S.T.B. / Master of Divinity

The core curriculum for the Pontifical Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology and Master of Divinity degree programs [S.T.B./M.Div.] is designed to give a sound theological education in preparation for ministry, incorporating pastoral formation that is achieved chiefly through Field Education and a series of supplementary courses offered in the final academic year.


Overall Goal: The S.T.B./Master of Divinity program at St. Augustine’s Seminary prepares candidates for ordained priesthood and lay women and men aspiring to ministry in the Catholic Church.

  1. Religious Heritage: Students should demonstrate a sound knowledge of Sacred Scripture and the Church’s rich theological tradition and its historical development to the present time.
  2. Personal-Spiritual Formation: Students integrate this knowledge into a personal response of faithful love for Jesus Christ, which is expressed in their loving service to his Church and all people.
  3. Cultural Context: Students reflect upon the needs of God’s people by discerning “the signs of the times,” including the Church's call to Christian unity, in order to deepen their lived faith response.
  4. Capacity for Ministerial and Public Leadership: Students should demonstrate that they can respond to the call to a living encounter with Christ, especially in the liturgy and prayer. Candidates show capacity to serve and lead others to an encounter with Christ in his Word and in the sacraments of his Church. In so doing, their witness calls their brothers and sisters to respond to God's love for them. 

Admission Requirements 

1.     Bachelor's degree, preferably a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), or its equivalent with adequate standing (normally at least B- standing in their final year) from an accredited institution. 

The Seminary requires this academic preparation in view of the demand of the Second Vatican Council that candidates be suitably grounded in the humanities.  With respect to this, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (C.C.C.B.) expressed the view that "we do not think that this requirement can be fully met by one who does not hold a university degree or its equivalent" (Program of Priestly Formation, Ottawa, C.C.C.B., 1979, n.36).  In accord with the Bishops, St. Augustine's makes this degree a pre-requisite to theological studies.  Students with a non-humanities degree such as a Bachelor of Business Administration or Bachelor of Engineering may not have sufficient preparation in the humanities and may be required to take appropriate additional courses.   Such cases will be judged on an individual basis.


2.     Philosophy requirement: 8 one-semester courses (or the equivalent number of two-semester courses). 

The Registrar and/or Philosophy Counsellor are available to provide guidance for students who are attempting to meet the philosophy requirement while attending another institution.  The institution’s name, course designator, faculty or department offering the course and complete course description may be forwarded to the Registrar for consultation. 

For admission to studies there is a requirement of a minimum of eight one-semester courses in Philosophy.  The courses shall be: Philosophy of Religion, Moral Philosophy, Philosophy of Knowledge, Philosophical Anthropology, Scholasticism, History of Western Philosophy, Metaphysics and Logic, without exception.  The minimal acceptable grade for philosophy courses that are to be counted towards the above philosophy requirement is normally a 60% equivalent.


3.     English language proficiency

All applicants are expected to have developed to a satisfactory degree the ability to understand spoken and written English and to be able to communicate effectively in this language.  If there is any doubt concerning an incoming student’s competence in English, his/her facility will be tested in the areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing prior to admission.  Details of testing requirements are listed in the Toronto School of Theology Basic Degree Handbook, section 5.3 English Language Facility.  Students who are new to Canada are encouraged and helped to seek opportunities to become more familiar with the Canadian cultural context.


4.     Formation Program.

Applicants for the S.T.B./M.Div. degree programs ordinarily are sponsored by a Diocese or provide supporting documentation of participation in a recognized spiritual formation program of a religious congregation or an ecclesially recognized lay movement.  All other applicants will be interviewed by the Academic Dean. Please note: Due to link between S.T.B./M.Div. and preparation for ministry, withdrawal from formation does not guarantee continuation in the S.T.B./M.Div. degree program.

Policies and Procedures:

Please see the St. Augustine's Policies & Procedures Page.



There are thirty required courses for both the S.T.B. and M.Div., including the Integration of Theological Areas. In addition to the thirty courses, pastoral formation incorporates a field education placement for one semester.

  1. Nine Systematic Theology Courses:
    • Foundations of Theology
    • The Christian God / Mystery of the Trinity
    • Theological Anthropology I - Creation
    • Christology
    • Theological Anthropology II - Grace
    • Ecclesiology
    • Sacraments I
    • Sacraments II
    • Integration of Theological Area
  2. Five Moral Theology (Ethics) Courses:
    • Fundamental Christian Ethics I
    • Fundamental Christian Ethics II
    • Social Ethics
    • Medical Ethics
    • Ethics of Human Sexuality & Marriage
  3. Seven Scripture Courses:
    1. Old Testament
      • Historical Books of the Old Testament
      • Wisdom Literature
      • Prophetic Literature
    2. New Testament
      • Introduction to the New Testament
      • Pauline Literature
      • Johannine Literature
      • Synoptic Gospel
  4. Four History Courses:
    • Early Church
    • Mediaeval Church
    • Reformation
    • Modern Church
  5. Five Pastoral Courses:
    • Canon Law
    • Liturgy
    • Homiletics
    • Pastoral Counselling
    • Pastoral Psychology
    • Field Education Placement

Ordination Requirements:

Candidates for the priesthood will complete a one-year parish internship and an eighth semester of Pastoral Practicums in the spring term of their 4th year, as a preparation for priestly ministry:

  • Reconciliation
  • Marriage
  • Preaching
  • Liturgical Celebration
  • Spirituality

Required CoursesRequired Courses

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