The Toronto School of Theology (TST) is the largest ecumenical consortium for theological education in Canada. These quick facts will give you a taste of the size and diversity of the federation.
Like many good things, such as Canada and the University of Toronto, the TST operates as a federation. For most purposes we operate in a decentralized way, and each of our member and affiliate schools has its own ethos and its own teaching strengths. We like this arrangement, because it ensures a lively interchange of distinct points of view. But we share teaching resources, we work together in our planning and operations, and we're committed to a common core of academic policies and procedures.
Our federated 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, and theological interests. A fundamental principle of TST is the mutual engagement of different points of view.
The TST brings together people from a wide variety of Christian and non-Christian traditions, in the context of one of the world's greatest research universities. The TST federation offers students an exceptional opportunity to research and understand the Bible, Christian thought, and the history of Christianity, and to prepare for various forms of ministry in the contemporary world.
The TST comprises seven member schools: 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).
Six of these member schools are located within a few minutes' walk of one another, and with few exceptions, classes are held on the University of Toronto campus and employ a common timetable. This arrangement allows and encourages individual students to take advantage of the vast array of resources available to them. TST students are members of the University of Toronto Students' Union, and have access to a very wide variety of facilities and organizations.
The academic resources of the seven member schools in Toronto are strengthened by an affiliation with the Institute of Christian Studies (Christian Reformed) situated on the southern edge of the University of Toronto campus, Conrad Grebel College (Mennonite) at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary (Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada) at Wilfrid Laurier Univresity, and the University of Huron College (Anglican Church of Canada, diocese of Huron) at the University of Western Ontario. Thus, the main currents of Anabaptist, Anglican, Protestant, Reformed and Roman Catholic traditions are represented. Collectively, these resources provide an unusually rich environment for ecumenical theological education.
The TST federation offers a full range of professional and academic degrees, each designed 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. They fall into two general categories: basic degree programs (including the conjoint MDiv, MRE, MAMS, MSMus, MPS, and MTS degrees) are first theological degrees, while the advanced degree programs (the conjoint ThD, DMin, and ThM, and the non-conjoint PhD and MA) operate at a higher academic level. Degrees are awarded by our member schools, either by themselves or conjointly with the University of Toronto. The TST corporation itself does not register admit students in degree programs, does not appoint professors, and does not confer degrees.
The TST member schools also offer a variety of diploma and certificate programs.
- In 1887, the Federation Act of the province of Ontario permitted the federation of church-sponsored colleges and universities with the University of Toronto. Knox, Wycliffe, Emmanuel, Trinity, and St. Michael's were federated under this arrangement, which unlocked an unusually creative educational potential.
- In 1944, the Toronto Graduate School of Theological Studies (TGSTS) was formed to promote collaboration on the advanced degree level among Emmanuel, Knox, Trinity, and Wycliffe.
- In 1964, the TGSTS was incorporated.
- Also in 1964, the Second Vatican Council proclaimed 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 federation as member schools. Collaboration was extended to the basic degree level.
The TST was incorporated in April 1970, by an amendment to the Letters Patent of the TGSTS. The TST is a corporation without share capital under the Corporations Act of Ontario.
- In 1978, the TST and its member schools entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the University of Toronto, making possible the conjoint granting of basic and advanced degrees in theology by the University and the member schools of the TST. The 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 2008, the TST began discussions with the leaders of a proposed new post-secondary institution, the Canadian Yeshiva Rabbinical School, towards an educational partnership.