VST inks agreement with UP to offer PhD degree to North American students

Posted on September 05, 2023

The Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Pretoria (Republic of South Africa) and the Vancouver School of Theology have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to undertake research and research related activities through the offering of postgraduate studies (PhD) in Theology in the various theological fields. This agreement is for an initial period of five years (to 2028).

Students in the programme will work toward a University of Pretoria PhD, completing the degree on a full-time or part-time basis. Both the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Theology and Religion, as well as VST, will appoint qualified supervisors for students.

This programme will be an attractive option for those wishing to expedite their education by focusing on research, distinct from other North American doctoral programs requiring course work. A student can complete this programme with full-time study in three years.

One of the most distinguishing features of this joint programme is its international range and opportunity to do cross-cultural research on truth and reconciliation for indigenous and other students. This research PhD is world-class, yet is affordable by Canadian standards.

This agreement also reflects the leadership and innovation of the Vancouver School of Theology in theological education. VST’s primary mandate is the formation of thoughtful, engaged and generous Christian leaders for the church in the 21st century.

This initiative with the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Pretoria positions VST as a change agent and an innovator for the church, while also providing the opportunity to enhance its relationship with the University of British Columbia as a research-intense partner institution.

This highly innovative collaboration with the University of Pretoria further responds to a significant need for a research intensive doctoral programme in Western Canada.

VST is the only Canadian theological school to collaborate with the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Pretoria, and one of only two institutions in North America with this arrangement. World-wide, the University of Pretoria has 15 existing partnerships, prior to this agreement with VST.

VST will assist interested students by directing them to sources of funding that are available for this programme.

About VST

VST’s core mandate is to educate and form thoughtful, engaged, and generous Christian leaders for the church in the 21st century. VST is a leading theological school, viewed as a change agent and innovator for the church. VST is an affiliated college of the University of British Columbia ranked in the top 100 schools globally and in the top 10 of most improved theological schools.

VST has been recognized by In Trust Magazine for its realizing transformational change as it renews theological education. A recipient of a prestigious Pathways for Tomorrow grant from the Lilly Endowment, VST is redefining the critical role of theological field education in preparing clergy. VST is accredited by the Government of British Columbia, and in North America by the ATS (Association of Theological Schools).

The Vancouver School of Theology celebrates its foundational relationships with the Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, and United Church of Canada. VST also welcomes students from many Christian communions, other faith traditions, and Indigenous communities. The Indigenous Studies Program at VST is central to the school’s identity and commitments.

The Vancouver School of Theology recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2021. VST,
through its predecessor schools, has been teaching theology in Vancouver since 1893.
The Vancouver School of Theology acknowledges that the land on which they are located is the
traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xwməθkwəyəm (Musqueam) People.
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