Christian Theology, ministry, and the Bible are complex topics that can be studied using various approaches at Conrad Grebel University College. The Master of Theological Studies program offers students three distinct paths to complete their degree: course work, applied studies, and thesis. The thesis pathway is structurally very different from the other two pathways. In the first half of the program, students engage in courses while gathering resources and ideas for their thesis. The second half of the program is devoted to researching, writing, and reviewing their thesis: a 120-page research paper in a specific area of interest.
Most students choose the course work or applied studies path for their MTS degree, but Colin Friesen and Lindsay Ralph want to pursue further education. The thesis pathway allowed them to explore what a PhD might look like. A thesis can be one way to demonstrate the excellence in research that is required to be admitted into a PhD program.
Faculty and students in the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program at Conrad Grebel University College have found that conversations between those with different approaches to Christianity are a valuable learning experience. Class discussions about the Bible, Christian theology, ministry, and church history are all enriched due to diverse approaches to Christianity from both students and professors.
The part-time study option available through Conrad Grebel University College’s Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program at the University of Waterloo draws students from a variety of life stages and vocations. The MTS program supports individuals as they pursue questions of theology for personal enrichment or ministerial preparation. Among the program’s part-time students are many who hold a full-time job, including UWaterloo employees. They are seizing the opportunity to further their education and faith development in a setting that accommodates their current lifestyle and schedule. “The ability to study part-time at a master’s level is one of the things I really appreciate about Grebel,” commented MTS student Shelly Jordan.
“Worship is the beating heart of the Christian church,” reflected Professor Carol Penner, who teaches practical theology at Conrad Grebel University College and the University of Waterloo. Carol and a team of six volunteers from Mennonite churches across Canada and the USA have spent the last two years creating a website of worship resources with an Anabaptist Mennonite approach designed to aid leaders in the Mennonite Church. They plan to expand their team to include more faculty and students from Mennonite institutions as curation continues.
By Jane Kuepfer, Schlegel Specialist in Spirituality and Aging
When asked a few months ago what advice they would give about aging, a group of seniors responded, “Expect the unexpected.” That advice is relevant to all of us this spring!
In later life it becomes increasingly difficult to predict what may be around the next bend. Life happens. And, as with a pandemic, we may not recognize our resources or find our resilience until we’re in the midst of it.
Bruxy Cavey will be joining the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program as visiting lecturer in the Spring 2021 term. He is the Teaching Pastor at The Meeting House, one of the largest churches in Canada. He is the author of bestselling books The End of Religion, and (re)union: The Good News of Jesus for Seekers, Saints, and Sinners.
In this time of uncertainty and isolation caused by COVID-19, Grebel Professor Carol Penner is offering a gift to all who need help putting their heart’s longing into words. Author of a popular blog, Leading in Worship, she is tapping into her training as a Mennonite pastor and practical theologian to write pandemic prayers. “Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday will all be experienced differently this year because of the fears and anxieties we have about this pandemic,” Carol explained. “My prayers reflect that reality.”