Diploma in Ministry

Diploma in Ministry (Dip.Min.)

The Diploma in Ministry is a one-year (30-credit) program that is designed to equip women and men for ministry within the church – with a clear focus on the practice and theology of pastoral ministry. The content of this program is equivalent to the third year of the M.Div. program at The Presbyterian College/Montreal School of Theology. Admission to this program usually requires prior theological study at the the M.Div. level (or equivalent).

Who might take this program?

  • The Master of Sacred Theology degree and the Diploma in Ministry, together, fulfill the educational requirement for ordination within The Presbyterian Church in Canada. This combination of programs (STM plus DipMin) is considered equivalent to the Master of Divinity degree within the Presbyterian church and in some other denominations.

  • The Diploma in Ministry is often also completed by candidates for ordained ministry in The Presbyterian in Canada who have received a Master of Divinity or equivalent from another accredited (non-Presbyterian) institution. These candidates are often required to complete one further year of study in order to become eligible for ordained ministry in the PCC, and the Diploma in Ministry fulfills that requirement.

  • This program may also be pursued by students from other traditions, or other parts of the global church, who have completed two years of advanced theological studies but are interested in completing a one-year, practical and theological program oriented toward equipping them more fully for pastoral ministry.

Diploma in Ministry program details

This program is equivalent to the third year of the M.Div. program and runs from September through April. The program alternates between a field placement and the classroom context. The field placement representing 40% of the year, and classes the additional 60%. This structure facilitates an action-reflection model and a process of theological reflection, which are at the heart of our approach to theological education. The classes (and credit structure) of this program are indicated below.

*Indicates a class that is offered together with partner colleges. For more information on details of the program, please view the the M.Div. Year 3 Handbook

Theology and Practice of Ministry
Supervised Field Placement
(MST 500; 12 credits)
The Diploma in Ministry has a strong component of learning from practical experience. This theological field education employs disciplined theological reflection on experience in various contexts to develop skills and capacities for ministry.
Congregational Mission and Indigenous Encounters
(MST 561; 3 credits)*
Explores various theologies of mission, and the specific cultural challenges of evangelization in our North American context. The second half of the course provides opportunities for students to explore Indigenous spirituality and to be in conversation those who live their Christian faith as Indigenous persons and communities.
Principles of Preaching
(MST 531; 3 credits)*
This courses focuses on the fundamentals of sermon preparation, exegesis for preaching, developing a message, and sermon structure.
Pastoral Care
(MST 511; 2 credits)*
Introduction to the basic skills of pastoral care, and exploration of the particular gifts and challenges the student brings to this ministry.
Education and Formation
(MST 541; 2 credits)*
Examines educational theory, theology and practice, and develops skills and knowledge for ministerial leadership in faith formation and education
Congregational Leadership
(MST 562; 2 credits)*
Provides students with lenses to study the congregation, and explores the various dynamics of leadership, particularly in the context of ordained ministry

Denominational Studies
Presbyterian Worship, History, and Polity
(PC 522; 3 credits)
This course explores the life of The Presbyterian Church in Canada in terms of its history, worship practices, and government.
Reformed Ecclesiology and Confessions 
(PC 582; 3 credits)
Explores the Reformed theological tradition through the lens of its Confessional History – considering the themes of church, ministry, sacraments, and the themes of creation and salvation.

Intercultural Experience
Intercultural Experience (MST 390)* Each year, students visit Cuba for one week to meet with Cuban churches, church leaders, theological students and community organizations. This intercultural learning event is an important part of the ministry of the Montreal School of Theology. The primary goal is to have students reflect on the meaning, mission, and expression of the global Church in relation to their own context.

Pastoral Theology and Integration
Integrative Paper III Integrative Paper Three is a final integrative piece of writing in which students reflect upon and integrate their previous and current years of formal study, field placement learning, and personal, spiritual and moral formation to arrive at a theological statement of their understanding of the ministry to which they are called.

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