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Master of Arts (Theology)

A rigorous academic program in theology, offering excellent preparation for doctoral research, or a superior terminal degree in theology (for those not wishing to pursue full doctoral studies), with an emphasis on the integration of theological vision and of the theological disciplines. 

The Graduate MA is also a superior degree for those wishing to approach another field such as education, counselling, journalism or public policy from a perspective enriched by theological study.

Quick Comparison of Huron's Theology Degrees

Current Timetable, Course Descriptions
  • The Quick Facts

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    • A postgraduate research degree offered by the University of Western Ontario, drawing on resources from Anglican (Huron) and Roman Catholic (St. Peter's, Brescia) colleges affiliated with the University, as well as from the wider university itself.
    • Develop research skills in written coursework and particularly in the preparation of a thesis constituting at least half of the workload you will undertake in the degree, providing an excellent foundation for further study to the doctoral level, or a capstone for an MA taken as a terminal degree.
    • Ideally taken over two years of full-time study (fall term, winter term, May/Summer term), in a way which allows you to continue in part-time employment (part-time study also available).
    • Courses are offered on-site at Huron University College or at St. Peter's Seminary.
    • Subject areas: Systematic Theology, Public and Political Theology, Historical Theology, Theological Ethics, Comparative Religious Ethics, Biblical Studies, and Practical and Pastoral Theology. The degree also affords an opportunity to engage in Interdisciplinary study, in Comparative Theology (particularly in Western Religion), and in methodological issues in the study of Religion (e.g., Religion and modern science). MA students also have access to a range of Graduate courses in cognate areas of study elsewhere in the University.
    • Approved by the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies, the graduate MA began May 2006 with its first courses taking place at Huron.
  • What Will I Gain?

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    • Development of analytical and critical thinking skills in a rigorous research-based academic program
    • Detailed knowledge of the major primary and secondary sources in classical and contemporary religious thought
    • Construct informed responses to the arguments encountered in the relevant literature
    • Exploration of ways in which theology as an academic discipline is informed by, and can inform, other branches of scholarship
  • Accreditation & Statement of Institutional Effectiveness

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  • Accreditation

    Approved by the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies.

    The School is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools.

    The Commission contact information is:

    The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools
    in the United States and Canada
    10 Summit Park Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15275
    USA
    Telephone: 412.788.6505; Fax: 412.788.6510;
    Website: www.ats.edu

    The following degree programs are approved by the Commission on Accrediting: MDiv, MTS, MA (Theology).

    Student complaints in areas related to the accrediting standards of the Commission should be directed to the Dean of Theology. A record of such formal student complaints is maintained in the Office of the Dean.

    Statement of Educational Effectiveness

    In a changing church and world, completing a degree program at the Faculty of Theology is no guarantee of employment. Recent graduates of our MDiv degree program have found full- or part-time employment in parish ministry after graduation, serve the church in other fashions, and go on to further studies; Half of the recent graduates from our MTS program have gone on to further studies; graduates of our MA in theology program have been accepted into doctoral programs in theology or other graduate programs, are using their MA to teach at the secondary and post-secondary level, or are pursuing other careers that benefit from the research skills and knowledge gained as a result of completing the degree program.

    Master of Divinity
    Average time to graduation: 3.2 years
    Average at graduation (2012-2014): 81.9%
    Ratio of admissions/applications (2011-2014) 85%
    Ratio of registrations/applications (2011-2014) 74%
    Post-graduation occupation of graduates (2012-2014):  ordained ministry: 57%; 22% further studies; 21% other

    Master of Theological Studies
    Average time to graduation: 3.4 years
    Average at graduation (2012-2014): 79.7%
    Ratio of admissions/applications (2011-2014) 89%
    Ratio of registrations/applications (2011-2014) 66%
    Post-graduation occupation of graduates (2012-2014):  Further studies, 50%; 50% other/retired

    Master of Arts (Theology)
    Average time to graduation (2011-2014):  2.2 years
    Average at graduation (2011-2014):  83.5%
    Ratio of admissions to applications (2011-14): 78%
    Ratio of registrations/applications (2011-14):  66%
    Post-graduation occupation of graduates: Further studies, 43%; teaching, 7%; ministry, 29%; other, 21%
  • Admission Requirements

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    • a four-year degree in Theology from an accredited institution with a minimum average of 75% (or the equivalent in Religious Studies, where normally the applicant’s studies should have included a major in Western Religion; 
    or
    •  a Bachelor’s degree in an allied subject (e.g., Classics, History, English, Philosophy), followed minimally by the equivalent of 12 half-courses (6.0 course load) in the Master of Theological Studies with a minimum average of 78%
    or
    •  a Master of Divinity or Master of Theological Studies degree with a minimum average of 75% in the last two years of study.
    or
    • In exceptional cases, the program may choose to admit students who already have an earned Graduate degree in an allied subject, though only in cases where research interests allow for a natural progression from the earlier program to the new. In such cases, however, a student will minimally be required to Audit specified M.Div./M.T.S. courses during at least the first year of study.  Admission in these cases is probationary, with continued registration being normally contingent on attaining a minimum average of 78% in the first term of study.
    or
    • Probationary admission may also be available to students in other cases; e.g., where student's academic record in Theology or Religious Studies (Western Religion) is outstanding, but the degree is not from an accredited institution.

    Demonstration of Proficiency in English if your first language is not English (see detailed program regulations under "Admissions.")

    International Students should also consult the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies for details.
  • How Do I Apply?

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  • Admission Terms

    The normal admission term is September (fall), only exceptionally for the January (winter) term.

    Deadline to apply is:
    October 30, 2017 for Winter 2017 term.
    June 1, 2017 for Fall 2017 term.  (call 519.438.7224, ext. 289 if this deadline has passed) 

    International students should apply well before these deadlines in order to give themselves sufficient time to arrange a student visa upon admission.

    Application

    You should complete your application through the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies at Western.. Click here for a link to SGPS' website, where there are further instructions and links to the online application  (see square button on left, "I Want To Apply").

    This application will also require two academic references and transcripts for every university you've attended. You will be able to request Ontario transcripts be sent electronically, but you will need to contact universities elsewhere to arrange for transcripts to be sent to Huron.   You can work on this application, pause, then complete the application later.

    Application fee:  $100
    Application site

    Part-time admission is available.  Full-time students do not have employment for more than about 10 hours per week, on average.
  • MA (Theology) Degree Synopsis/Course Requirements

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  • Timeline, sample full-time is here.

    Timeline, sample part-time is here.

    Detailed Theology program regulations are here.

    Terms of Study

    Fall term:  September-December (Normal admission term)
    Winter term:  January-April
    Summer Term:  May-August (Group A courses generally not offered)

    Graduate students remain continuously enrolled in programs and are expected to be making academic progress in all three terms each year.

    Part-time vs. Full-time:
    Full-time students complete in two years (six terms). (Maximum registration three years.)
    Part-time students complete in three years (nine terms).  (Maximum registration four years.)
    Those beginning as part-time students may later apply to program to switch to full-time registration.
    Those beginning as full-time students may only apply to switch to part-time registration under certain conditions.  See details in the Regulations.

    Degree Synopsis

    Detailed Theology program regulations are here.
  • Combination MTS/MA and MDiv/MA Degrees

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  • For highly motivated students, both degrees are taken over an accelerated period of three (MTS/MA) or four (MDiv/MA) years of full-time study, or the equivalent in part-time study.  In either case, a minimum of 12 half-courses must be completed in the MTS or MDiv program prior to admission to the MA, with a minimum average of 78%

    Course requirements

    • MA requirements are unchanged.
    • MTS/MA students complete 17 MTS half-courses
    • MDiv/MA students complete 27 MDiv half-courses
  • Who Are the Faculty?

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  • Professors teaching in the graduate program offer expertise in a variety of areas.  Please see "Faculty Members" drop-down on this page.
  • Financial Aid

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  • Currently, the program offers a $2,000 bursary per academic Term to full-time students, for the six terms of the program. This support can be supplemented by earnings from graduate-level employment, typically at the rate of $15 per hour to a maximum of 10 hours per week, for instance as a Research or Marking Assistant. This support is available both to home and to international students.

    A $500 bursary is currently given to qualifying part-time students for the nine terms of the program.

    Students receiving these bursaries must apply for departmental work.  See the Faculty office or Chair for details.