Master of Divinity revisions expand reach and breadth of program at Dio

Montreal Diocesan Theological College announces two significant changes to its Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program that are designed to make the program more widely accessible and more attuned to the needs of leaders in the church: An accelerated M.Div. program, and the introduction of new interdisciplinary options within the M.Div.

Accelerated M.Div.

Normally, a 3-year M.Div. follows a 4-year undergraduate degree. But some young people discern a call to ministry early in life and may wish to combine their undergraduate studies with ministry preparation. The new accelerated Master of Divinity program is for these students. In four or five years of full-time study (or longer if done part-time), students combine an undergraduate program in theology at McGill University with college-specific training for ministry, including ministry placements and course work related to Christian mission and ministry. Students graduate with both an undergraduate degree—a Bachelor of Theology from McGill University—and a graduate degree—a fully accredited Master of Divinity degree.

“The M.Div. remains an important standard for theological education in the church,” said the Rev. Canon Jesse Zink, Dio’s principal. “But some students are called to leadership roles in the church at a young age. This new program builds on our long-standing relationship with McGill University to ensure that more people can have access to the M.Div. regardless of their educational background and the point in life when they sense God’s call to ministry.”

The accelerated M.Div. complements Dio’s long-standing M.Div. as a first-degree. This program is for students called to ministry later in life who lack an undergraduate degree. The first-degree M.Div. allows these students to complete a fully accredited M.Div. in 3-years whether or not they have a previous undergraduate degree.

Interdisciplinary M.Div.

All students in Dio’s M.Div. program are now eligible to combine their studies with coursework in other departments at McGill University, including credits that could lead to a minor concentration. Most notably this could include coursework in McGill’s growing Indigenous Studies program.

“Our longstanding relationship with McGill is a wealth of resources for our students and, through them, for the whole church,” said Zink. “These programmatic changes mean that our students have readier and easier access to the breadth of these resources. The next generation of leaders of the church need to be deeply rooted in the Christian tradition, which our program has long provided. But they also need to be able to think about the Christian gospel in non-Christian settings. Taking courses from across the university helps prepare them to do so.”

The changes provide greater flexibility to students in designing a course of study that prepares them for the ministry to which they called. “Given the centrality of Canada’s indigenous people to the Anglican Church of Canada,” said Zink, “we are particularly encouraged by the growing strength of Indigenous Studies at McGill and see that as an immense resource to the broader church. But there are many other fields which students can study as well, including psychology, sociology, economics, business, or history.”

The changes to the program complement Dio’s existing Master of Divinity program, which is open to students with a previous undergraduate degree in any subject.

Montreal Diocesan Theological College was founded in 1873 and has been affiliated with McGill University since 1880. It is a member of the ecumenical Montreal School of Theology and was recently reaccredited by the Association of Theological Schools for a further period of 10 years.

Students interested in these programs are advised to read the information on this website or contact the college at [email protected].