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.

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

  1. 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;
  2. engaging the challenges of the cultural and linguistic context of Montreal and the world of the 21st Century;
  3. partnering with world class educational institutions, the global church, and other dynamic organizations.

Dio builds community to foster ongoing learning and support by

  1. nurturing an inclusive student body and faculty through meaningful relationships, common worship, and challenging theological reflection;
  2. sustaining networks of support and continuing education for alumni;
  3. equipping parishes to serve as sites of missional learning and growth;
  4. 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

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

Director of Pastoral Studies: Karen Egan
Tel: 514-849-3004 ext. 227

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

Development Coordinator: Afra Tucker
Tel: 514-849-3004 ext. 224

Chaplain: Jen Bourque

Montreal School of Theology: Joanna Duy
Tel: 514-849-8511

  • August 28-29, 2018: Orientation for the M. Div. III year
  • September 3 (Labour Day), 2018: College Closed
  • September 4, 2018: McGill Classes begin
  • September 7-9, 2018: College Retreat (Attendance required for students in M.Div., S.T.M., and Dip.Min. programs; all others strongly encouraged to attend)
  • October 8 (Thanksgiving Day), 2018: College Closed
  • December 4, 2018: Classes end at McGill
  • December 7, 2018: Service of Lessons and Carols +Party
  • December 20, 2018: Last day of Exams at McGill
  • January 7, 2019: McGill Classes Begin
  • March 4-8, 2019: McGill and M. Div. III reading week
  • April 12, 2019: Classes end at McGill
  • April 30, 2019: Exams end

Chapel Life – 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.

Compline is sung on Sunday evenings at 8pm in the chapel. Arrive at 7.30 to practice to sing in the choir. All are welcome.

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 adopt 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 are also encouraged to attend Compline, one of the most beautiful services in the Anglican liturgical tradition.

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 clearly circulated and posted.. If a student is not ableto lead the office they are assigned, it is their responsibility to find a replacement. Students may ask other students, associates, 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.

Retreats – 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 7 to Sunday, September 9 and will focus on the relationship of worship and our witness as Christians in the world. All who attend the retreat are expected to read James K.A. Smith’s You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit before the retreat. Transportation will be arranged closer to the retreat. The college will reimburse the travel costs of all vehicles that take at least four people to and from the retreat.

Our Chaplain – The Rev. 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 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 – 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. During the fall retreat there is an election to name the College Council President, the Treasurer, the Cellarer, and the Sacristan.

  1. 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.
  2. The Treasurer oversees the funds of the College Council. Information about those funds is available from the administrative assistant.
  3. The Sacristan is named during the fall college retreat, often along with a sub-sacristan  They are responsible for setup of the Wednesday and Friday Eucharists.  This responsibility can on occasion be shared, or delegated to another.  In addition, the sacristan is responsible to keep the altar linens clean.
  4. The kitchen curator (often known as the brother/sister cellarer) is also named at the college fall retreat.  This person is responsible for the Wednesday lunch/Friday breakfast clean-up schedule, and to generally see that the downstairs kitchen remains clean.  This is achieved, not by their own labour, but rather by making every college member come to grips with their shared responsibility.

Students 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. 

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. 

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.

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, academic support and counselling.  Extensive information about how student services may be received may be found by following links on the following page:

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

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 of Governors as well. Each of the college principals take it in turn to serve as director of MST. In 2018-2019, the director is our own principal, Jesse Zink.

Dio students may participate in the governance of these institutions on several levels, as theological students serve on the boards of Dio, and MST.   Also, as B.Th. students they may serve as an undergraduate representative on the McGill Senate, and on various other committees in SRS, including the B.Th. committee.

The college has sole use of the main college building, and faculty, staff and students are all assigned keys to the building. 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.  Because the chapel is not used exclusively by the college, but also, (and rather frequently) by the Music department (which has primary responsibility for the chapel), if students would like to use the chapel at times other than at ordinary service times, arrangements must be made through Beth, the College Administrator.

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, in the Diploma in Ministry, or in another program also 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.

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. The college will send you an invoice in the first week of the term and this must be paid within 30 days.

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 college faculty as soon as possible so that the situation may be addressed.

For full- or part-time students enrolled in M.Div., BTh, STM, 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.

Bursaries – The College has a limited pool of funds available for bursaries to assist students in their studies. Bursary application forms are available online and in the office, and should be returned by the deadline in August 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.  Tuition and fees owed to Dio are deducted from bursaries awarded, with a cheque for any possible remainder provided to students with their statement of account for the term.

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.


Master of Divinity

The M.Div. programme is integrated with the B.Th. programme of the School of Religious Studies of McGill University. Normally, the M.Div. is considered a graduate degree, and students entering the programme will already have a Bachelor’s degree. These students will complete a 60-credit B.Th. programme 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. programme, 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 mandatory to complete the whole M. Div. III Year at Dio. The M.Div. degree is awarded by the college on the authority of the Montreal School of Theology and is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools of the U.S. and Canada.

M.Div. requirements include “satisfactory completion of college requirements in denominational studies and spiritual formation.”  These requirements are met by participation in college-sponsored courses and seminars, as well as in opportunities for spiritual practice and reflection.

A further requirement of the M.Div. programme 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 programme.

M.Div. I (B.Th. 2  60-credit programme)
  • RELG 280Elementary New Testament Greek (6 credits)
  • RELG 302Old Testament Studies 1
  • RELG 303Old Testament Studies 2
  • RELG 311New Testament Studies 1
  • RELG 312New Testament Studies 2
  • RELG 322The Church in History 1
  • RELG 323The Church in History 2
  • RELG 333Principles of Christian Theology 1
  • RELG 321Western Intellectual Tradition or RELG 341Philosophy of religion
  • MDTC 201Anglican Studies Seminar 1
  • MDTC 203Field Placement
  • MDTC 205Integrative Paper, part 1 : ‘The Journey of Faith’

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 programme. They will be required to complete RELG 494/495 with a grade of B or better.

Students may replace RELG280 with RELG390, Elementary Biblical Hebrew, or, under certain circumstances, with permission of their advisor,  they may replace RELG280 with two 3-credit electives at the 300 or 400 level.

M.Div. II (B.Th. 3)
  • RELG 381Advanced New Testament Greek
  • RELG 420Canadian Church History
  • RELG 434Principles of Christian Theology 2
  • RELG 470Theological Ethics
  • RELG 479Christianity in Global Perspective
  • RELG 482Exegesis of the Greek New Testament or RELG411New Testament Exegesis

one 3-credit course in a religious tradition other than Christianity, such as : 

  • RELG 252Hinduism and Buddhism
  • RELG 253The Religions of East Asia
  • RELG 306Rabbinic Judaism
  • RELG 352Japanese Religions
  • RELG 354Chinese Religions
Complementary Courses (12 credits)

one 3-credit course in Old Testament such as :

  • RELG 407The Writings
  • RELG 408The Prophets

one 3-credit course in Theology such as:

  • RELG 330 Reformed Theology
  • RELG 336Contemporary Theological Issues
  • RELG 399Texts of Christian Spirituality
  • RELG 423Reformation 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 programmes. For Honours students, RELG 494/495.

  • MDTC 302 Anglican Studies Seminar 2
  • MDTC 304Field Placement
  • MDTC 306Integrative Paper, part 2 : ‘The Faith of the Church’
Anglican Studies (M.Div. I and M.Div. II)

The Anglican Studies course is on a two-year cycle and covers such subjects as The Daily Office, Music, The Integrative Paper, Administration and Anglican Polity.  Normally this class does not have any requirements for the students to produce written work, though occasionally reading is required.  Every M.Div. student is required to attend two years of Anglican Studies, held from 11:30-1 on Fridays during term (or some other time on Friday as arranged by the members of the class).  A schedule will be distributed at the first class.

M.Div. III and Diploma in Ministry (formerly “In Ministry Year”)
  • MST 500Field Placement (12 credits)
  • MST 511Pastoral Care (1.5 credits)
  • MST 531Preaching (3 Credits)
  • MST 541Education and Formation (3 Credits)
  • MST 561Mission/Church in Context (3 Credits)
  • MST 562Congregational Leadership (1.5 credits)
  • MDTC 582Anglican History and Theology (3 Credits)
  • MDTC 522Anglican Liturgy and Worship (3 Credits)

The Field Placement is a major component of the MDiv III Year. The student spends about 30 hours/every other 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., 4 or 5 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.

  • MDTC 410Integrative Paper, part 3
  • MDTC 412Intercultural Encounter

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.

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.