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Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Culture

Are you looking for a degree that supports your intellectual, moral and spiritual formation?

Inspired by St. Mark’s College’s commitment to authentic Christian humanism, the Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Culture is a four-year liberal arts program that explores the nature of the good life. The BA in Theology and Culture aspires to form engaged citizens and disciples committed to the integration of faith and reason; to encounter and dialogue; and to the development of an ‘integral ecology’ that connects love of God, neighbour, and creation. 

This program supports the formation of the whole person: intellectual, moral, and spiritual. In this holistic program, students develop their individual potential and discern their distinctive gifts and talents in service to the common good. The focus on the integration of knowledge and practice finds unique expression in the opportunities for service, personalized advising, the BA Seminar, and the BA Capstone. 

Through a study of the liberal arts including theology, English, and history, students will investigate classical and contemporary texts and perspectives with an eye to cultivating a range of multidisciplinary tools and skills essential for interpreting and responding to the ‘signs of the times’ (GS, #4). Students in the BA in Theology and Culture are prepared for future careers in a number of fields, including social and community services, ministry, and education (elementary, secondary, Catholic, public).

The BA in Theology and Culture is well-suited for aspiring educators who want to teach in Catholic, faith-based, or public schools. It is recognized by UBC’s Faculty of Education, which means graduates are eligible to apply to the teacher preparation (BEd) program at UBC. Learn more

Students who intend to pursue graduate studies in theology at the Vancouver School of Theology (VST) can take advantage of an innovative pathway made possible through a partnership between St. Mark’s College and VST. Learn more

Need help with your application? Contact a recruiter!

Key features of the BA in Theology and Culture

Liberal Arts Focus

A liberal arts education cultivates the essential skills of critical and creative thinking, as well as an ability to communicate. These skills will benefit all students. This program fosters exchanges between the Catholic intellectual tradition, the humanities and the social sciences.

Learning Environment

Students in the BA benefit from smaller class sizes, from a dedicated team of professors and advisors working across the liberal arts, and from a strong cohort identity that allows them to learn with and from one another.

Service Learning Opportunities

Students in the BA program have a number of service learning opportunities. In second and third year, students may choose to do a non-credit placement in a Catholic social service institution, or Catholic school.

Volunteer service is also encouraged throughout the years of the degree, whether service to the College community, or through charitable organizations such as the Door is Open, L’Arche, or other non-profit organizations.

BA Seminar in Theology and Culture

The BA Seminar in Theology and Culture invites students to reflect personally and collectively on a range of contemporary issues, exploring these topics in dialogue with the Christian tradition.

BA Capstone

In their final year students will complete the BA Capstone, an experiential learning project. The capstone provides opportunities for students to explore their interests in areas such as teaching, ministry, social services, non-profit organizations, and more. Students who hope to become teachers will have the opportunity to do a pre-practicum in a Catholic school.


The Bachelor of Arts in Theology and Culture provides a liberal arts education cultivating the essential skills of critical and creative thinking, as well as an ability to communicate. This program fosters exchanges between the Catholic intellectual tradition, the humanities and the social sciences.

For the first two years of the program, students are cross-enrolled at Corpus Christi College where they can choose from a wide array of courses. In third and fourth year, students take courses exclusively with their BA cohort. Throughout the degree students engage in a range of experiential learning activities within the school and greater community.
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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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