Senate Agenda, April 14, 2000 - EXHIBIT III, Appendix 1
THE THEOLOGY PROGRAM
(St. Peter's Seminary Academic Calendar 2000-2002)
The theology program is designed to fulfil the institutional mission and purpose of the Seminary. It incorporates a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree or an Advanced Master of Divinity degree at the post-baccalaureate level as the academic component of the formation program for pastoral development of candidates for the ministerial priesthood and lay leadership in the Catholic Church. The program also includes a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree for those seeking greater knowledge of the Catholic theological tradition.
Candidates for the ministerial priesthood begin their formation with two years of academic formation in Theology as full-time residents in the Seminary. The spiritual, human and pastoral components of their formation are integrated into this period of residency, as outlined in the section on the overall program of formation.
The second stage involves an intensive field education experience in a parochial setting, known as the Pastoral Year. It is operated like a co-op experience, challenging the candidates to appropriate what they have learned in the academic setting through pastoral application. It assists them to identify their areas of competency and those requiring further growth in their formation. The Pastoral Year continues the integration of the four areas of formation (academic, spiritual, human and pastoral) through periodic evaluation, a deepening theological reflection upon their personal experiences in prayer, and the guidance of pastors who act as mentors in collaboration with parochial pastoral teams.
The third stage, as full-time residents in the Seminary once again, continues all the areas of formation with emphasis on the academic for three additional semesters. The candidates engage in full-time studies, but with a greater ability to incorporate personal pastoral experiences and to reflect on future ministry as priests. During this third stage, the seminarian may petition and be called to the transitional diaconate.
Though the requirements for the Advanced MDiv are fulfilled by the end of the ninth semester, preparation for ordained ministry as priests continues. The graduates, designated as "special students", engage in a final semester of theological and pastoral study in areas immediately related to the ministry of the priest. At the completion of this semester, designed for denominational requirements, the students may apply for and be called to the order of priest.
Lay students enrolled in the MDiv (or possibly, the Advanced MDiv) degree may enter the program of formation on a full- or part-time basis. This offers them the flexibility of part-time studies, providing there is at least one year of full-time studies during which the candidates are involved in the formation components of the program, as outlined for lay students. This program does not envision students living as residents in the Seminary, nor does it require the co-op experience of the Pastoral Year in a parish. It does envision, however, participation in field education courses either concurrently with academic studies or during summer periods. While some of the courses of the fifth year are restricted to candidates for ordination, lay students are eligible to take some of them as options.
MASTER OF DIVINITY DEGREE
[There are two changes to the program description for this degree: to amend the admission requirement to read, "a Bachelor's degree from a recognized and accredited University, with a minimum average of 70%..." and to revise the graduation requirement to read, "...with an overall average of 70%". The required averages shown in the Theology calendar currently are 60% and 65% respectively. The amendments will allow provide consistency across the Masters' programs.]
ADVANCED MASTER OF DIVINITY DEGREE
The Advanced Master of Divinity (Advanced MDiv) is a professional theological degree recognized through the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) of Canada and the United States. As with the MDiv degree, the Faculty of Theology of St. Peter's Seminary administers this degree program by virtue of its affiliation with the University of Western Ontario through King's College and our membership with ATS, whose accrediting standards govern theological education and programs at universities throughout Canada and the United States. The Advanced MDiv is not recognized as a graduate degree by the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies. The term "Master"is used in accordance with the accrediting body, ATS. This degree is geared specifically to candidates for ordination, but is also open to lay students who wish to complete an enhanced program.
The admission requirements for the Advanced MDiv program are basically the same as those for the MDiv program: The Advanced MDiv program is open to applicants who hold a Bachelor's degree, with a minimum average of 70%, from a recognized and accredited university. Secondly, applicants must have completed, or be in the process of completing, the prerequisite Philosophy and Religious Studies courses. The Philosophy prerequisites for all students in the program are: Introduction to Philosophy (020E), Thomistic Philosophy I (133), Aristotelian Logic (141), and Contemporary Philosophy (148E), or their equivalents. The Religious Studies prerequisite is Church History (250E) or its equivalent. (See the outline of the Arts Program or the calendar of King's College for further information.)
Limits or exceptions to these admission requirements are as follows:
Normally, progression in the program requires completion of the 100-level subjects first. Secondly, the 200- and 400- level subjects are offered on a rotating cycle. The 500-level courses are offered for the Advanced. MDiv, but some of the 500-level courses may be included as options in the MDiv. Other progression requirements are elaborated in individual course descriptions.
Options in the program include the following:
To graduate, candidates for ordination must successfully complete seventeen and one-half academic credits (i.e., thirty-five courses) in the Advanced MDiv program plus four Field Education courses (including the Pastoral Year), with an overall average of 70%.
Lay candidates also must complete thirty-five academic courses and four Field Education courses.
They must be enrolled in the program for at least one year as full-time students, during which time they are to participate in the formation components of the program as outlined for lay students. They must also fulfill the requirements of a professional competency evaluation.
Students - clerical or lay - who have taken courses at the Seminary prior to 1985 may be eligible to complete their degree after being formally admitted to the program according to the Admissions Procedures. The completion of the academic requirements must also include one year full-time status in the lay formation program and the fulfilment of the requirements of a professional competency evaluation.
MASTER OF THEOLOGICAL STUDIES
The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree is a theological degree recognized through the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) of Canada and the United States. As with the MDiv and the Advanced MDiv degrees, the Faculty of Theology of St. Peter's Seminary administers this degree program by virtue of its affiliation with the University of Western Ontario through King's College and our membership with ATS, whose accrediting standards govern theological education and programs at universities throughout Canada and the United States. The MTS is a post-baccalaureate, introductory theological degree for those seeking greater knowledge of the Catholic theological tradition. In contrast to the MDiv, the MTS does not prepare students for professional ministry in the Church. It is not recognized as a graduate degree by the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies. The term "Master" is used in accordance with the practice of the Seminary's accrediting body, ATS.
Entrance requirements include a Bachelor's degree, with a minimum average of 70%, from an accredited university, two letters of reference, and an interview. Since some philosophical background is essential for studying Catholic theology at this level, a full-year, two-semester course in Thomistic Philosophy is required. This course may be taken concurrently with theology courses as part of the MTS program.
Students are required to complete a total of sixteen one-semester courses plus a thesis. Ordinarily students first will complete the two-semester course in Philosophy and ten half-courses from the first year of the theological curriculum of the MDiv, not including the field education course. Students then may select four elective courses from the upper-level years of the theological curriculum, in consultation with the academic advisor. These may include up to two 'selected topics' courses approved by the academic advisor. After completing the courses students must complete a forty- to fifty-page thesis directed by an appropriate member of the faculty.
To graduate, students must complete eight credits (sixteen courses) in the MTS program with an overall average of 70%; they must also complete the thesis with an average grade of 70% from two examiners.