The Toronto School of Theology (TST) is a consortium of seven member theological colleges, each of which has its own governance. A corporation has been incorporated under the laws of Ontario to serve the member colleges and to represent them in various matters in relation to the University of Toronto and other bodies. The name of the corporation is also the Toronto School of Theology and the voting members of the corporation are the seven member institutions.
The corporation meets annually in October, and elects a Board of Trustees which is the primary instrument of TST’s governance. The Board of Trustees includes representatives of the member institutions, independent trustees chosen from the wider community, and representatives from the TST faculty and the University of Toronto. The Board generally meets five times per year. The Board operates under a By-Law which it has established for itself and which it has authority to revise. TST's structures of governance are designed to collaborative and consultative.
The standing committees of the Board of Trustees are:
- Executive Committee
- Senior Executive Council
- Academic Council
- Governance Committee
- Finance Committee
- Audit Committee
The Academic Council is the principal instrument of academic governance, and in most though not all academic matters under its jurisdiction, it has final authority without recourse to the Board. It includes the Principals, Presidents and Deans of the member colleges, University representatives, and faculty and student representatives. Standing committees of the Academic Council include:
- Graduate Studies Council
- Basic Degree Council
- Registrars' Committee
- Library Committee
The Academic Council has general authority over TST’s graduate degree programs. At the basic degree level the Academic Council defines certain common standards, policies and procedures, but each member college administers its own basic degree programs.
The Board of Trustees created the Graduate Centre for Theological Studies (GCTS) to administer the conjoint PhD, DMin, MA and ThM programs, wherein the Executive Director manages faculty appointments, and the Associate Director Graduate Studies manages student issues. The GCTS is resourced primarily by the cross-appointment of faculty members from the TST member colleges, and is led by academic administrators who are faculty members that have been seconded part-time from their home colleges.
Various TST Governance documents can be found at the end of this page.
TST Policies can be found on the Policies page.
TST's seven member schools are each accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) in the United States and Canada. TST itself holds Affiliate membership status with ATS.
TST went through a process of discernment about whether TST needed to also be accredited by ATS, since the seven TST member colleges are full members of ATS. After discussions with a wide range of stakeholders (including the ATS), the TST Board of Trustees determined that for TST to be accredited in addition to the member colleges, is a duplication of effort. Therefore, TST withdrew from full ATS membership but applied for and was approved as an Affiliate member of ATS.
TST is fully responsible, however, for the University of Toronto Quality Assurance Process (UTQAP), which provides provincial approval for TST conjoint degrees through the Ontario Universities Council on Quality Assurance Council. The member colleges participate in the UTQAP process through TST.
The division of labour and authority is clear: the member colleges lead the ATS accrediting process, with which TST fully cooperates and to which it responds in its academic planning, and TST leads the UTQAP process, in which the member colleges participate and respond in their academic planning.
The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools
10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275
412-788-6505 | www.ats.edu