Licentiate in Ministry

Preparation for ministry in community and congregational contexts.

The Licentiate in Ministry prepares students for ministry in community and congregational contexts. Graduates will meet the requirements for United Church Testamur for ordained ministry. Testamur is a type of certification that is required for ordination in the United Church of Canada.

Program elements combine studies in Bible, the Christian tradition, and theology with a strong component of supervised ministry practice and studies in the practice of ministry.

  • Christian formation: Deepen your knowledge of the Christian tradition. 
  • Denominational formation: Learn about the theology and practices of the United Church of Canada.
  • Field education: Develop skills for ministry and pastoral care through hands-on experience.
  • Intercultural learning: Participate in intercultural encounters and explore what it means to be an intercultural church.

More Information About the Licentiate in Ministry

The Licentiate in Ministry is a flexible pathway for students who may not have an undergraduate degree or previous theological studies but do have some prior learning in theology. It is offered in French and English, with a particular emphasis on accessibility for francophone students.

The Licentiate is equivalent to three academic years or six semesters (90 credits). Compared to the other programs of ministry formation, a larger proportion of learning takes place in a supervised ministry setting.  

Learning outcomes cover four areas:

  • Spiritual Practices and Development of Identity in Ministry
  • Understand, Integrate, and Articulate the Christian Faith
  • Cultural and Contextual Knowledge and Analysis
  • Leadership within the Faith Community and Wider Community

Structure and Courses

Expand the tabs below to learn more about each component of the program.

Reformation theology or reformation history 3
Early church history/church history introduction 3
New Testament 3
Hebrew Bible 3
Biblical exegesis 3
World religions 3
Introduction to theology or equivalent 3
Global Christianity or Contextual theology (E.g., Liberation theology, theology of justice, Asian, African theology) 3
Two other courses in Bible, Church History, Theology or related areas 3


Leadership 2
Mission 3
Preaching 3
Christian Education 2
Pastoral care or Clinical Pastoral Education 2
United Church worship 1.5
United Church history and theology 3
United Church Polity 1.5
United Church Learning Circle 3
Intercultural encounter or study tour (with preparation and follow up reflection) or a course in Indigenous studies 3
Supervised Field Placement 15
This can include courses or learning circles, other recognized learning (see information below about prior learning and transfer credit), and up to 6 additional credits in field placement 18
On-line community evening (once a month online gathering with student-led worship, community building, and guided conversation on a ministry or vocational topic). If students live close to the college they may choose to attend college community worship, ministry seminar, and in-person community events instead of the online option.
College retreat (attend once)
Learning plan: a learning plan will be developed with the program director including learning goals and plan of studies  to complete the program. Each year, students will assess their learning and growth, and identify growth in relation to learning outcomes, areas of challenge, new learning goals, a revised plan of  studies.
Integrative paper: Over the duration of the program, students will write three integrative papers that address self-awareness, self-assessment and personal growth, including understanding of location, power and social context; vocational call and understanding of ministry; ecclesiology, understanding of their vocation and ministry in relation to the church they are called to serve.

Transfer Credit and Prior Learning

Prior to starting the program, each student may request assessment for advance standing, transfer credits, and credit for prior learning that has taken place in other recognized programs and educational institutions.

Flexible and Non-Residential Program Options

This program is designed to maximize flexibility and accessibility. A portion of the program may be taken at partner institutions or accredited programs outside Dio.

The program is designed to accommodate students who live at a distance from the college and who wish to do most of their studies from their home community. However week-long residential events are also required each year.

Learning in Community

Even though students are geographically distant, they are intentionally connected to a learning community online.

Admission Requirements

  • Interest in ministry leadership and a call to ministry
  • Capacity for study at a post-secondary level in either English or French
  • Connection to the United Church (ie. United Church member, participant in an affiliated ministry or community of faith, candidate)
  • Readiness and capacity to serve in a supervised ministry field placement