Graduate Studies

Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies Program

The Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies program is a ten-credit academic program that may be completed on campus, online or through a combination of on-campus and online courses. The GCTS parallels the first year of our graduate degree programs, and may serve as a time of discernment for further academic or professional needs. Credits obtained in the GCTS may be brought forward to a degree program at AST, subject to the requirements of the degree program.

Application Deadline: Friday, August 22 to commence the program in the Fall Term.
Application Form: Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies Form (pdf)

Special Student Status

A Special Student is a student who has been admitted and is registered for courses, but who is not a candidate for a degree or certificate.


Application Deadline: Friday, August 22 to commence studies in the Fall Term
Application Form: ‌Special Student Application Form (pdf)


Master of Divinity

The Master of Divinity Program is designed primarily, but not exclusively, for persons preparing for ordained or professional ministry. It is not a requirement for this degree that the student be a candidate for ordination.

Application Deadline: May 1 to commence the program in the Fall Term. Applications received in full after May 1 may be treated as applications to the Graduate Certificate Program in Theological Studies and admitted by the Dean on that basis to register for courses in the Summer or Fall Terms. (During the Fall Term, late MDiv applications will be reviewed for admission to the program for the Winter Term. Courses completed as a GCTS student may be brought forward to the MDiv program at AST, subject to program requirements.)

Application Form: ‌Master of Divinity Application Form (pdf)

Master of Divinity Summer Distance

AST offers a Summer Distance ("In-Ministry") Master of Divinity Program through five summer sessions on campus in Halifax and by Distance Education (Internet) courses.

Application Deadline: March 15 to commence program in the Summer Term. (Normally students begin the program in the Summer Term and commence their supervised ministry placement in August or September.) Applications received in full after March 15 may be treated as applications to the Graduate Certificate Program in Theological Studies and admitted by the Dean on that basis to register for courses in the Summer Term. (During the Fall Term, late MDiv SD applications will be reviewed for admission to the program for the Winter Term. Courses completed as a GCTS student may be brought forward to the MDiv SD program at AST, subject to program requirements.)

Application Form: ‌Master of Divinity Application Form - Check the Summer Distance option (pdf)

Master of Arts (Theology and Religious Studies)

The MA (Theology and Religious Studies) is a one-year (three semester) program offered jointly through Atlantic School of Theology and Saint Mary's University. This program brings together two complementary, interdisciplinary programs, Theology (AST) and Religious Studies (SMU). Graduate students will experience a diverse and rich field of expertise in the study of theology and religion.

Application Deadline: May 1 to commence the program in the Fall Term. Applications received in full after May 1 may be treated as applications to the Graduate Certificate Program in Theological Studies and admitted by the Dean on that basis to register for courses in the Fall Term. During the Fall Term, late MA (Theology and Religious Studies) applications will be reviewed for admission to the program for the Winter Term. Courses completed as a GCTS student may be brought forward to the MA (Theology and Religious Studies) program at AST, subject to program requirements.

Application Form: ‌MA (Theology and Religious Studies) Application Form‌ (pdf)


Academic Programs Admission Requirements

The academic pre-requisite for admission to the Master of Divinity Program (MDiv), Graduate Certificate Program in Theological Studies, and admission as a Special Student is a Bachelor’s Degree (or its educational equivalent) from a university recognized by the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada or the Council for Higher Education in the United States.  Applicants to the MDiv Program, Graduate Certificate Program, and as a Special Student are expected to have attained an average of at least 70% or a ‘B’ grade (or the grade point average equivalent) in their undergraduate program. 

Applicants who seek admission to degree programs or credit courses without a completed Bachelor’s Degree must apply for admission on the basis of having a Bachelor’s Equivalency, or as a sponsored candidate for ordination (as a United Church of Canada “Shorter Course Candidate” with five year-long or 10 semester undergraduate university credits). Applicants may present a case for acceptance based upon life experience alone, although some university course work is preferable. The Standards of Accreditation for the Association of Theological Schools set a limit of 10% for the number of students in the degree programs who do not possess a full Bachelor’s Degree. 

Those students who seek to be admitted to the School on the basis of a Bachelor’s Equivalency or life experience are expected to contact AST’s Prior Learning Assessment Advisor, Dr. Thomas McIllwraith.