Native Ministries Master of Divinity
by Extension Programme
The native Ministries M.Div. by Extension Programme is the only degree programme for persons engaged in ministry in First Nations communities that is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. At the present time, the Programme includes students from the Anglican, Presbyterian, and United churches in Canada and from several denominations in the United States.
Partnership with First Nations Peoples and the Churches
This innovative degree programme was developed in partnership with First Nations people. The primary location and context for learning is the community in which the student lives and serves. This context is crucial for the student’s effective engagement with the social, cultural, political, and religious values of First Nations communities. Denominational authorities are also indispensable partners. They nominate candidates and provide the necessary infrastructure for the delivery of the degree programme. This infrastructure includes the identification of tutors, the allocation of suitable meeting places for course and seminar sessions and the arrangement of a suitable ministry location for the student. Certain tutor and student costs are also borne by the sponsoring denomination. The guidelines and standards for this infrastructure are established by the School.
Throughout their enrolment in the degree programme, students normally continue to exercise some congregational ministry. In this fashion, students need not leave their cultural context, and their communities are not deprived of individuals who are already providing congregational leadership.
Native Ministries Consortium
The members of the Native Ministries Consortium are: the Diocese of Alaska (Episcopal); the Diocese of Caledonia (Anglican); the Native Ministries Council of British Columbia Conference of The United Church of Canada; and Vancouver School of Theology. The purpose of the Consortium is to develop, under Native direction, community-based training programmes for Native ministries, both lay and ordained.
The Consortium appoints members to the School’s Native Ministries Programme Committee which has primary responsibility for the MDiv by Extension programme.
Length of Programme
It takes between five and six years to complete the Native Ministries Master of Divinity by Extension Programme. Students are also expected to attend the Native Ministries Consortium Summer School. Once a student has completed the foundational course of the programme, they will be evaluated and the remaining curriculare requirements.
The Extension curriculum encourages its students to reflect on the cultural vessel in which the Gospel came to their people and how the Gospel applies in their own culture. Students are asked to reflect theologically on the nature and calling of the Church and the understanding and significance of the Gospel to their own tradition and to the history of their people. This reflection takes place in a curriculum which uses a variety of educational media and approaches, including:
This course of study takes place in the student’s own community, in tutorials and seminars conducted by tutors and the School’s permanent faculty at regional sites, and in courses taught in the annual Native Ministries Consortium Summer School.
The School’s permanent faculty offer instructional resources that provide tools for historical research, biblical interpretation, theological reflection and social analysis. With these tools, students rooted and living in their own communities, apply their knowledge and skills to ministry amongst Native people.
More information on the NMC Summer School is available on our Native Ministries Consortium Summer School page.
A more complete description of the Programme’s courses and evaluation is available through the Native Ministries programme Office. This guide identifies the content of each course and the means by which students demonstrate their competency in the various knowledge and skill areas. To contact the Native Ministries Programme Office, use the online Request for Information form or contact us by phone at (604) 822-9480, or by email at [email protected].
For more information please visit the website.