The United Church Studies Program at Dio is a progressive and welcoming program of The United Church of Canada with a mission to prepare students for service and ministry in the church and world of tomorrow.
UCS at Dio offers the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree and is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, allowing us to grant testamur to those seeking ordination. We also offer a range of learning opportunities for leaders in all aspects of church and community life, including a French lay education program (Exploration de la foi et du leadership).
We strive to equip our graduates to function bilingually, in anglophone or francophone settings, and are committed to strengthening French language ministry and ministries in French in the United Church of Canada.
Our approach incorporates theological reflection, spiritual growth, missional outreach, and justice in ministry. We are a richly diverse community. Our students are from across the world; they are anglophone, francophone, allophone; and they support and participate in all aspects of the LGBTQ+ community. We teach and learn intercultural skills, we embrace what it means to be an Affirming Ministry, and we work ecumenically whenever possible.
At UCS at Dio, students will develop the capacity to innovate, to launch new ministries, plant new communities of faith, and participate in God’s mission “to make all things new”.
“At the college, I found a safe space to unpack my ‘ecclesiastical wounds’; a space where I felt culturally and humanly welcomed; and where I felt well accompanied in my studies and discernment.”
– Norman Robert Boie, Master of Divinity, 2022
Our Vision and Values
We believe that The Good News of Jesus Christ is lived out wherever words, actions, and faithful presence convey justice, hope, hospitality, healing, joy, and reconciliation.
Openness to new forms of being church
This means helping communities of faith embrace the future, while incubating new expressions of faith and spirituality directed to a common purpose.
Diversity of gender, sexual orientation, race, culture, class, income, or ability, is something that can be learned, practiced and celebrated through daily attention and intention.
Ecumenism, in the original sense of “the whole inhabited world” is another form of diversity we choose to embrace. We believe we are called to engage in theological conversation and ecumenical collaboration with other Christian churches and other faith traditions.
The pluralistic, secular, and predominantly francophone context of Quebec challenges us, shapes our theology, our intercultural engagement, our vision of church, and our practices of ministry and leadership formation.
Why Study at UCS at Dio?
If you are looking for a diverse and supportive learning community
Our teaching and admin staff accept and attend to the unique story and circumstance of each student. Together we are learning to become a community that welcomes, respects, and embraces sexual, gender, racial, linguistic, and ethnic diversity.
If you value both academic and practical learning
UCS at Dio offers a “2+1” M.Div. program, consisting of a two-year Bachelor of Theology taken at McGill’s School of Religious Studies and a third “In Ministry Year”. The IMY is a year-long intensive offered at the college and the Montreal School of Theology that combines field placements with practical ministry formation.
If you live in or near Montreal
It is our distinctive mission to prepare students for lay and ordained ministry in the pluralistic, secular, and primarily francophone context of Quebec, while also drawing students from Ottawa, Eastern Ontario, and beyond. UCS at Dio is the place for you if you want to study for ministry in the United Church of Canada, if you live in Quebec, if you come from Ottawa or Kingston, if you speak French or want to learn to minister in French, or if you care about intercultural ministry.
If you already have a degree in theology
Our program structure makes it possible for students with a prior degree in theology to earn a Diploma in Ministry and qualify for testamur, our testimony that a student has met the learning requirements set by the United Church of Canada for ordination or commissioning. If you have already studied theology and are now thinking about ordination, consider the Diploma in Ministry program.
The United Church Studies program at Montreal Dio is the continuation in Montreal of the work of the United Theological College (UTC). In spring of 2021, UTC moved into Dio. For the following academic year, Dio and UTC acted as two colleges under one roof. After an extensive strategic planning process shared by both colleges boards of governors, UTC decided to wind down its existence while Dio formally agreed to launch a United Church Studies program and incorporate United Church representation into its governance.
Montreal Dio is proud to offer formal paths to ordination in the Anglican and United Churches and delights in being a creative and nurturing space for ecumenical dialogue and relationship.
Our Legacy as an Affirming Ministry
In January 2004, The United Theological College became the first college of The United Church of Canada to commit publicly to being an open and welcoming space for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. This public declaration, made after considerable reflection by the UTC Board of Governors, students, and faculty, reflected a reality that had been lived by the College well before 2004. Despite debates waged in public and political forums, we had long believed it necessary to speak of our faith convictions, of justice and first-class citizenship for all of God’s people and to speak in the language of theology which is ours. While the nature of UTC as an entity has shifted, we carry this ethic forward into our new identity as UCS at Montreal Dio. We embrace the diversity of all God’s people as we offer hospitality and welcome.