University description (as per official university website)
The Toronto School of Theology is the largest ecumenical consortium for theological education in Canada.
The TST brings together people from a wide variety of Christian and non-Christian traditions, in the context of one of the world's greatest research universities. The TST federation offers students an exceptional opportunity to research and understand the Bible, Christian thought, and the history of Christianity, and to prepare for various forms of ministry in the contemporary world.
The TST comprises seven member schools: Emmanuel College (United Church of Canada), Knox College (Presbyterian Church in Canada), Regis College (Roman Catholic: Jesuit), St. Augustine's Seminary (Roman Catholic: Diocesan), University of St. Michael's College (Roman Catholic: Basilian), University of Trinity College (Anglican), and Wycliffe College (Anglican).
Six of these member schools are located within a few minutes' walk of one another, and with few exceptions, classes are held on the University of Toronto campus and employ a common timetable. This arrangement allows and encourages individual students to take advantage of the vast array of resources available to them. TST students are members of the University of Toronto Students' Union, and have access to a very wide variety of facilities and organizations.
The academic resources of the seven member schools in Toronto are strengthened by an affiliation with the Institute of Christian Studies (Christian Reformed) situated on the southern edge of the University of Toronto campus, Conrad Grebel College (Mennonite) at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada) at Wilfrid Laurier Univresity, and the University of Huron College (Anglican Church of Canada, diocese of Huron) at the University of Western Ontario. Thus, the main currents of Anabaptist, Anglican, Protestant, Reformed and Roman Catholic traditions are represented. Collectively, these resources provide an unusually rich environment for ecumenical theological education.
The TST federation offers a full range of professional and academic degrees, each designed for different educational purposes. Some are primarily professional in character, while others are oriented to general theological studies or research. All our degree programs operate at the post-baccalaureate level. They fall into two general categories: basic degree programs (including the conjoint MDiv, MRel, MRE, MAMS, MSMus, MPS, and MTS degrees) are first theological degrees, while the advanced degree programs (the conjoint ThD, DMin, and ThM, and the non-conjoint PhD and MA) operate at a higher academic level. Degrees are awarded by our member schools, either by themselves or conjointly with the University of Toronto. The TST corporation itself does not register admit students in degree programs, does not appoint professors, and does not confer degrees.
The TST member schools also offer a variety of diploma and certificate programs.
In 1887, the Federation Act of the province of Ontario permitted the federation of church-sponsored colleges and universities with the University of Toronto. Knox, Wycliffe, Emmanuel, Trinity, and St. Michael's were federated under this arrangement, which unlocked an unusually creative educational potential.
In 1944, the Toronto Graduate School of Theological Studies (TGSTS) was formed to promote collaboration on the advanced degree level among Emmanuel, Knox, Trinity, and Wycliffe.
In 1964, the TGSTS was incorporated.
Also in 1964, the Second Vatican Council proclaimed the Decree on Ecumenism, which opened the door to an unprecedented level of educational cooperation between Roman Catholics and other Christians.
In 1966 the Graduate Theological Division of St. Michael's College joined TGSTS.
During 1969-1970, the success of this venture led to the foundation of the Toronto School of Theology. Regis and St. Augustine's entered into the federation as member schools. Collaboration was extended to the basic degree level.
The TST was incorporated in April 1970, by an amendment to the Letters Patent of the TGSTS. The TST is a corporation without share capital under the Corporations Act of Ontario.
In 1978, the TST and its member schools entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the University of Toronto, making possible the conjoint granting of basic and advanced degrees in theology by the University and the member schools of the TST. The TST committed itself to the University's academic standards, and began appointing the University's representatives to its Board, its academic councils, and its faculty appointments committees.
In 2008, the TST began discussions with the leaders of a proposed new post-secondary institution, the Canadian Yeshiva Rabbinical School, towards an educational partnership.
Accreditation, Mission & Governance
TST and its member schools are accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS). ATS is a peer organization of more than 250 institutions that conduct post-baccalaureate professional and academic degree programs in the theological disciplines.
The TST member schools offer many programs conjointly with the University of Toronto. The TST meets University standards in its faculty appointments and course requirements in its conjoint programs. It also conforms to University policy in its grading policies and procedures and in its academic discipline. TST students have a right of appeal to the University in academic mattres. TST students who graduate from conjoint programs receive diplomas signed by the head of the TST member school, the Director of the TST, and the chancellor of the University of Toronto. Upon graduation, they become alumni/ae of the University of Toronto.
The Doctor of Theology and the Master of Theology programs are approved as graduate degrees by the the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS), which ensures quality graduate education for the province.
The Toronto School of Theology federation is stongly committed to:
critical reflection and scholarly research on matters of Christian faith, practice and ministry;
excellence in theological education and formation for various ministries in Church and society;
an ecumenical environment for theological education.
The TST corporation serves the member colleges of the TST federation with the following mission:
to foster formal and informal ecumenical exchange, within and outside the classroom;
to promote academic, professional, and interdisciplinary collaboration among the faculty of the member institutions;
to administer and coordinate a variety of academic programs;
to enter into and manage a variety of collaborative relationships, especially with the University of Toronto;
to enhance in appropriate ways the resources available for academic programs in theology and for lifelong learning in ministry.
The TST corporation is governed by a Board of Trustees. Most trustees are members of the administrations, faculties, or student bodies of the member colleges; some are officials of TST councils or committees; and nine are non-affiliated persons ("trustees at large") elected by the Board.
The Board operates under a By-law which it has established for itself and which it has authority to revise. The By-law provides that “in all of its endeavours [TST] seeks to foster ecumenical interchange, education for wholeness, and the bonds of genuine community.” The TST's structures of governance are designed to be federative, collaborative, and consultative. TST's purpose is to promote cooperation in all appropriate ways among the member colleges themselves and with other educational institutions in Ontario.
The Board of Trustees has several standing committees:
The Executive Committee
The Finance Committee
The Development Committee
The Audit Committee
The Nominating Committee
The Committee on Faculty Appointments
The Committee of Representing Members (CORM)
Two academic councils report to the Board of Trustees.
The Basic Degree Council regulates basic degree programs, which, within parameters set by that Council, are administered by the member schools. The Basic Degree Council includes school, faculty, student, and University representatives.
The Advanced Degree Council regulates and administers advanced degree programs, in collaboration with the TST Departments: Biblical, Historical, Pastoral, and Theological. The membership of the ADC includes representatives of the six participating member colleges, the four departments, the Advanced Degree Students Association, and the University of Toronto. The TST Director, the TST Director of Advanced Degree Programs, and the Director of the Doctor of Ministry program are ex officio members of the Council.
The four departments approve course offerings, accept appointments of adjunct faculty members, administer the programs of ThD and PhD students according to ADC regulations, recommend advanced degree teaching status for qualified faculty members, and work with the Advanced Degree Council to determine curriculum and standards.
The TST Library Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees concerning cooperative use of library facilities, coordination of library services, and other common library matters.
The Member Colleges
Each of TST's member colleges has its own corporate identity, its own form of governance, its own budget, its own employees and students, its own history, and its own ethos.