Facts About AST

Atlantic School of Theology (AST), founded in 1971, chartered under provincial statute in 1974, bases its operations on property in Halifax where theological education has been delivered since 1878. AST is the result of amalgamation of three faculties from previous seminaries (Anglican, Roman Catholic, and United Church of Canada) into one ecumenical university. Other Christian denominations (e.g. Baptist, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Salvation Army etc.) are also represented, and persons from all faith traditions or none are welcome to study here. In March of 2002, AST and Saint Mary's University, Halifax, signed a Memorandum of Agreement affiliating the two institutions. AST and Saint Mary's University offer a joint Master of Arts degree, along with other collaborative projects.

  • Governance: AST has a Board of Governors, appointed by the three founding parties, and representation of students, faculty, and ex-officio representation of administrative staff.
  • Accreditation: AST is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (U.S. & Canada).
  • Catchment Area: AST welcomes students from across Canada, the United States, and around the world to its campus-based and distance programs of study.
  • Graduates' Employment: Since 1971, over 1,500 AST alumni have gone on to serve in church leadership, education, business, health care, law, chaplaincy (hospital, prison, university, and military*), and in other sectors of society.
  • Current Enrollment: 111 students in our degree programs, and 76 students in diploma programs.
  • Tuition: at $698.00 (2019/20) per graduate degree course, among the lowest in the region. Students from NS are eligible for a bursary program from the Province of Nova Scotia.
  • Student Employment: AST occasionally employs students in its library and maintenance departments as well as the Advancemnet Office, and as research assistants.
  • Bursaries: AST manages numerous bursaries, which annually assist 45+ persons and total $90,000+
  • Other Financial Assistance for AST Students: AST provides over $90,000 annually in entrance scholarships to applicants with excellent academic results in previous studies, including the Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship. Pine Hill Divinity Hall offers a tuition allowance for United Church ministry candidates, and support for a limited number of lay applicants. Postulants within the Anglican Church of Canada are eligible for tuition support through their local diocese. Roman Catholic students may be eligible for financial assistance through the Vocations Office of their diocese. Students from other traditions are encouraged to contact their denominational representatives about financial support. Other sources of funding can be found here: http://www.astheology.ns.ca/future/financial-assistance.html
  • Program Delivery Modes: Internet-based courses are available from any location with a high-speed internet connection. On-campus classes are also offered each summer, fall, and winter term.
  • Faculty: 

    Faculty: 8 full-time faculty and 2 half-time faculty, all with doctoral degrees; and 12 sessional faculty, most of whom have doctorates.

  • Annual Budget: The 2015/2016 Budget is $2.9 million.
  • Library: Resources include over 60,000 circulating book titles; more than 2,000 non-circulating reference and archives book titles; over 500 print and microfilm back issue periodical titles; more than 600 audio-visual materials in various formats; and over 4,000 non-circulating rare or special collections items. The AST library is a part of the Novanet consortium of 30 university and community college libraries in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
  • Fundraising: There have been two successful capital campaigns at AST: $3 million was raised for a new library in the early 1990s and $3 million for the Future Growth campaign, which wrapped up in 2010. In addition, there is an annual fund appeal each year, supported by alumni, friends, churches, founding parties, faculty, staff, board of governors, corporations, and foundations.

  • Impact on Community: Student and faculty engagement, through field placements and community service, impact local communities locally and across Canada. Student placements, both paid and unpaid, total 55,000 hours annually. Unpaid student work and faculty offerings contribute in the range of 12,000 volunteer hours annually (estimated value: $300,000). Students and faculty offer their time in church, community, health care, social services, youth programs, elder support, popular education, and other contexts.

* Chaplaincy: "The ecumenical program at AST prepares chaplains for the Canadian Military who are particularly well suited to work in a multi-denominational setting like ours. We value the formation that our chaplains receive at this unique school."  Major John Fletcher, Formation Chaplain, Maritime Forces Atlantic.


(Revised March 10, 2022)