged to attend.


The Rev. Jennifer (Jen) Bourque is the college chaplain. Her primary concern the spiritual well-being of all college members, including students, faculty and staff.  Concerns and conversations brought to her are held in confidence unless there is an explicit understanding or legal requirement that the concern should be taken elsewhere.  Jen also oversees the worship life in St. Luke’s Chapel.

The chaplain is part time and will be present in the college during most Wednesdays, both before and after the Wednesday Eucharist and lunch.  However, Jen may also be consulted by appointment outside of this time and may be contacted by email.

College Council and Student Roles

Every student and faculty member is a member of the College Council, which holds the primary responsibility for our shared life together. Meetings are held periodically throughout the year. The College Council is responsible for the planning of the Advent party as well as the end-of-year party. The College Council may also organize other social events throughout the year. Early in the term, there is an organizational meeting and election to determine the College Council President and fill other roles.

The President is usually a more senior student, who has the authority to call meetings and chairs the weekly announcements at our Wednesday community lunches.

The Treasurer oversees the funds of the College Council. Information about those funds is available from the college administrator.

The Sacristan sometimes with a sub-sacristan, is responsible for setup of the Wednesday and Friday Eucharists. They also keep the altar linens clean and the sacristy tidy.

The Cellarer is responsible for the Wednesday lunch/Friday breakfast clean-up schedule, and to see that the downstairs kitchen remains clean. This is achieved not by their own labour, but rather by helping every college member come to grips with their shared responsibility.

The Librarian is responsible for the general cleanliness and organization of the study spaces in the downstairs of the college and re-shelving books as needed.

The Refectorer is responsible for ensuring that set-up of the Wednesday lunch is taken care of, including bringing plates, silverware, and napkins from the kitchen to the main floor. They may also take charge of arrangements for college events organized by the students.

All members of the community are asked to fill in their names on a schedule for clean up after the Wednesday lunch.  This is arranged by the students, and includes taking the dishes downstairs, running the dishwasher, (usually two loads over the afternoon), and putting away any extra food.

Common Space

The basement of the college (except for assigned lockers) is common space accessible to all members of the community. The two library rooms are generally used for quiet study. The kitchen and eating area is generally thought to be a more social space. Occasionally these rooms are used for other purposes. Please be mindful of others when using these spaces.

The on the main floor of the college is our meeting, eating, and teaching area. During times when it is not being used, it is also a possible place in which quiet work may be done.

Computers and Printing

The college has free Wi-Fi available throughout the building, and students are encouraged to use their own laptops or other devices at the college. The college also provides computers (PC’s) for students’ shared use in the college common area, which have Microsoft office apps installed on them. Dio does not currently provide private accounts for document storage. If you work on the college computers, we recommend that you use a personal cloud storage account to save your work, both for privacy and to ensure you have access to your documents wherever you are working.

There is a black and white printer for student use in the common room. Students may also use the printer/photocopier/scanner on the main floor of the college, which is usually straightforward to connect to your device. There is no mechanism for tracking use by individual and no means for billing. Instead, students are asked to make a goodwill contribution to the college towards the cost of printing in the order of 5-cents per black-and-white side and 15-cents per colour side. Double-sided black-and-white printing is possible and preferred. The code for the main floor photocopier is available from the college administrator, who can also help with other IT issues.

McGill-registered students also have access to the university’s IT services, which includes access to computer labs, printing services and discounts on hardware, software, and services.


The college has two parking spaces available accessible through the Presbyterian College lot off of Milton St. These are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to all members of the community. Overnight parking is not permitted. Members of the college community are not permitted to park in the Presbyterian College lot without making specific arrangements with PC.

Plowing in the winter is handled by McGill and Presbyterian College. We are working with them to improve the situation, but if you rely on parking you should be aware that in the past, snow piling up in the back of the lot has severely restricted access to the college spaces in the winter semester.

Parking is also available on nearby streets and parking garages. Pay attention to all parking restrictions and payment.


There are a limited number of lockers in the basement common space which students may use. These will be assigned at the beginning of the year. Please indicate your interest in a locker to the college administrator. If there is more interest than there are available lockers, preference will be given to those who live furthest away, who are full-time students, and who are not McGill students. There are also lockers for McGill-registered students to use in the Birks Building.


Each student is given a mailbox. These are located on top of the piano in the basement. Please check this periodically as it is a key way the college and others may communicate with you.

Tobacco and Cannabis Policy

The college is located in property owned by McGill and as such McGill’s policies on tobacco and cannabis possession and use apply within the college.

McGill tobacco policy:

McGill cannabis policy:

In general, use of tobacco is permitted only in specified areas of the McGill campus (the college is not a specified area). Use of cannabis is not permitted. Possession of both within the limits of the law is permitted.

Responsibility and Care for the Building

The college has sole use of the main college building, and faculty, staff and students are all given access to the building through their McGill ID or a key card. Students may have access to the building between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., weekends included.  Students entering and exiting the building outside of business hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays), should use the main entrance to University Hall and the interior entrance to the college space. Both the outside door into the courtyard and the emergency exit into the alley are alarmed nights and weekends and will draw a check from security if they are opened.  When leaving the building outside of office hours, all the doors must be checked to ensure they are locked and secure, including the door into the neighbouring building, which is a part of McGill.

There is a separate key for the chapel.  The chapel is not used exclusively by the college, but also (and rather frequently) by McGill’s School of Music (which has primary responsibility for the chapel). Therefore, if students would like to use the chapel at times other than at ordinary service times, arrangements must be made through the college administrator.

Harassment Policy  

The Diocesan College is committed to being a safe space where students, faculty and staff can feel safe, respected and cared for.  Any behavior construed as harassment of another will be taken very seriously and could jeopardize student’s status.  More information is available in the college’s Anti-Harrassment Policy on the college website. 

Seminary can be an energizing, demanding, and challenging time for students. In addition to members of the college community, students are encouraged to seek the support from friends and loved ones, and to consult appropriate professionals as needed during their seminary experience. College faculty and the chaplain have extensive knowledge of the resources available to support students during their studies. Please do not be shy about asking for help. This section lists a couple of particular means of support and recourse available to students.

Spiritual Director

During their time in seminary, students are strongly encouraged to seek the support of an experienced spiritual director.  Spiritual direction is a ministry which is found in many forms and expressions, and more information and guidance with finding a spiritual director can be had in conversation with faculty and the chaplain. Please speak to the chaplain if you are interested in more information about finding a spiritual director.


From time to time, students may experience dissatisfaction with programs, policies, or experiences within the college and the college community. The college takes feedback from students very seriously. Concerns and complaints about the college may be brought to the principal, either in person or in writing. If the concern or complaint is about the principal, members of the community may speak to another member of staff, or they may write to the Rev. Jim Pratt, secretary of the Board of Governors at, who will address the matter in confidence.

Harassment Policy

The Diocesan College is committed to being a safe space where students, faculty and staff can feel safe, respected and cared for.  Any behavior construed as harassment of another will be taken very seriously and could jeopardize student’s status.  More information is available in the college’s Anti-Harassment Policy on the college website.

At McGill

Students who are also enrolled at McGill have access to a wide variety of services, including but by no means limited to a medical clinic, housing service, international student services, academic support and counselling.  Extensive information about how student services may be received may be found by following links on the following page:

There are additional resources available to all students for matters including learning support and learning disabilities, visa and immigration matters, health and wellness, and much else. Navigating the resources available to students can be complicated and challenging at times. We are a small community. If you need help, please ask!

Navigating the resources available to students can be complicated and challenging at times. If you need help, please ask!

In 2016, the college community drafted the following community commitment, which has served as a useful basis for outlining the parameters of the college’s common life.

Dio is a Christian community where we strive to encourage one another as we grow into the full stature of Christ.  Rooted in our baptismal covenant, we commit to the following practices:

  1. We will take our place in this community.  We will pay attention to one another, listening and supporting one another.  We will gather regularly and participate fully in prayer, study, and play.  We will be honest and brave in sharing our true opinions and respectful when others do the same.  We will welcome the richness offered us by the use of both English and French in our life together.  We will seek the beauty in our diversity while also celebrating all we have in common as children of God and baptized members of the Body of Christ.
  2. We will be active in working for reconciliation.  We will speak up when we feel wronged and we will seek forgiveness when we have done wrong.  We will practice self-examination.  We will respect one another’s time and take responsibility for our shared space.
  3. We will relate to others from a position of love, not power.  We will remember that we are witnesses to the Good News of Jesus and share the stories of our faith and of our own experiences with joy and humility.
  4. We will engage with God’s creation.  We will work to make our institution ecologically and socially responsible.  We will build strong, respectful relationships with our partners in the Montreal School of Theology and with all those who seek a world of justice, peace, and love.
  5. We will pray for one another.  We will pray for ourselves.  We will pray for the college.  And we will remember that we have been marked as Christ’s own forever.