Graduate student life

Why Grebel for MTS? | Community at Grebel | What Makes Us Unique | Student Backgrounds | Student profiles

MTS students at Welcome Back Potluck

In the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program, students can look forward to a vibrant community in which to learn. Whether it's through classes, eating meals together, attending social events, or discussing how graduate studies and faith intersect, you'll enjoy getting to know your peers, professors, and staff members who are invested in your education and your personal development.

These videos and student profiles will give you a glimpse of our diverse and vibrant community!

Why Grebel for MTS?

Community at Grebel

What makes MTS at Grebel Unique?

Student Backgrounds

Student profiles

Christa Van DaeleChrista Van Daele

Study: Coursework Stream

Why did you choose to pursue an MTS degree at Conrad Grebel? 

I’m in the general coursework stream of the MTS program. As I get my feet under me, bit by bit, I sort out the topics and scholars and texts I want to pursue in more depth. This takes time. I am interested in the program as a lifelong learning experience, not just for right now. You come to the program wanting to tangle with the ideas.

What is a highlight of the program for you? 

My favourite thing about the MTS program is the feeling of solidarity and fellowship that is cultivated throughout the program, and the dedication of the program to sorting through the big issues of life, the issues of ultimate concerns for us as humans. As such, it’s gripping in every way. Sometimes one has to skim a text, knowing that it can be returned to, that it simply cannot all be integrated at once. There is room and space for that.

Don NeufeldDon Neufeld

Study: Thesis Stream

Why did you choose to pursue an MTS degree at Conrad Grebel? 

My interest in coming into the MTS program has been to intentionally bring my years of social work practice and interests in theology into dialogue. I come with a number of specific questions and passions that I hope to explore in this setting. With deep connections to Grebel, growing up in the constituency within MCEC, having historical links via my uncle Rod Sawatsky, having attended Grebel in 1986-87, and having three sons living at and active at Grebel during their university years, makes Grebel very much a natural fit for this pursuit!

Peter HaresnapePeter Haresnape 

Study: Applied Stream

Why did you choose to pursue an MTS degree at Conrad Grebel? 

After years of encountering challenging, powerful, and revolutionary ideas about the problems in the world and the ways of thinking required to address them, I'm finally getting the chance to sit down, study, discuss and imagine how these all connect together. Grebel is connecting me with classmates who share what they know, challenge my conclusions, and join the dots between faith, theory, and practice.

What is a highlight of the program for you? 

My favourite thing about the MTS program is that it gives space for genuine, earnest questioning, in non-cynical frame of mind. It's very refreshing.

Susan FishSusan Fish

Year of Study: 2nd year, Coursework Stream

Why did you choose to pursue an MTS degree at Conrad Grebel?

I am a novelist and editor but increasingly I’ve been interested in what my writing does which is a kind of ministry. I wanted to deepen my understanding of theology as a way of informing the work I do, and that has very much been what has happened.

What is a highlight of the program for you?

A highlight of the program is the relationships I’ve developed with other students in my program. This was quite unexpected as we’ve been studying throughout COVID but we’ve formed deeply meaningful relationships that have helped each of us consolidate and work through what we’ve been learning in our program and how that intersects with our lives. It has been a kind of group spiritual direction.

What is something you want others to know about the program?

There’s something mysterious about this program which allows each person to pursue their own questions and interests even in the midst of required courses. The program is both rigorously academic but also spiritually formational and personally enriching.

Jared Vander MeulenJared Vander Meulen

Year of Study: Part-time student, Coursework Stream
Academic Background: Theology

What drew you to the MTS program at Grebel? 

I was drawn to Grebel's MTS Program because of their commitment to Gospel-focused action in the world. The school's emphasis on Christian justice and reconciliation between people around the world is a joy to be a part of. 

How have Grebel scholarships affected your ability to study in the MTS program?

As a newlywed, pursuing further education is no easy decision. The blessing of scholarships has allowed my wife and I to not worry so much about finances as I study full-time.

What are a few highlights from your experience in MTS so far?

The beginning of my MTS program has been marked by lots of insightful in-class discussion among people from all sorts of backgrounds. Hearing the theological insights of many different Christian denominations has been enlightening.

What do you hope to do in the world after you have your degree?

We are commanded as Christians to preach the Gospel to all nations- after my degree, I hope to work in the fields of justice, development, and sustainability around the world with a missional emphasis on sharing Christ's love for all people.

Colin Friesen

Year of study:  Graduated Spring 2021 - Thesis Stream
Academic background: Religious Studies

M. Zeme

Year of study: Graduated Spring 2018
Academic background: Engineering Degree
Church: Freedom Gospel Ethiopian Church
Vocational aspirations: Pastor 

Why did you choose to pursue an MTS degree at Conrad Grebel?

The MTS program is ideal for those who are interested to enrich their knowledge of theology, church history and ministry in a highly interactive atmosphere. It is especially effective for those who are working in ministry but do now have the formal theology education (or have been out of school for long-time) and have limited time or limited money to enroll in the M. Div program. The MTS program is designed to be flexible for those who would like to pursue ministry (applied stream) or those who would like to further their education. 

The program and atmosphere in Grebel is very conducive to new graduates as well as adults who are returning to school after many years of working in ministry, perhaps, as a lay pastor or teacher. Grebel has situated itself and the MTS program to be as service to the faith community around KW and beyond, in that there is interaction between Grebel and others ensuring the continuing viability and relevance of the program.   I like the community feeling at Grebel from the Administration, to the Professors and even cafeteria staff. One feels very comfortable within the school atmosphere. 

What is a highlight of the program for you?

Among my favourite things about the MTS program is the diversity of the  course content, the professors who are very knowledgeable and friendly, the ability to take courses at other affiliated universities and the great support from the Grebel Dean, student advisors, and administration. 

KyongJung Kim

KyongJung KimYear of study: Graduated Fall 2018
Academic background: Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Theology
Church: First Mennonite Church
Vocational aspirations: Church minister

Why did you choose to pursue an MTS degree at Conrad Grebel?

For those who are seeking theological education and training opportunities, Conrad Grebel is a unique place where Anabaptist-Mennonite traditions meet with people from inter-denominational backgrounds amongst secular university settings. Conrad Grebel is not only an academic institution but also a family oriented educational community that walks with each student for their spiritual direction using theological thinking and historical lessons. 

What is a highlight of the program for you?

Faculty members are very supportive and friendly. Their teachings are not limited in classroom settings. They are available to give the best advice for students to meet their academic goals outside classrooms. Library has an excellent collection for academic research and private study carrels. It has been a blessing and precious experience for me that I could enroll the MTS program and interact with people from the different denominational background, engaging various topics to discover more about God's Kingdom and the way of Jesus Christ together.

Theological Studies Student "One of the things that drew me to the Theological Studies program at Grebel was the way the College is uniquely situated in a Mennonite tradition amidst a secular university. The program also offers both academic and ministry tracks, drawing a diverse student body.

Time spent in seminar classes is definitely a highlight of my experience in the TS program so far. The diverse student body that the program draws, facilitates invaluable conversations; people with different backgrounds and life experiences bring new and important questions to conversations, enriching theological discussion in ways a homogeneous group of people might miss out on. Another highlight is the more casual conversations that happen around the lunch table between faculty, staff, and students.  The faculty are down to earth and I have really appreciated their hospitality and resourcefulness. Their willingness to go above and beyond to work with the TS students towards their goals is quite remarkable. 

I spend most of my days in the library. I've found the interlibrary loan system (Trellis) as well as Racer to be absolutely invaluable for my studies. That's definitely one of the many benefits of being part of a wide university and college circuit. Of course another perk is health insurance." 

- Melanie, Winnipeg

Theological Studies Student "The excellent connections with Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre and Toronto School of Theology are very helpful for future academic plans."

- Andy, Waterloo



Why Grebel for MTS? | Background preparation | Highlights | Faculty | Future plans | Student profiles