Master of Religious Education (M.R.E.)

The Master of Religious Education (M.R.E.) is a basic degree designed for the preparation of teachers in the area of Religious Education or Administrators in Catholic Schools.

Program Outcomes

Students who complete this program shall:

  • Have a familiarity with the major areas of Catholic Theology. This is achieved through required courses in Sacred Scriptures, Systematic Theology, Moral Theology, and Sacramental/Liturgical Theology.
  • Have a thorough familiarity with the principles of Religious Education and their application in the context of Catholic Schools. This is achieved through mandatory 9 credits of courses in Religious Education for those in the Teaching Concentration.
  • Become familiar with the issues facing School Administrators in a Catholic context and be equipped to face them in a theologically informed manner. This is achieved through the mandatory courses in Catholic School Administration for students in the Catholic School Administration Concentration.
  • Put into practice the principles learned in their course work. This is achieved through ongoing participation in a relevant supervised field experience (12 credits)

Admission Requirements

A B.Ed. degree or undergraduate degree plus a teaching certificate is required for admission to the program. Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree plus work experience in an educational setting may also be considered. A limited number of mature student admissions may be accepted.  At present we are not able to offer Distance Education courses to residents of the U.S.A., but we welcome inquiries from anyone so interested.

This program is a Designated Learning Program and eligible to receive foreign nationals on a study permit.  See International Student Admissions for DLI number.

Residency

Six (6) credits to be completed at our main campus or extension site in Saskatchewan is offered as an approved exception to Degree Program Standard B, section B.3.1.3. from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

Procedure for Admission

  • Complete an Application Form and submit with payment of $45.00 non-refundable application fee (International Student Application Fee $250.00);
  • Arrange for transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended to be sent directly to the Registrar’s Office from the issuing educational authority. No photocopies permitted.
  • Letters of reference from two persons qualified to judge the applicant’s character and intellectual ability.
  • Personal Statement /Letter of intent about why the applicant would like to study for the M.R.E.

Degree Requirements

The MRE program requires the completion of 42 credits. 30 credits consists of course work including 24 credits in core courses and 6 credits in elective courses and the further 12 credits consists of field education. Credits may be acquired though full-time or part-time enrollment.

General Outline

Foundational Theology: 9 Credits

Teaching Concentration

REL 465 Foundations of Religious Education
REL 467 Contemporary Theory and Praxis in Religious Education
REL 491 Faith Formation in Religious Education

OR

Administration Concentration

CSA 571 Foundations of Catholic School Administrations
CSA 573 Contemporary Theory and Praxis in Catholic School Administration
REL 491 Faith Formation in Religious Education

Sacred Scriptures: 6 Credits

ONE OF:

BST 400 Introduction to Sacred Scripture and their Interpretation
BST 420 Introduction to Old Testament
REL 420 Old Testament in Religious Education

ONE OF:

BST 421 Matthew and Mark**
BST 422 Luke Acts**
BST 425 The Synoptic Gospels **
BST 430 The New Testament *
REL 422 New Testament in Religious Education

Systematic Theology: 3 Credits

ONE OF:

STD 450 Christology
STD 451 Theology of God

Liturgical Theology: 3 Credits

ONE OF:

STD 440 Liturgical and Sacramental Theology
REL 442 Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist

Moral Theology: 3 Credits

ONE OF:

REL 460 Moral Values in Religious Education
STP 461 Introduction to Moral Theology
STP 462 Introduction to Spiritual Theology

Electives: 6 Credits

Must take 2 Electives at the graduate level (excluding language classes). See Course Descriptions6

Supervised Field Experience: 12 Credits

REL 400 A/B/C/D is graded on a pass/fail basis. Completed through professional work as a teacher or approved volunteer placement.

* BST 430 has the prerequisite of BST 420 or REL 420 only.
** Students who take BST 425 cannot take BST 421 and/or BST 422 for credit. BST 421/BST 422 and BST 425 have the prerequisite of BST 400/BST 420 or REL 420.

Transfer of Credits

A student may transfer a maximum of 15 credits toward the M.R.E. for graduate level course work from other recognized colleges and universities. Such credits must not be part of a previous graduate degree program. The transfer of credits is subject to the approval of the NTC Admissions and Evaluation Committee.

M.R.E. Required Reading List

Congregation for the ClergyGeneral Directory for Catechesis. Ottawa: Concacan, 1997.

Knox, I.  C.S.Sp. Theology for Teachers. Ottawa: Novalis, 1999.

Stankard, B.  How Each Child Learns: Using Multiple Intelligence in Faith Formation.  Mystic: Twenty-Third, 2003.

Groome, T. Educating for Life. Allen, TX: Thomas Moore, 1998.

Mulligan, J.  Catholic Education: Ensuring a Future. Toronto: Novalis, 2005.

Palmer, P.  The Courage to Teach. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Inc., 1998.

Course Descriptions

Foundational Theology

CSA 571 Foundations of Catholic School Administration

3 Credits

In-depth study of specific topics in and approaches to Catholic school administration. Examples may include: the educational philosophy and history of Catholic schools; Church documents of Catholic education; the role of a Catholic school in a pluralistic society. Emphasis will be on ways to integrate a Catholic vision into mandated curricula, programs, staffing, and professional development of teachers.


CSA 573 Theory and Praxis in Catholic School Administration

3 Credits
In-depth study of specific topics in and approaches to Catholic school administration and leadership. Examples may include: Gospel-based leadership and supervision; school law and Catholic schools; interactive relationship of school/ family/parish/diocese; social justice issues facing Catholic schools; peace education; strategic planning; ecumenical dialogue and practice.


 

REL 465 Foundations of Religious Education

3 Credits
A praxis exploration of perennial questions and trends in religious education, in the light of various movements in the history of the teaching ministry of the Church. A study of key historical religious educators, beginning with Jesus.


REL 467  Contemporary Theory and Praxis in Religious Education

3 Credits
A study and critique of issues and trends in contemporary religious education theories, methods curricula and related Church documents, including the General Directory for Catechesis. Teaching strategies are discussed and practiced. Participants are to develop their own integrative approach to religious education.


REL 491  Faith Formation in Religious Education

3 Credits
An examination of God’s revelation and people’s response of faith; a study of the theories of faith formation in children and young people aged 5-18 years; an exploration of how teachers and administrators can foster faith formation in young people.


 

Sacred Scriptures

BST 400 Introduction to Sacred Scriptures and their Interpretation

3 Credits
This course introduces students to the Sacred Scriptures of the Christian faith, their academic study and their interpretation. The various books of the Old and New Testaments of the Catholic Bible are introduced in relation to their historical, cultural, and religious backgrounds, with timely references to geographical and archaeological data. Concurrently, students are introduced to the concepts of biblical inspiration, biblical inerrancy, and the formation of the canon.

This course also includes a seminar that explores the question of the interpretation of Sacred Scriptures with the Mind of the Church, during which key Church documents will be analyzed while some major contributions from the world of academia to the field of biblical interpretation will be considered. The aim is to equip students with a range of exegetical tools and building blocks that will be necessary in subsequent scripture courses in their chosen program, and indeed in their various ministries as exegetes of Sacred Scriptures.


BST 420 The Old Testament

3 Credits
Formation and interpretation of the Old Testament: biblical inspiration, canonicity, textual criticism, hermeneutics, history, geography and archaeology. Understanding the Old Testament. Study of selected texts from the Pentateuch, Historical Books, Psalms, Wisdom, Prophets, and Deutero-Canonical books of the Old Testament focusing on salvation history and covenant theology.

Students in the M.R.E. program cannot receive credit for both BST 400 & BST 420. 


BST 421  Matthew and Mark

3 Credits
Methods of interpretation. The synoptic problem. Structures of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. A comparative study of the message of the Gospels of Matthew and Mark emphasizing the tradition and redaction levels and introducing literary, structural and narrative approaches as well.


BST 422  Luke-Acts

3 Credits
A study of the text, biblical theology and introductory questions. Jesus the Saviour, the infancy narratives, parables and miracles, death and resurrection. The gift of the Spirit and the birth of the Church, mission and ministry, the role of women, the universality of salvation.


BST 425 The Synoptic Gospels

(Prerequisite: BST 400)

3 Credits
This course focuses on the Canonical Gospels of the Synoptic tradition. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are introduced, with particular attention given to their structure, their specific characteristics and historical circumstances, as well as their presentations of Jesus the Christ and their teachings on Christian discipleship. This course also includes a seminar, during which students will investigate, at a level pertinent to their program of study, questions arising from a consideration of the interrelationship between the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.


BST 430 The New Testament

3 Credits
Formation and interpretation of the New Testament: biblical inspiration, canonicity, textual criticism, hermeneutics, history, geography and archaeology. Understanding the New Testament. Study of selected texts from the Gospels, Pauline Letters, Catholic Epistles and other NT writings (Acts of the Apostles, Hebrews, etc.).

Students in the M.R.E. program cannot receive credit for both BST 400 & BST 430.

REL 420 Old Testament in Religious Education

3 Credits
The Old Testament as a source for religious education. The formation and transmission of the Old Testament. A survey of the foundations and history of Israel’s faith, life and worship as witnessed to in the Pentateuch, Historical Prophetic, Sapiential and Apocalyptic Literature of the Hebrew Scriptures.


REL 422  New Testament in Religious Education

3 Credits
The New Testament as a source for religious education. The formation and transmission of the New Testament. A study of the Christology and Christian discipleship of the Gospels and the Pauline Epistles.


Systematic Theology

STD 450 Christology

3 Credits
The contemporary problematic in Christology. The claims and challenges posed by Jesus in his preaching and life. His rejection, death, and resurrection. Jesus Christ as divine and human. Traditional and contemporary Christologies.


STD 451 Theology of God

3 Credits
Aspects of the problem of God in the modern era. Preparations for belief in the Trinity in the history of Israel. The Christ event and the Trinity. The Trinity and the early Church Councils. “Explanations” of the Trinity old and new. Special questions regarding the Trinity (the Trinity and the immutability of God, creation, modern science, evil, gender, Christian worship, and spirituality). Pneumatology.


Moral Theology

REL 460 Moral Values in Religious Education

3 Credits
Faith and moral values. The distinctiveness of a Christian morality. Moral development: a critical appraisal of current theories from a Christian viewpoint. Special emphasis on conscience and decisions-making. An exploration of some areas of current Christian moral concern.


STP 461 Introduction to Moral Theology

3 Credits
The basic elements of moral theology since Vatican II. Biblical and theological themes that define the person in Christ. The Christian meaning of sin, virtue, conscience, law, and moral discernment. The Christian experience of conversion and reconciliation in the way of discipleship.


STP 462 Introduction to Spiritual Theology

 

3 Credits
Definitions and understandings of spirituality. Examination of its biblical foundations. Development of spirituality as a discipline of theology. Theological and anthropological dimensions of Christian faith and spirituality. Introduction to the classical spiritual writers, schools of spirituality and contemporary forms of spirituality. The theology and practice of prayer, spiritual discernment, and asceticism.

 

M.R.E. Testimonials (formerly G.D.R.E.)

My name is Michelle Koshka and I am currently in my 4th year of the Graduate Diploma in Religious Education (GDRE).  I am a teacher and Learning Coach at St. Catherine Elementary/Junior High School in Edmonton.  I graduated from the University of Alberta in 2002 with a major in English and a minor in Religious and Moral Education.  I decided to take the GDRE as a means to pursue my interest in Religious Education at a graduate level.    By taking the Administration concentration, I was able to take courses on Catholic leadership and I have had the opportunity to study the history of Catholic education and the challenges facing Catholic schools and leaders.

My experience at Newman Theological College has been one that has enriched me both intellectually and spiritually.  It has provided me with the opportunity to learn, pray and journey with other students, professors, religious and clergy as well as colleagues from various schools and school districts.

As it states on the Edmonton Catholic Schools website, “All of the learning outcomes in the Program of Studies contain a religious dimension. It is the right, responsibility and privilege of educators in Catholic schools to bring to consciousness the divine presence that resides in what is learned.”  My experience at Newman Theological College has equipped me with the knowledge and skills necessary to fully permeate my faith in every aspect of my teaching vocation.  I am, indeed, privileged to be a student at this College and to be a part of this challenging and rewarding program.

Michelle Koshka, Teacher and Learning Coach at St. Catherine Elementary/Junior High School (G.D.R.E. program) current student


As a Catholic teacher in a Catholic school it is expected that one has a working understanding of the tenets of the faith. However, this is more difficult than one might assume. As a practicing Catholic and an accredited teacher I struggled with bridging the two aspects of my world. The GDRE program offered at Newman Theological College has given me the opportunity to partake in both professional and spiritual development. The GDRE program offers academic theological understandings on all matters of the Catholic faith while simultaneously building one’s spirituality. Partaking in the program has offered me the chance to become better versed in my faith; with this knowledge I have increased in confidence in sharing the faith with others, especially my students. I do not turn away from questions my students (or colleagues) ask about religion or God; rather I am excited to share with them what I have learned through the program.

The greatest joy I have experienced form the program is building my relationship with Jesus Christ! The more time I spend developing my understanding of the Catholic faith the clearer and more beautiful it becomes for me, building within me the desire to know more. Newman Theological College offers many blessings, from their learned and nurturing faculty to the opportunity to meet other students on a similar journey; we are all working toward building our faith through understanding.

Ryan O’ Gorman, Catholic School Teacher (G.D.R.E. program) current student


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