Master of Theological Studies Program (M.T.S.)

The Master of Theological Studies Program (M.T.S.) is a basic academic graduate program designed to assist students in developing an understanding of theology for advanced graduate studies and for their personal and professional lives. The program will introduce students to the main areas of theological study as well as provide the opportunity for some in depth study in one area. The program of itself is not intended for professional preparation for lay or ordained ministry.

Program Outcomes

Students who complete this program shall:

  1. Have attained a survey knowledge in the following major areas—foundational theology, sacred scripture, systematic theology, and moral/spiritual theology.
  2. Have demonstrated a focused knowledge in one of the areas of specialization mentioned in #1.
  3. Be able to do specialized research at a graduate level and be able to integrate different areas of study into a personal theological synthesis.
  4. Have demonstrated their research capabilities by having written a graduate level research paper.
  5. Have demonstrated a general knowledge of the four areas mentioned in #1 as well as a specialized knowledge of one of those areas that will facilitate future post-graduate work in those areas.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the M.T.S. program must possess a previous undergraduate university degree, with a GPA of 3.0 (B) or better. A student’s previous university work should include 12 credits in philosophy. Deficiencies in this area must be rectified either prior to admission or acquired in the program before preparing for the research proposal and writing of the research paper. The philosophy credits cannot be counted towards M.T.S. elective credits. Applicants are encouraged to attain a reading proficiency in a classical language, if further study in their area of concentration would demand it.  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.

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 official transcripts to be sent to the Registrar’s Office from all high school and post-secondary institutions attended. An official transcript is one that has been received by the Registrar’s Office directly from the issuing educational authority. No photocopies allowed.

  • Personal autobiography and curriculum vitae*. Autobiography should include research interests and area of specialization.

  • Two letters of recommendation* from persons qualified to judge the character and intellectual ability of the applicant.  Letters must be sent directly to the Registrar’s Office.

Application Deadlines: Refer to the Academic Schedule.

* Guidelines available from the Office of the Registrar.

Transcripts or references issued directly to the student or photocopies will not be accepted. When the Registrar’s Office has received all required documents, the applicant’s file will be brought forward to the Admissions & Evaluation Committee for consideration.

Degree Requirements

The M.T.S. is awarded upon the completion of the following requirements:

  • 9 core course credits Foundational Theology;
  • 9 core course credits Sacred Scripture, including BST 400*;
  • 9 core course credits Systematic Theology, including STD 400* and STD 450*;
  • 9 core course credits Moral/Spiritual Theology, including STP 400* and STP 461*;
  • 9 elective course credits in the area of specialization;
  • 3 general elective course credits;
  • Bibliographical study and research proposal;
  • Research paper of 40-50 pages in the area of specialization, excluding bibliography.

*BST 400 Introduction Sacred Scripture and Their Interpretation, STD 400 Introduction to Theology, STD 450 Christology, STP 400 Introduction to Pastoral Theology and STP 461 Introduction to Moral Theology must be taken in the first year of the M.T.S. program.

A GPA of 3.00 or better must be maintained throughout the program. The program must be completed within five years from the date of initial registration. In extenuating circumstances the Academic Dean may grant an extension for this time limit.

M.T.S. lay students are strongly encouraged to participate in THEO 020 Lay Formation.

Program Outline

Core Courses

*Must be taken in the first year of the M.T.S. program.

Three courses are to be selected from each of the following areas:

Foundational Theology  

9 Credits

Three of:

FTH 400 Early Church History
FTH 402  Christianity and World Religions
FTH 410  Medieval Church History
FTH 411  Modern Church History


Sacred Scriptures

9 Credits

BST 400*  Introduction to Sacred Scripture and Their  Interpretation

Plus 2 of:

BST 421  Matthew and Mark
BST 422  Luke-Acts
BST 423  Pauline Literature
BST 424  Johannine Literature


Systematic Theology

9 Credits

STD 400* Introduction to Theology
STD 450* Christology

Plus One of:

STD 401  The Theology of Revelation
STD 440  Liturgical Theology
STD 442  Introduction to the Sacraments and Christian Initiation
STD 451  Theology of God
STD 452  Theological Anthropology
STD 453  Ecclesiology


Moral and Spiritual Theology

9 Credits

STP 400* Introduction to Pastoral Theology
STP 461*  Introduction to Moral Theology

Plus 1 of:

STP 462  Introduction to Spiritual Theology
STP 463  Theology of Ministry
STP 471  The Social Teaching of the Church


Electives

12 Credits

The following courses are suitable electives in the MORAL & SPIRITUAL area of specialization:

STP 569  Classic Christian Spiritualities
STP 574  The Concept of Christian Faith
STP 575  Spiritual Direction
STP 576  Bioethics: Moral Issues from the Life Sciences
STP 578  Married Love and Sexuality in the Christian  Tradition
STP 579  Contemporary Spiritualities
STP 663  Contemporary Christian Ethics

12 elective credits (excluding pastoral theology courses) of which 9 credits must be taken from the area of specialization.

M.T.S. 805 Bibliographical Study and Research Paper Outline

M.T.S. 900 Research Paper of 40-50 Pages, excluding Bibliography, in the area of specialization

For details on M.T.S. research paper, refer to the Master of Theological Studies Program: A Guide for Students and Professors, available from the Registrar’s Office.

Transfer Credit

A student may transfer a maximum of 24 of the 48 required course credits towards the M.T.S. from other recognized educational institutions. Such credits must not be part of a previous degree program. The transfer of credits is subject to the approval of the NTC Admissions and Evaluations Committee.

Course Descriptions

Foundational Theology

FTH 400  Early Church History

3 Credits
The historical development of the Church from the second century to the rise of Islam. The relationship of Church and Empire, the beginnings of monasticism, the contributions of women, the development of institutions and doctrine, and the missionary activity of Christians beyond the Greco-Roman World.


FTH 402  Christianity and World Religions

3 Credits
Founders of religions and the meaning of religion. Christianity in relation to other religions. An introduction to Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese Religions, and Amerindian Religions. New religious movements. Interfaith dialogue, especially between Christians and Jews.


FTH 410 Medieval Church History

3 Credits
The historical development of the Church in the Medieval Era from the beginning of the eighth century to 1500. Monasticism and religious orders, heretical movements and popular religion, intellectual development, Church and State relations.


FTH 411 Modern Church History

3 CreditsThe Church from the end of the fifteenth century until today. Calls for reform. Key reformers: Luther, Zwingli, Calvin, Cramner. Catholic reforms and the Council of Trent. The Enlightenment and its aftermath: liberalism, anti-clericalism, ultramontanism and Vatican I. Byzantine churches. Missionary movements and North American Protestantism. The Church as global: Latin America, Asia, Africa. Modernism, ecumenism, Vatican II and toward the 21st century.


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 scripture 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 Scripture.


BST 421  Matthew and Mark

(Prerequisite: BST 400)

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

(Prerequisite: BST 400)

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 423  Pauline Literature

(Prerequisite: BST 400)

3 Credits
This course considers the epistolary literature of the New Testament attributed to the Apostle Paul.  A brief survey of the Apostle’s life and gospel gives way to a close reading of the Pauline Letters.  Although all Pauline Epistles will be read (1 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Romans), students will in particular consider central Pauline themes (Christology, Ecclesiology, Soteriology, Pneumatology) as expounded in the First Letter to the Corinthians and the Letter to the Romans.

The seminar component of this course will invite students to engage, at a level pertinent to their program of study, with contemporary issues raised by the literature at hand.


BST 424  Johannine Literature

(Prerequisite: BST 400)

3 Credits
This course considers the Canonical literature traditionally attributed to the Fourth Evangelist (Gospel of John, 1, 2 and 3 John, the Book of Revelation).  An initial consideration of the milieu from which the Johannine Community/School emanated (date, authorship, and provenance) serves as a backdrop to a closer examination of the literature. The entirety of the Johannine corpus will be read, with particular attention given to the distinctive Christology (Signs, “I AM” Sayings), Pneumatology (the Spirit-Paraclete), Ecclesiology, Missiology, Eschatology, and overall theology of this Canonical body of literature.
The seminar component of this course will invite students to engage, at a level pertinent to their program of study, with contemporary issues raised by the literature at hand.


Systematic Theology

STD 400  Introduction to Theology

3 credits
The nature of theology. The relationship between theology and the following: revelation (Scripture and Tradition), spirituality and liturgy, philosophy and the human sciences. Faith and reason. The high points of theology throughout the history of the Church.  The importance of theology for the Church. Theology and the teaching office of the Church. Theology and Church before and after Vatican II.  Writing skills in theology.


STD 401  The Theology of Revelation

(Prerequisites: STD 400 and STD 450)

3 Credits
The modern problem of the compatibility between an authoritative divine revelation and human knowledge, freedom and experience. The development of a “theology of revelation” from Vatican I to Vatican II. Revelation and the Enlightenment. Dei Verbum. Jesus Christ as the revelation of God and humanity. Pluralism and the unity and universality of the Christ event. The Church's teaching on revelation and faith. The Christian act of faith. The question of truth and of on-going revelation.


STD 440  Liturgical Theology

(Prerequisites: STD 400 and STD 450)

3 Credits
The biblical origins of the Christian Liturgy. The development of distinct rites in the Eastern and Western Church with a special attention to the ongoing development of the Roman Rite. The theology of Liturgy as a work of the Trinity, an Action of Christ and the Church. The sanctification of the Year and the Day through the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours. The liturgical movement prior to and following the Second Vatican Council. Cultural, pastoral, and ecumenical considerations.


STD 442 Introduction to the Sacraments and Christians Initiation

(Prerequisites: STD 400 and STD 450)

3 Credits
A historical, scriptural and theological study of the Church’s developing understanding of the notion of Sacrament through five main periods: New Testament, Patristic, Scholastic, Modern, and Contemporary. A close study of the theology of Baptism and Confirmation as Sacraments of Initiation with their goal in the Eucharist. Liturgical renewal and the R.C.I.A. process. Cultural, pastoral, and ecumenical considerations.


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

(Prerequisites: STD 400 and STD 450)

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.


STD 452  Theological Anthropology

(Prerequisites: STD 400 and STD 450)

3 Credits
The Christian understanding of evolution and of the human person. The origin, the structure and the condition of the person in the world; the relationship of the person to God, to others and to the environment. Sin and the origin of evil. The role of grace and love. The relationship between infinite and finite freedom. Hope and the final end of the person.


STD 453  Ecclesiology

(Prerequisites: STD 400 and STD 450)

3 CreditsThe Church before and after Vatican II. The vision of the Church underlying the basic biblical images (People of God, Body of Christ, Temple of the Holy Spirit). The Church as constituted by the Word of God. The Church as constituted by the Word made flesh. The Church and holiness (including Mariology). The Church as one and apostolic. The Church and the world.


Moral and Spiritual Theology

STP 400 Introduction to Pastoral Theology

3 Credits
Biblical and historical roots; theological foundations; current understandings of pastoral/practical theology; initial exploration of a theology of ministry and study of specific ministries; introduction to theological reflection; formation for ministry.


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.


STP 463 Theology of Ministry

3 Credits
Origins of Christian community and relationship with the mission of the Church. The meaning and development of ordained ministry as well as history of lay ministry and the relationship between the two. Current issues and ecumenical initiatives. Contemporary models of collaboration in ministry.


STP 471  The Social Teaching of the Church

 

3 Credits

The roots of social justice in the tradition. Major themes in the social teaching documents of the Church. Social teaching in the Canadian/North American church. Social justice, ministry and evangelization. Liberation theology. Social analysis as a tool for Christian ministry.


For Elective Courses please go to Undergraduate Course Descriptions

The following courses are suitable electives in the MORAL & SPIRITUAL area of specialization:

STP 569  Classic Christian Spiritualities

(Prerequisite: STP 462)

3 Credits
Definition of Spirituality and its relationship to Theology. Examination of the biblical foundations including the Jewish context and the connection to the Greek contemplative ideal. Early period to include Origen, the Desert Tradition, early monasticism, Gregory of Nyssa, Evagrius Pontius, and Pseudo Dionysius. The spiritualities of the Middle Ages including Bernard of Clairvaux, the Franciscans, Meister Eckhart, and Julian of Norwich. The course will culminate in spiritualities of St. Ignatius (Ignatian), St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila (Carmelite).


STP 574  The Concept of Christian Faith

3 Credits
This course begins with a consideration of a prevailing view of Christian Faith as separate from and opposed to human reason, the difficulties with this view and its historical background. The course then examines a variety of views of Christian faith found in Sacred Scripture and Christian tradition, along with 19th and 20th century philosophical and theological works that influence the notion of faith, and works toward a view that incorporates the important insights of each.


STP 575  Spiritual Direction

3 Credits
(A preliminary interview with the instructor is required for admission to the course.)

The course deals with the meaning, foundations and principles of spiritual direction in the Church’s tradition. It examines the Biblical foundations and historical development of spiritual direction and its relation to a person’s growth in faith, in prayer and in the Christian life. It will explore some practical aspects of the ministry of spiritual direction and look at the qualities required for those called to this ministry.


STP 576  Bioethics: Moral Issues from the Life Sciences

(Prerequisite: STP 461 Recommended: STD 452)

3 Credits
Basic human and Christian values at stake. The rapid development in medical technologies and the growing complexity of the moral issues involved. From extensive case studies, an attempt to develop adequate models for moral evaluation and pastoral counselling.


STP 578  Married Love and Sexuality in the Christian Tradition

(Recommended: STD 452)

3 Credits
The human dimensions of love and sexuality. The religious meaning of human sexuality in the Judeo-Christian tradition, with special reference to Christian marriage. Issues raised by the contemporary sexual revolution. Doctrinal, liturgical, moral, pastoral, sacramental and spiritual dimensions of Christian marriage.


STP 663 Contemporary Christian Ethics

(Prerequisite: STP 461)

3 Credits
An ecumenical seminar approach to the field of Christian ethics in the last half century, including trends and shifts, new areas of concern and varying methodologies. Students will be expected to do a considerable amount of reading both within and outside their own Christian tradition. Student class presentations on contemporary authors, complete with basic bibliographies, will be required of all seminar participants.

M.T.S. Testimonials

'Upon moving to Alberta in the early 1980s, I heard about Newman College from Father Len Gartner and was inspired to attend classes there. That dream was realized more than twenty years later, when we moved to Edmonton from Camrose. My first course, the Gospel of John, had me hooked. Besides learning from excellent, dedicated professors, other benefits included meeting seminarians and celebrating their ordinations, and forming friendships with laity of varied ages and backgrounds. The opportunity for seminarians and laity to study together contributes to greater understanding and support for both. Studying at Newman has been an enriching experience; I am more informed about my faith and my church. I am grateful that this diocese has a theological college which welcomes the laity'

Jan K. (January 2013, M.T.S. program). Current Student


'The M.T.S. is described as a basic academic degree, but I am finding it to be far more than that. It is an opportunity to savor a renewed and deepening fervor in and knowledge of the Catholic faith, and a great way to meet people with similar values and interests. It is an efficient, enjoyable and challenging program for someone who is juggling studies and full-time work. It is more than adequate for a person who already has pastoral experience, and the research paper provides the opportunity for in depth theological and practical integration with one's work. I would highly recommend the M.T.S. at Newman Theological College for persons who wish to do serious academic study but who do not have the time or need to complete an M.Th. or M.Div. It has been a wonderful experience in every way for me!'

Marieta P. part time parish Pastoral Associate, part time Spiritual Care Worker (January 2013, M.T.S. program) Current Student


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