St. John's Develops Diploma in Applied Theology: Program Also Offers Third Year

Article excerpt

Winnipeg

THROUGHOUT ITS LONG and varied history, St. John's College has maintained its concern for theological education not only for ordained ministry, but also to equip the ministry of all baptized persons. Students have often been hindered in theological study by the need to relocate. Mature students also need to consider their livelihood, and together, these have often conspired to place theological education beyond the reach of many who desire it.

In an effort to make theological education more accessible, the Faculty of Theology at St. John's College has developed a two-year program diploma in applied theology with a further specialist year called the advanced certificate in priestly and diaconal ministry. The program is all about people understanding theology and ministry as the natural consequence of their baptism: supporting the ministry they already exercise, and giving people the tools to build on it. Ministry is understood to be part of the promise of baptism, to which we expect people will bring their existing skills and learning. Modeled around the North Thames Ministry Training Course in London, students enter the program with a desire to study Bible and theology, and their related disciplines. They leave with a desire to pursue lifelong learning in which the deep links between faith and action of life becomes their vocation.

Courses are offered at the master of divinity level in Bible, theology, hermeneutics, mission, and practical ministry placements. The overall design of the program is not predicated on ordination but since the diploma is accepted in the diocese of Rupert's Land, some of our students will move towards ordination. Others will see themselves being better prepared for serious and committed ministry in their parishes and in the world. …