United Church theological schools across the country offer a variety of educational and training opportunities for everyone.

St. Andrew’s College
Credit: St. Andrew’s College

“Faith seeking understanding.” That is how Anselm, almost a thousand years ago, described his pursuit of a fuller understanding of God and the Christian faith. All of us who are people of faith engage in theological education to some degree—in a study group, by listening to a sermon (in person or online), by reading a book or attending a local presentation.

Eight United Church theological schools are spread across the country. Most of these schools offer programs for people seeking to become ministers. All of them have other offerings: you can attend a lecture, take a course, or pursue a degree to explore your faith. Our schools are a rich resource for members of the church. Have a look at what they offer.

Please see Downloads at the bottom of the page to learn more about individual schools.

Atlantic School of Theology (Halifax, NS)

Inspired learning for everyone, whether you are exploring an interest, updating your skills, or thinking about ordained ministry. Summer Distance MDiv students at the Atlantic School of Theology (AST) take classes online in the fall/winter terms, spend summer terms on our waterfront campus, and earn their MDiv degree in five years while serving in a supervised ministry setting. Generous bursaries are available for ministry candidates and other church members, thanks to Pine Hill Divinity Hall. Contact: Susan MacAlpine-Gillis, Recruitment and Vocations Coordinator (smacalpinegillis@astheology.ns.ca).

Centre for Christian Studies (Winnipeg, MB)

Imagine church differently! The Centre for Christian Studies (CCS) educates leaders for justice, compassion, and transformation. We are grounded in the tradition of diakonia, and offer diploma and certificate programs as well as joint degree programs with our partner schools. Our students integrate local field education experience with lively and challenging themed learning circle intensives and academic courses. Our learning circles are also open for continuing education participants. Follow Jesus into community, and learn to build bridges between church and world. Learn more: What is the Centre for Christian Studies? (YouTube).

Emmanuel College (Toronto, ON)

Emmanuel College—where theological education meets the world! Discover a place where ideas of consequence are pursued with professors who will help you grow intellectually and spiritually; where dialogue and discussion thrive; and academic excellence, global awareness, and responsible public engagement are connected. Study with students who are preparing for leadership in diverse settings. If you are an inquirer or candidate for ministry in The United Church of Canada, you may qualify for a full-tuition scholarship through the John W. Billes Grant.

Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre
Credit: Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre

Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre (Beausejour, MB)

A place of spirit where both Indigenous traditional knowledge and ceremony and Christian spiritual beliefs are honoured. Sandy-Saulteaux Spiritual Centre (SSSC) fosters teachings of respect, healing, and relational connectedness for the benefit, balance, and wholeness of individuals, peoples, and all creation; uses a successful learning circle model of education developed over 33 years; and takes a community-centred, pragmatic approach to cross-cultural education.

St. Andrew’s College (Saskatoon, SK)

St. Andrew’s College offers theological study that is justice seeking, intimate, and ecumenical in an affirming and diverse community of learners and teachers, in partnership with the Saskatoon Theological Union. The STU is a consortium of three theological schools, including St. Andrew’s College (The United Church of Canada), the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad (Anglican Church of Canada), and the Lutheran Theological Seminary (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada). Together, these schools offer programs of study toward ministry and other vocations related to the study of theology. As we move toward a renewal of our degree programs and lifelong learning opportunities, St. Andrew’s is shifting to a system of compact intensive courses, offered year-round in hybrid format. This means that students will be able to study in Saskatoon or from wherever is home, and can complete their program without uprooting their lives.  We offer

  • a three-year Master of Divinity program (that meets the testamur requirements for ordained ministry in the United Church)
  • a two-year Master of Theological Studies program
  • as well as a variety of other opportunities for learning, including a Doctor of Ministry program, courses for meeting United Church admissions learning outcomes, assessment for United Church testamur requirements for ordination, occasional studies, audit opportunities, and a full range of lifelong learning certificate options for leadership in the church, leadership in the world, and spiritual exploration

New MDiv and MTS programs jointly offered by the colleges of the STU will fully launch in fall 2023, but there are opportunities to start now with courses and to register in advance of the launch! For more information please contact the College Recruitment Officer at shawn.sanfordbeck@saskatoontheologicalunion.ca or 306-441-6367.

St. Stephen’s College (Edmonton, AB)

St. Stephen’s College is an affiliated degree-granting graduate college of the University of Alberta. We offer applied graduate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in Multifaith Theology, Psychotherapy, Art Therapy, and Spiritual Care. Students at St. Stephen’s study for leadership in a number of fields, including spiritually-informed psychotherapy, art therapy, spiritual care/chaplaincy, diaconal ministry, and many other vocational and non-traditional ministry contexts. St. Stephen’s is committed to educating the whole person. Faculty and students participate in learning that engages not just the mind but also the body, the spirit, and our social world. Our learning community consists of people from across faith traditions and worldviews, all of whom come together out of a common desire to integrate spirituality into their lives, their communities, and their professional practices. Values of openness, engagement, inquiry, and imagination are central to our educational pursuits.

United Church Studies at Montreal Dio/Études de l’Église Unie au Séminaire diocésain

Formed in community, ministering in the world. The United Church Studies Program at Montreal Dio is a progressive and welcoming program of The United Church of Canada with a mission to prepare students for service and ministry in the church and world of tomorrow. This program is the continuation in Montreal of the work of the United Theological College to prepare people for varieties of ministry. UCS at Montreal Dio maintains full recognition from The United Church of Canada for Testamur for Ordination. Our supportive learning community offers a rich, ecumenical program, enhanced by our affiliation with McGill University’s School of Religious Studies and the Montreal School of Theology, which are both accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. We have two streams of study toward ordination―a three-year M.Div. and a one-year Diploma in Ministry (for students with a prior degree in theology). While most classes are in English, we provide support and resources for francophone students preparing for ministry, and our community events are bilingual. We offer continuing and distance education as well as online learning opportunities and programs for United Church Admission Ministers and French licensed lay worship leadership. Our certificate in bilingual ministry is a unique program designed to advance bilingual ministry, serve francophone constituencies, gain insights from the Quebec context, and deepen intercultural awareness. We offer generous bursaries and scholarships.

Vancouver School of Theology (Vancouver, BC)

We are called to educate and form thoughtful, engaged, and generous Christian leaders for service to the church and the world. Theological education at Vancouver School of Theology (VST) combines the love of scholarship, courage to take up the issues of our time, and readiness to collaborate with our local and global neighbours for the good of God's world. Together with First Nations communities and other faith traditions, we engage issues of truth, justice, and spiritual growth. Also of interest: Indigenous Studies Program and Inter-Religious Studies Program