University description (as per official university website)
Individuals decide to enter into theological education for a wide variety of reasons. Whatever your reason for seeking a program of theological studies, Atlantic School of Theology has a program tailored to your interests and needs.
Atlantic School of Theology Teaching Centre
Some come to AST to train for a specific type of ministry, whether in a congregational setting or in some form of chaplaincy. Others are already engaged in significant ministries of service in the wider community and want to deepen their awareness of the faith that shapes their commitment to such work, or to sharpen their skills. Many are simply curious and wish to deepen their understanding of faith and spirituality and how it has been expressed through the teaching, traditions, and practices of Christian communities. For others, this curiosity becomes a vocation to further study and eventually to teaching.
AST Campus view of the Northwest Arm
Our programs are designed to be flexible and responsive, with a wide range of elective courses to choose from, and the option of study on campus or at a distance via the internet. Whether you study on our Campus on the beautiful Northwest Arm in Halifax, or study via the internet, you will receive the same high level of education and the same commitment to personal attention from our young and energetic faculty.
As an ecumenical school we are shaped by our three founding traditions. This tradition of cooperation and respect, reaching back 35 years, creates an open and welcoming community.
Here Christians from many traditions are able to participate and grow together. Atlantic School of Theology is a place that will give you the space to explore the roots that have nurtured your faith,
to understand faith in the light of the experience of Christians from many backgrounds.
The wealth of this diverse community means that whatever you are looking for – you will find much more at AST.
Master of Arts (Theology and Religious Studies)
The MA (Theology and Religious Studies) is a one-year (three semester) program offered jointly through Atlantic School of Theology and Saint Mary's University. This program brings together two complementary, interdisciplinary programs, Theology (AST) and Religious Studies (SMU). Graduate students will experience a diverse and rich field of expertise in the study of theology and religion.
MA Application Form (PDF) - Application deadline: March 1
Master of Divinity
The Master of Divinity Program is designed primarily, but not exclusively, for persons preparing for ordained or professional ministry. It is not a requirement for this degree that the student be a candidate for ordination.
Master of Divinity Summer/Distance
AST offers a Summer/Distance ("In-Ministry") Master of Divinity Program through five summer sessions on campus in Halifax and by Distance Education (Internet) courses.
Graduate Certificate Program in Theological Studies
The Graduate Certificate Program in Theological Studies is a ten-credit academic program at the basic graduate level. It parallels the first year degree program studies and may serve as a time of discernment for further academic professional needs.
Special Student Status
A Special Student is a registered student, who while not a candidate for a degree, is permitted to take up to 10 credits prior to applying to a degree program.
Academic Programs Admission Requirements
The academic pre-requisite for admission to the Master of Divinity Program (MDiv), Graduate Certificate Program in Theological Studies, and admission as a Special Student is a Bachelor’s Degree (or its educational equivalent) from a university recognized by the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada or the Council for Higher Education in the United States. Applicants to the MDiv Program, Graduate Certificate Program, and as a Special Student are expected to have attained an average of at least 70% or a ‘B’ grade (or the grade point average equivalent) in their undergraduate program.
Applicants who seek admission to degree programs or credit courses without a completed Bachelor’s Degree must apply for admission on the basis of having a Bachelor’s Equivalency, or as a sponsored candidate for ordination (as a United Church of Canada “Shorter Course Candidate” with five year-long or 10 semester undergraduate university credits). Applicants may present a case for acceptance based upon life experience alone, although some university course work is preferable. The Standards of Accreditation for the Association of Theological Schools set a limit of 10% for the number of students in the degree programs who do not possess a full Bachelor’s Degree. ATS sets a limit of 20% for the number of students in a course who do not possess a full Bachelor’s Degree. Not all those who apply on the basis of Bachelor’s Equivalency or life experience may be admitted in a given year.
Those students who seek to be admitted to the School on the basis of a Bachelor’s Equivalency or life experience are expected to contact AST’s Prior Learning Assessment Advisor, Dr. Thomas McIllwraith.