Centre for the Study of Ministry

The Centre for the Study of Ministry is as an interdisciplinary, academic unit housed in the Toronto School of Theology (TST). Its two major purposes are:

  1. To oversee the Doctor of Ministry Program.
  2. To support and promote interdisciplinary conversation, professional development, research, and publication in the study of ministry. It was created in June 2009 by the TST Board of Trustees with the support of the TST Advanced Degree Council.

Through its supervision of students and academic administration, through collaborative policy-making, and through colloquia and other educational events, the Centre fosters interdisciplinary conversation among scholars in faith-based studies, humanities, health sciences, and professional faculties. It develops the skills and understanding of religious scholars in methods of qualitative research. Through benefactions and grants, the Center will support individual and team research.

At present, the regular faculty members of the Centre are professors with advanced degree status, both full and associate, at TST’s member or affiliate colleges. In addition, several faculty members from other divisions of the University serve as partners in conversation.


Ministry is a complex socio-religious reality that involves the resources and research methods of many disciplines. It includes congregational leadership and pastoral care, religious education, sacred music, social advocacy, prison and health chaplaincies, evangelism and international development. Accordingly, students and researchers benefit from the guidance of a wide variety of specialists in such areas as health research, social work, education, management, psychology, sociology, family studies, cultural studies, history, information science, law and music, as well as theology and pastoral studies. Although the DMin program has always had an interdisciplinary dimension, the creation of the Centre for the Study of Ministry reflects a fresh commitment to promoting conversation about religious ministry among faculty members and students across the University of Toronto.

The Administrative Structure of the Centre

The Director of the Centre (Dr. Joseph Schner, SJ) is supported by an Academic Committee of five faculty members, and by a part-time Program Administrator. The constitution of the Centre for the Study of Ministry, as found in the proposal approved by the TST Board of Trustees, can be viewed here.

Graduates of the Centre

Over 150 people have graduated from the Doctor of Ministry program since 1978. Most serve in congregational ministry, other areas of church leadership; many are theological educators. A fairly representative sample is located here.

Faculty Members of the Centre

John Bowen, MA, CertEd (Oxford), DipTh (London), DMin (McMaster), Director of the Institute of Evangelism, Wycliffe College: evangelism, culture, preaching, church planting, C.S. Lewis

Pamela Couture, BA (Ashland), MDiv (Garrett-Evangelical), PhD (Chicago), Jane and Geoffrey Martin Chair in Church and Community, Emmanuel College: practical theology

Mario O. D'Souza CSB, BA Honours (Dublin), MEd (Calgary), MDiv (St. Michael's), CAES (Boston College), PhD (Toronto), Associate Professor of Religion and Education, and Dean of Theology, University of St. Michael's College: philosophy of education; religion and education; Jacques Maritain; person and personalism; Catholic educational theory; Catholic university

Charles J. Fensham, BTh, BTh Honours, MTh, DTh (South Africa), MTh Pastoral Counselling (Waterloo Lutheran), Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Knox College: theology of mission, ecclesiology, faith and contemporary culture, intercultural theology, Reformed theology, Reformed spirituality.

J. Dorcas Gordon, BA (Toronto), MDiv (Knox), ThM (Newman), ThD (Knox), Associate Professor of Biblical Interpretation and Preaching, Knox College: preaching, social science method, feminist method; formerly director of the TST Doctor of Ministry program

Alan L. Hayes, BA (Pomona), BD, PhD (McGill), Bishops Frederick and Heber Wilkinson Professor of the History of Christianity, Wycliffe College: Canadian Christianity, theological education, faith and culture

Andrew Irvine, BA (Dalhousie), MDiv (Acadia), PhD (St. Andrew’s), Lecturer in Pastoral Theology, Knox College, and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program, Toronto School of Theology: practice of ministry, congregational studies, clergy care

Allen G. Jorgenson, BSc (Alberta), MDiv, STM (Lutheran, Saskatoon), PhD (St. Michael’s), Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Wilfrid Laurier University: word and sacrament; contemporary theology

Abrahim H. Khan, BS (Howard), BD (Yale), MA, PhD (McGill), Professor of Divinity, University of Trinity College: ethics, cross-cultural studies in religion, religious pluralism, religion and mental health, church in the public sphere

Kristine Lund, BSc (Calgary), MDiv (Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon), PhD (Alberta). Assistant Principal and Director Of Contextual Ministry and Spiritual Care and Counselling, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Wilfred Laurier University: pastoral counselling, professional ethics, leadership in ministry 

Stuart Macdonald, BA, MA (Guelph), MDiv (Knox), PhD (Guelph), Professor of Church and Society: ministry, quantitative analysis, congregational development

David Pfrimmer, BA (Waterloo Lutheran University), MDiv (Waterloo Lutheran Seminary), MA (Wilfrid Laurier), DMin (Princeton), Principal Dean, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Wilfrid Laurier University: applied Christian ethics, public theology, social justice

Thomas Power, BA (Dublin), MLS (Toronto), PhD (Dublin), Adjunct Professor of Church History, Wycliffe College, and Theological Library, The John W. Graham Library of Trinity and Wycliffe Colleges: History of theological education, research methods, theological bibliography

Ephraim Radner, AB (Dartmouth), PhD (Yale), Professor of Historical Theology, Wycliffe College: theology of church, ministry, and sacraments

Joseph Schner, SJ, AB (Fordham), MA (Windsor), MDiv (Regis - St. Mary's, Halifax), STL (Regis), PhD (Toronto), Professor of Psychology and Psychology of Religion, Regis College: developmental and child clinical psychology, psychology of religion

Nam Soon Song, BA (Presbyterian College of Korea), MA, EdD (Presbyterian School of Christian Education, Richmond, Virginia), Ewart Professor of Christian Education and Youth Ministry, Knox College, and Director of the Canadian Asian Centre for Theology and Ministry: religious education, youth and children's ministry, curriculum

Michael Stoeber, BA, MA (Calgary), PhD (Toronto), STL (Regis), Professor of Spirituality, Regis College: philosophy of comparative spirituality (especially Christian and Hindu), religious experience, evil, suffering, eschatology, theological anthropology, ethics and spirituality. 

J. Glen Taylor, BA (Calgary), ThM (Dallas), MPhil, PhD (Yale), Associate Professor of Old Testament Interpretation and Proclamation, Wycliffe College: preaching and proclamation


David Reed, BA (Barrington), MA (Andover Newton), PhD (Boston), Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology, Wycliffe College: congregational life, family and sexuality, spiritual trends

Partners in Conversation

From the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto

Lori-Anne Doloff, MusBac, MusM, BEd (Toronto), LTCL (Trinity, London), PhD (OISE/Toronto), Associate Professor of Music Education: choral music; artistic development of children; narrative research methodology; reflective practice; world musics, intercultural education

From the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Jennifer A. Nedelsky, BA (Rochester), MA, PhD (Chicago), Professor of Law and Political Science: feminist theory; human rights; faith and public policy; theories of judgment; history of law

From the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto

Ramona Alaggia, BA, BSW (McMaster), MSW, PhD (Toronto), Associate Professor in the Factor-Inwentash Chair in Children's Mental Health: child and adolescent mental health issues, family violence, sexual abuse, theory and values in social work, qualitative research

From the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Joan M. Eakin, PhD (McGill), Professor, Social and Behavioural Sciences Division; Director of the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research; Adjunct Senior Scientist, Institute for Work & Health: qualitative research methodology; social theory; health and the social relations of work.

From the Centre for Technology and Social Development, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto

Bill Vanderburg, BASc, MASc, PhD (Waterloo), PEng, FCAE, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering; cross-appointed professor, Department of Sociology; Full Member, Centre for Environment; Director, Centre for Science, Technology, and Society: science, technology, and culture; environmental issues; religion and technology in the thought of Jacques Ellul

From the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto

Elizabeth Smyth, BA (McMaster), BEd (Toronto), MA (McMaster), EdD (Toronto), Professor, Department of Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, OISE; Vice-Dean, School of Graduate Studies, University of Toronto: religion and Canadian history, the rise of the professions, women religious and Canadian history, technology and learning

From the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto

Hazel Markwell, BA, MA (Montréal), LTh, DTh, PhD (Ottawa), Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine; Director of the Centre for Clinical Ethics, a Joint Venture of Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph's Health Centre, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto: Member, Joint Centre for Bioethics: bioethical reasoning, faith and sickness, theology of Bernard Lonergan, informed consent, organizational ethics

Giles Scofield, AB (Princeton), JD (New York University School of Law), MA (Yale Divinity School), Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine; Clinical ethicist, Centre for Clinical Ethics: bioethical reasoning, theology of Paul Tillich, informed consent, organizational ethics, postmodern ethics

From the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto

Vincent Shen, BA, MA (Fu-Jen), MA, MA (Soc. Sci. Louvain), PhD (Louvain), Richard Charles and Esther Yewpick Lee Chair in Chinese Thought and Culture: Chinese philosophy and religion, phenomenology, comparative philosophy and religion, Christian thoughts and Chinese culture

From the School of the Environment

Stephen Scharper, BA Honours (Toronto); MA (Toronto), PhD (McGill), Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, U of T Mississauga and School of the Environment:environmental ethics, environmental worldviews, liberation theology and ecology, religions and environmentalism

From Ryerson University

Klaas Kraay, BA, PhD (Toronto), Associate Professor of Philosophy: philosophy of religion (contemporary analyses of models of God, arguments for and against theism, conceptual issues of religious diversity), metaphysics, epistemology

Governance of the Centre

Dr. Jospeh Schner, SJ, Interim Director

Members of the Academic Committee

  • Dr. Alan L. Hayes, Wycliffe College
  • Dr. Jaroslav Skira, Regis College
  • Dr. Joseph Schner, DMin Director
  • Dr. Abrahim Khan, Trinity College
  • Dr. Mark Harris, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary


To inquire further about the information on this page please contact the DMin Program Administrator.

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