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 1,700 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 Enrolment: 89 students in our degree programs, and 66 students in diploma programs.
  • Tuition: at $774.00 (2022/23) 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 Advancement Office, and as research assistants.
  • Bursaries: AST manages numerous bursaries to assist students in need of financial aid. These are funded by interest earned on investments and are made possible by the generosity of donors. Potential bursary awards in any given year are generally in the range of $75,000-plus.
  • 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 2022/2023 Budget is $3.2 million.
  • Library: With a collection of more than 80,000 print books, and online access to eBooks and electronic journal article databases, the AST Library offers on-campus users a bookable Study Room, as well as access to printing and photocopying. Reference and research assistance is available to on-campus and distance students, and a print book mailing service is offered to students residing more than two-hours away from the Atlantic School of Theology. 
  • Fundraising, Grants and Contributions: 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. AST receives more than $1 m each year through a combination of capital, special and annual contributions. The Annual Fund Appeal raises approximately $100,000 each year in unrestricted donations and is 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 and staff offerings contribute in the range of 12,000 volunteer hours annually (estimated: $300,000). Students, staff, and faculty offer their time in church, community, health care, social services, youth and family programs, elder support, popular education, mental health supports, cultural groups, community development, social care, 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.


(Last revised February 22, 2024)