The Toronto School of Theology (TST) is a consortium of seven theological schools. Six of them are located on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto, within a few minutes’ walk of each other. One is in Scarborough, but it holds most of its classes downtown on the St. George campus. TST itself has a building at 47 Queen's Park Crescent East which houses most of the common administrative services of the consortium. The building is also home to a variety of faith-based organizations, which, while formally unrelated to TST, contribute to an intentionally ecumenical and vibrant atmosphere.
TST is the largest ecumenical consortium for theological education in Canada; TST at a Glance will give you a sense of its size and diversity.
We’re fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, as is each of our seven member colleges. Our academic standards are consistent with those of the University of Toronto, which holds us accountable through a highly developed process of quality assurance. The University of Toronto is regularly ranked among the top 25 research universities in the world.
TST is comprised of seven member college: 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, Evangelical).
In addition, we have cordial relations with four affiliated member institutions: Conrad Grebel University College (Mennonite) at the University of Waterloo; Huron University College (Anglican) at the University of Western Ontario; the Institute of Christian Studies (Christian Reformed) in Toronto; and Waterloo Lutheran Seminary (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada) at Wilfrid Laurier University. Our consortial system helps ensure theological diversity. Each of our member colleges and affiliated institutions is an independent, degree-granting institution with its own distinct history, denominational connection, community spirit, academic priorities, theological interests and approaches to Christian formation. Because each takes its own institutional mission and values very seriously, we resist the kind of homogenization that can sometimes happen in a unitary department or school. A fundamental principle of TST is the passionate engagement of different points of view.
In summary, by bringing together established and junior scholars from a wide variety of Christian and non-Christian traditions, in the context of one of the world's preeminent research universities, we offer students an exceptional opportunity to research and understand the Bible, Christian belief and discipleship, the history of Christianity and Church leadership, and to prepare for various forms of ministry in the contemporary world.
The TST consortium offers a full range of professional and academic degrees 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, and a number of degrees are conferred conjointly by the University of Toronto. Our entry-level programs are the MDiv, MRE, MAMS, MSMus, MPS and MTS. Our graduate programs – that is, those that build on previous theological study – are the PhD, ThM and DMin. (We also have a non-conjoint MA which we hope will be replaced before too long with a conjoint MA.) All TST students are registered in a member college; TST itself does not register or admit students in degree programs, and does not confer degrees.
- Before Canadian Confederation in 1867, several church-supported institutions of higher learning were established in what is now called Ontario.
- In 1887, the province of Ontario established a legal way for church-sponsored colleges and universities to federate with the non-sectarian University of Toronto. Within a few years, Knox, Wycliffe, Trinity and St. Michael's were federated under this arrangement, which unlocked an unusually creative educational potential.
- St. Augustine’s, Emmanuel, and Regis were all established in the twentieth century. (Emmanuel was created by a university that was already federated with the University of Toronto.)
- In 1944, the Toronto Graduate School of Theological Studies (TGSTS) was formed to promote collaboration in the Doctor of Theology and Master of Theology programs at Emmanuel, Knox, Trinity and Wycliffe.
- In 1964, the TGSTS was incorporated.
- Also in 1964, the Second Vatican Council published “Unitatis Redintegratio”, 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 consortium as member schools. Collaboration began in two professional programs – the MDiv and the MRE, supplementing the cooperation that already existed in the ThD and ThM programs.
- TST was incorporated in April 1970, by an amendment to the Letters Patent of the TGSTS. TST is a corporation without share capital under the Corporations Act of Ontario.
- In 1978, TST and its member schools entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the University of Toronto, making possible the conjoint granting of degrees in theology by the University and the member schools of TST. 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 2012, TST formally came under the same process of quality assurance as the academic units of the University of Toronto.
- In 2014, TST received the final approval to launch a conjoint PhD program.