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St. Mark’s College was chartered to offer theological degrees by the legislature of the Province of British Columbia in 1956, with the passage of the St. Mark’s Act.
The College’s programs are recognized by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver (RCAV) and the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdiocese (CISVA), and have been assessed as ATS-equivalent by the Canadian Association for Pastoral Practice and Education (CAPPE). The College is a member of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities of Canada (ACCUC).

Association of Theological Schools (ATS)

St. Mark's College is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools.

The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada
The Commission on Accrediting

10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh PA 15275-1110

Telephone: 412-788-6505

The following degree programs are approved by the Commission on Accrediting:
  • Master of Arts in Religious Education
  • Master in Catholic Educational Leadership
  • Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies
  • Master of Arts (Theological Studies)

About the ATS

The mission of the Association of Theological Schools is to promote the improvement and enhancement of theological schools to the benefit of communities of faith and the broader public.

“More than 270 graduate schools of theology in the United States and Canada form The Association of Theological Schools. Member schools conduct post-baccalaureate professional and academic degree programs to educate persons for the practice of ministry and for teaching and research in the theological disciplines. These schools differ from one another in deep and significant ways, but through their membership in ATS, they demonstrate a commitment to shared values about what constitutes good theological education.

Membership is open to schools located in the United States and Canada that offer graduate theological degrees, are demonstrably engaged in educating professional leadership for communities of the Christian and Jewish faiths, and meet the standards and criteria for membership established by the Association. The current member schools, numbering more than 270, include Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox graduate schools of theology that reflect a broad spectrum of doctrinal, ecclesiastical, and theological perspectives."
Information from the ATS website

ATS Educational Effectiveness Statement

St. Mark’s College is committed to promoting an authentic Christian humanism, marked by the pursuit of academic excellence and animated by a joy of searching for, discovering, and communicating truth and meaning in every field of knowledge. We engage students in the integration and synthesis of faith and reason so as to return them to society charged with a commitment to think rigorously, to act justly and to serve faithfully.

Steeped in the richness of the Catholic intellectual tradition, we are a place of community, study, prayer and dialogue. We provide diverse graduate degrees, diplomas and certificates as well as relevant opportunities for Continuing Education, all through an approach emphasizing intimate class sizes, accessible faculty, flexible delivery and student engagement. These include a host of degrees and certificates for teachers, ministerial leaders, administrators, social service workers and other professionals that take place in a learning environment conducive to thoughtful discussion and inquiry into the central questions challenging humanity. Grounded in the message of the Christian Gospel, we welcome and encourage diversity, and are accepting of all people travelling on the journeys that are life and faith.

Our distinctive vision of higher education is marked by an emphasis on the pursuit of academic, personal and professional goals, while encouraging the members of our community to a deep commitment to addressing the challenges and opportunities of our times. This is the vision expressed by the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council in the Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes:

The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men (and women) of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts… United in Christ, they are led by the Holy Spirit in their journey to the Kingdom of their Father and they have welcomed the news of salvation which is meant for everyone.


Academic Excellence – emphasizing the importance of inquiry, dialogue and research, and supportive of the specific educational goals - academic, professional or ministerial, of our students.

Stewardship - the need to continually renew and recommit ourselves to the message of Christianity and, in the best spirit of the Second Vatican Council, to be in constant dialogue with the world so as to best understand how to relate that message to the needs of today.

Community - understood according to the early Christian term koinonia, and emphasizing the importance of caring, mercy and compassion at the heart of all that we live as students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Leadership - acknowledging our commitment to forming women and men of character, who, faithful to Christian Truth, strive to improve their workplaces and communities through their commitment to the need for equity, social justice and hope.

Academic Freedom - as the meeting place of faith and reason, we value the importance of unfettered inquiry and freedom of conscience for both students and faculty, fully cognizant of the saving Truth revealed for us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Education Quality Assurance

St. Mark's College is an Education Quality Assurance (EQA) designated institution. The designation is awarded to public and private institutions in B.C. that meet or exceed quality assurance standards set by the province of B.C.. Learn more

Monitoring and enforcement: The province of B.C., through the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training, is responsible for:

    Establishing EQA designation policy
    Setting and enforcing QA standards
    Granting permission for institutions to use the EQA designation mark
    Granting or revoking designation

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Summer Institute

Ready to be inspired and kickstart your own learning? Take advantage of the St. Mark’s Summer Institute, where you will attend virtual classes in real-time over a three-week period and then have many weeks left in which to finish coursework at your own pace. New and returning students have the option of completing a Catholic Core course, an elective course, or both.

Courses run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from July 5-23, 2021. Students have until late August to complete their coursework.

The Summer Institute offers all who are interested - including those who work in education, parish ministry, healthcare, and other professions - the opportunity to engage deeply in reflection and discussion and earn course credits, in a more intensive format than the usual three-month term.

SCRI 505: Introduction to Scripture (Fr. Nick Meisl)
Morning class, 8:30am - 12:00pm
Courses run weekdays from July 4-15, 2021.

Discover a basic introduction to Scripture for students without previous background in Scripture. This course covers both the Old and New Testaments in their own contexts, thematic parallels between them, and gives attention to how the Catholic intellectual tradition engages these textual traditions.

Afternoon class (Elective course) – More details to come


Spotlight on student experience

"Deciding to take the Catholic Core Courses at St. Mark’s College, particularly during Covid-19, has been one of the smartest decisions of my life. At first, I felt some trepidation as I last undertook an academic course 9 years ago; however, the entire experience has been so positive and enlightening, I am delighted I did and would definitely encourage others to undertake them as well.

The learning environment is very collegial and supportive; in our classes, our contributions were always valued, not only by the professors, but also by our classmates. It is a wonderful way of learning from each other and forming new relationships. My teaching ministry will definitely be informed by my study at SMC: I am actually looking forward to sharing what I have learned with my students and colleagues. My faith life and appreciation of the liturgy has benefitted, too, from these studies on Scripture and Theology and the readings we have done in class; my choice of bedtime reading material now isn’t novels but the Bible and Apostolic Exhortations! Every Christian Education teacher should take the Catholic Core at St. Mark's College - it’s a great place to learn and grow in your faith!"

- Ann Marie McGrath, Educator
Summer Institute 2020[/letter]

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Is it required that I come to Vancouver for the Summer Institute courses?

No. Attending classes virtually is always an option we offer to students who live outside of Metro Vancouver.
This year, due to COVID-19, all students will be taking their Summer classes virtually through live online courses.

Synchronous, asynchronous, online, virtual, Zoom. So many new terms - how will my classes be offered?

Many people hear “online class” and think of a series of pre-recorded lectures and online interaction with no real-time interaction with a human. That’s not how our courses are offered.

Your classes will be virtual. The live online courses taking place in a digital classroom with real-time instruction and opportunities for face-to-face interaction with your professor and classmates.

Classes run on weekdays for three weeks in July on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. There will be a daily live lecture and class time. There may be required readings before each class and most other coursework is completed after classes end. You will have until late August to complete papers and other coursework.

Throughout the course you will be interacting with your professor and fellow classmates.

How do I access my online courses?

St. Mark’s College uses an online learning platform through UBC called Canvas. After you have registered for the course, you will be contacted by the Registrar's Office with instructions for accessing your course materials. If you have questions, please contact Chisom Onwuli at [email protected].

Will I be able to talk to my instructor and classmates?

Yes. The course design and video software allows for two-way interaction. You will be able (even encouraged) to interact with your professor and classmates and engage in discussions.

What is the cost of taking a Summer Institute course?

The Summer Institute courses are full 3-credit courses. The tuition cost can be found on the Tuition and Fees webpage.

As many of our students previously paid tuition in person, there are also special instructions on how to pay tuition during COVID-19.

How do I get the readings and books for my courses?

The list of required textbooks can be found through the online textbook list.

Readings may be shared directly by your professor or accessed through the libraries of St. Mark’s College and UBC.

Do I qualify for admission?

We have admission categories to accommodate various backgrounds including those with no previous post-secondary education, or those who wish to take classes as “auditing students” without going through the full application process. Visit our Admission Requirements webpage for more information.

If you’d like to speak to someone about starting your studies with St. Mark’s College, email [email protected].

More Questions?

Contact Dr. Lynda Robitaille
Email: [email protected]

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