Montreal Dio launches uniquely flexible pathways to United Church Testamur

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Montreal Dio is pleased to announce the launch of two new and uniquely flexible pathways toward ordination in the United Church of Canada. Following recent changes to requirements for ordination in the UCC, college faculty have been working to design and implement a wider range of programs that will allow prospective students to meet the requirements for Testamur, the necessary certification required for ordination in the United Church. 

“We understand that God calls many people into ministry for whom a traditional Master of Divinity program may not be appropriate or possible,” said college Principal Jesse Zink. “These new programs maintain the same quality and standards as existing programs and do so in a way that is appropriate for a student’s situation.” 

The Studies for United Church Testamur program is a one-year, highly customizable program for students with some previous theological studies. It can be done almost entirely remotely and allows students to fill in the necessary gaps in their Testamur requirements.  

The Licentiate in Ministry for the United Church is a three-year program designed for students without a prior theological degree. The Licentiate program has a significant focus on a supervised ministry placement, combined with courses in the Christian tradition that can be done remotely or at other institutions. The goal of the program is to allow students to engage in an action-reflection model of ministry in a specific ministry context and to do so in their home communities if they so choose. Both programs retain the college’s traditional emphasis on academic rigour appropriate to a student’s level, inter-cultural learning, and theological reflection in community. 

Both programs can be completed in English or in French. “As the United Church continues to see growth in French-language communities of faith, we understand that there needs to be a flexible, French-language pathway to ministry,” said Zink. “These programs, particularly the Licentiate, will help meet those needs. In offering these new programs we are adapting to the changing requirements of the church as well as the changing—and exciting—circumstances the church finds itself in.”  

Since the integration of the former United Theological College into Dio beginning in 2021, Montreal Dio has been recognized as a testamur-granting institution of the United Church of Canada. In addition to these new programs, Dio continues to offer the Master of Divinity and the Diploma in Ministry on its campus in Montreal. Both programs also meet the requirements for testamur.