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Pastoral Studies

Discover your gifts and develop them for service.

This program is a professional degree program which provides education for the Church’s mission and ministry in the world. Providing the opportunity for an integration of theology and the practice of ministry, students will become more intentional about their ministerial experiences. 

Build towards a Master's degree. Credits earned at one level can count towards requirements of a higher level program. Students can start with a Graduate Certificate, build to a Graduate Diploma and then to a Master's degree.

  • Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (42 credits)



    Program Goals

    This program is designed to:
    (1)    foster a deeper understanding and integration of Catholic theology and its connection to pastoral ministry; 
    (2)    develop the knowledge and skills required for effective pastoral ministry in contemporary contexts;
    (3)    encourage growth in personal and spiritual maturity.

    CORE COURSES (24 credits)

    PHIL 501: Philosophical Themes of Catholic Theology
    THEO 501: Foundations of Theology
    SCRI 500: Introduction to the Old Testament*
    SCRI 510: Introduction to the New Testament*
    THEO 510: Christology and Trinity
    THEO 530: Christian Morality
    THEO 540: Liturgy and Sacraments
    THEO 551: Ecclesiology of Vatican II

    * SCRI 505: Introduction to Scripture + SCRI 516: Johannine Literature, SCRI 521: St. Paul’s Epistles, SCRI 532: Torah, or others could replace SCRI 500 + SCRI 510


    CONCENTRATION COURSES (12 credits)

    THEO 525: Theology of Ministry
    PAST 501: Pastoral Ministry: The Other
    THEO 570: Canon Law for Ministry

    Plus one of the following courses:
    PAST 510: Pastoral Ministry: Self
    RLED 514: Theories of Religious Development
    THEO 560: Christian Anthropology
    SPIR 537: Leadership and Spirituality

    ELECTIVE (3 credits)

    Any 500-level SMC course

    Note: Students can take an elective course with the other Theological Colleges, with approval from the Dean of Theology.

    RESEARCH METHODS (no credits)

    MTHD: Basic Research Skills Modules

    CAPSTONE (3 credits)

    PAST 600: Field-Based Learning Project


    Learning Outcomes
    Students who have successfully completed this program:

    • Students demonstrate an ability to conduct informed biblical interpretation within the Catholic tradition and will demonstrate an understanding of the church’s teaching and practice from historical, doctrinal and systematic perspectives;
    • Students demonstrate knowledge of pastoral theology and  its cognate disciplines and develop pastoral skills essential to its application in diverse contexts;
    • Students demonstrate capacities for theory-praxis integration and for theological reflection in the context of their chosen area of ministry.





  • Graduate Diploma in Pastoral Studies (24 credits)


    The Graduate Diploma programs consist of 24 credits of core and diploma specific course work.

    12 Credits from the Core Courses (*including required)
    12 Credits of Concentration Courses

    CORE COURSES (12 Credits)

    Choose 12 credits including * required courses

    PHIL 501: Philosophical Themes of Catholic Theology
    THEO 551: Ecclesiology of Vatican II
    THEO 501: Foundations of Theology *
    THEO 510: Christology – Trinity
    THEO 530: Christian Morality *
    THEO 540: Liturgy and Sacraments
    SCRI 500: Introduction to the Old Testament*
    SCRI 510: Introduction to the New Testament*

    SCRI 505: Introduction to Scripture + SCRI 516: Johannine Literature, SCRI 521: St. Paul’s Epistles, SCRI 532: Torah, or others could replace SCRI 500 + SCRI 510


    CONCENTRATION COURSES (12 Credits)

    THEO 525: Theology of Ministry
    PAST 501: Pastoral Ministry: The Other
    THEO 570: Canon Law for Ministry

    Plus one of the following courses:
    PAST 510: Pastoral Ministry: Self
    RLED 514: Theories of Religious Development
    THEO 560: Christian Anthropology
    SPIR 537: Leadership and Spirituality


  • Graduate Certificate in Pastoral Studies (15 credits)


    The Graduate Certificate programs consist of 15 credits of core, elective and certificate specific course work.

    9 Credits of the Core Courses
    6 Credits from Concentration Courses

    CORE COURSES (9 Credits)

    THEO 501: Foundations of Theology
    THEO 530: Christian Morality
    SCRI 505: Introduction to Scripture

    CONCENTRATION COURSES (6 Credits)

    THEO 525: Theology of Ministry
    PAST 501: Pastoral Ministry: The Other
    PAST 510: Pastoral Ministry: Self
    RLED 514: Theories of Religious Development
    THEO 560: Christian Anthropology 
    THEO 570: Canon Law for Ministry
    SPIR 537: Leadership and Spirituality

  • Catholic Core (9 credits)


    Catholic Core

    Strengthen your personal faith understanding by starting with our core programming.
    Credits can later be applied to a Graduate Certificate or Master’s Degree, based on eligibility requirements. Learn more


View upcoming courses





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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

[letter]

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]

[button link="https://registrar.stmarkscollege.ca/" newwindow="true"]Register for Courses[/button]




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SUMMER INSTITUTE FAQ


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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