Theological Studies Handbook

Theological Studies Handbook 2017-2018 (PDF)

Welcome to Theological Studies

I am very pleased to welcome you to the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program at Conrad Grebel University College and the University of Waterloo.

I hope your experience here will be both familiar and strange.  I believe that transformative education occurs where the familiar and the strange (or new) come together.  Your previous studies and experience are certainly “familiar” resources from which you will continue to draw.  You are likely studying within a religious tradition that has a deep familiarity for you.  If you are new, we hope that very soon you will experience real community in the program such that fellow students and instructors become familiar conversation partners.  At the same time, you will encounter students and instructors who bring new experiences and new perspectives.  You may read texts that are new and strange, or read familiar texts in new ways.  You may have a supervised experience in ministry that brings you in a new setting, and challenges you in a variety of ways.  We hope that this mix of the strange and the familiar will also be a feature of the life-long learning that continues beyond your formal connection with this program.

Conrad Grebel is a college within the University of Waterloo. It has its own distinctive identity and mission that is rooted in its Christian identity and its Anabaptist/Mennonite heritage. The mission of the College is to “seek wisdom, nurture faith and pursue justice and peace in service to church and society.” 

The MTS program recently articulated its own purpose, within the College’s mission: “The mission of the Theological Studies program is to educate, equip, and form students through biblical, theological, historical, and pastoral study of Christianity in an Anabaptist-Mennonite and ecumenical context, for service to church and society.”  A series of seven learning goals emerge from this mission (after table of contents).  I invite you to reflect on the mission statement and learning goals regularly over the coming months and years.

This Handbook is a resource for MTS students, faculty, and staff. It introduces the people, partnerships, policies, and procedures that guide and support students in this program at Waterloo and Grebel.  It is also a work in progress and I welcome any comments about how it might be improved.

We look forward to a good year together in Theological Studies in 2017-18. 

Jeremy Bergen

Director of Theological Studies
Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Theology
June 2017


 

Contents

Master of Theological Studies Handbook

1.  Overview of the Program

1.1 Options

1.2 Core Courses and Other Courses

2. The University of Waterloo, Conrad Grebel University College and the MTS Program

3. People

3.1 Teaching Faculty at Conrad Grebel University College

3.2 Other Contacts in Theological Studies

3.3 Administrators at Grebel

3.4 Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs & Student Finance Office (University of Waterloo main campus)

4.  Prospective Students

4.1 Admission Requirements

4.2 Inquiries

4.3 Application Procedures

4.4 Admission

5. New Students

5.1 Orientation at the University of Waterloo and Grebel

5.2 Academic Integrity Workshop

5.3 Email

5.4 Quest

5.5 WatIAM

5.6 WatCARD

5.7 Waterloo LEARN

5.8 Library

5.9 Study Space and Lockers

5.10 Students with Disabilities

5.11 Graduate Student Association

5.12 Local transit

5.13 Housing

6. Student Enrolment and Policies Regarding Courses

6.1 Full-time or part-time status

6.2 Continuous Enrolment

6.3 Degree Time Limits and Extensions

6.4 Selecting and Confirming Courses

6.5 Incomplete “INC” Grades

6.6 Auditing Courses

6.7 Taking Courses in Another Program or Institution

6.8 Course Drop/Adds

6.9 Language Courses

6.10 Directed Readings in Theological Studies

6.11 Style Guide

6.12 Travel Courses

6.13 Grading and Graduation Requirement

6.14 Academic Integrity

7. Finances

7.1 Tuition and Fees

7.2 Payment Procedures

7.3 Promissory Notes for Funding

7.4 Financial Aid

7.5 Full-Time Tuition Scholarship

7.6 International Students

7.7 Research Assistantships and Marking Assistantships

8. Research Paper and Thesis

8.1 Research Paper and Research Seminar

8.2 Thesis

9. Community Life

9.1 Orientation

9.2 TS department initiated social events

9.3 TS student initiated social events

9.4 Dining Room/Cafeteria

9.5 “Common Ground” self-serve coffee and snack bar

9.6 Study space

9.7 Worship

9.8 Music

9.9 Chaplain

9.10 Convocation/Graduation

9.11 Conference participation

9.12 Grebel/MCEC workshops and events

9.13 Anabaptist Learning Workshop

9.14 Shared governance

10.  Services on Campus and Contact Information

10.1 AccessAbility Services

10.2 Counselling Services

10.3 Centre for Career Action

10.4 Student Success Office

10.5 The Writing Centre

10.6 Graduate Student Association and the Grad Club

10.7 Parking and Bicycle Use

10.8 Retail Services on Campus

10.9 Services for International Students

10.10 Child Care

10.11 Health Services

10.12 Athletics

10.13 Weather / Emergency Closing Guidelines

10.14 Teaching

11.1 Academic Term Dates and Deadlines

11.2 Grebel Dates

Master of Theological Studies Handbook

1.  Overview of the Program

The mission of the Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program is to educate, equip, and form students through biblical, theological, historical, and pastoral study of Christianity in an Anabaptist-Mennonite and ecumenical context, for service to church and society.

Throughout the MTS program, students will:

1. Develop skills in effective writing, speaking, reading, listening, and teaching.

2. Demonstrate knowledge of Christianity from a variety of disciplinary, theological, contextual, and experiential perspectives.

3. Engage scholarship in the relevant fields of theological studies through research and critical analysis of primary sources and contemporary scholarly debates.

4. Interpret Christian traditions in light of present contexts.  

5. Engage issues of justice and peace, and attend to voices of the marginalized. 

6. Nurture personal formation through practices such as self-reflection, openness to others, leadership training, faith development, and participation in a community of learning.

7. Enhance the capacity for life-long learning.

The Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program at the University of Waterloo and Conrad Grebel University College (Grebel) is a two-year interdisciplinary program leading to a Master of Theological Studies degree.  It is designed for students preparing for further graduate studies in theology, professionals in ministry, or for personal enrichment. The program draws on the College’s academic strengths in Theology, Biblical Studies, and History of Christianity, to examine the beliefs and practices of Christianity and particularly the Anabaptist/Mennonite tradition. Students may also take courses from faculty with teaching and research expertise in Music, Mennonite Studies, and Peace and Conflict Studies.  

Contemporary study of Christian theology takes place in an ecumenical and inter-religious context. In the MTS program this is reflected in faculty research interests, courses, and the student body. 

1.1 Options

Students will complete the program via one of three Options. While each option has somewhat distinct pedagogical goals, we strive to integrate students from each of the options in all courses.  The MTS is designed to provide all students with both theoretical and practical orientation within the broad discipline of Theological Studies:

1.1.1 Coursework Option

This provides students with a broad understanding of theological disciplines. It consists of coursework and a final research paper.  It is the most flexible option and is usually the best option for students entering from another discipline (especially if they are considering advanced graduate study in theology) or for those completing the program for personal enrichment.  Several graduates have moved from this option into doctoral studies. Students may begin in this option and decide to move to one of the other two options after they have completed several courses.

1.1.2 Applied Studies Option

This option integrates academic study and practical internships (Supervised Experience in Ministry). It is for students involved in or preparing for the practice of ministry. “Ministry” is broadly understood to include pastoral roles in congregations, chaplaincy in hospitals, prisons, or elder care facilities, or social service in agencies in varied settings. This option involves coursework, internships, and a capstone integrative project.

1.1.3 Thesis Option

This is the most focused of the options and is usually taken by students preparing for advanced graduate studies in Theology, Biblical studies, or History of Christianity, or by those who already have a strong undergraduate background in theological studies. It involves coursework and research and culminates in a thesis. Students who have expressed an interest in writing a thesis will be guided through the process of confirming a thesis supervisor and preparing a thesis proposal, as outlined in section 8.2 “Thesis” of this Handbook. This will normally occur in the second full semester of studies.  Students should not assume that completing a thesis will be less work than eight courses. The iterative nature of writing a thesis is very different from the requirements of coursework.

  Coursework Option:

MUST HAVE:

16 graduate level one-term courses (0.5 unit weight) including 4 core courses (8.0 unit weight credits total) and maintain a 75% average

4 Required Core Courses:

TS 600 – Thinking Theologically

TS 610 – Studying the Old Testament

TS 611 – Studying the New Testament

TS 640 – Mennonite Tradition in Historical Context

Plus:

12 other TS or other approved graduate courses

Master’s Seminar Presentation Milestone Requirement

Academic Integrity Milestone Requirement

   Applied Studies Option:

MUST HAVE:

16 graduate level one-term courses (0.5 unit weight) including 4 core courses (8.0 unit weight credits total) and maintain a 75% average

8 Required Courses:

TS 600 – Thinking Theologically

TS 610 – Studying the Old Testament

TS 611 – Studying the New Testament

TS 640 – Mennonite Tradition in Historical Context

TS 677 – Church and Ministry

TS 678 – Supervised Experience in Ministry I

TS 679 – Supervised Experience in Ministry II

TS 783 – Integration Seminar

Plus:

8 other TS or other approved graduate courses

Master’s Seminar Presentation Milestone Requirement

Academic Integrity Milestone Requirement

  Thesis Option:

MUST HAVE:

8 graduate level one-term courses (0.5 unit weight) including 4 core courses (4.0 unit weight credits total), the successful completion of a thesis, and maintain a 75% average

4 Required Core Courses:

TS 600 – Thinking Theologically

TS 610 – Studying the Old Testament

TS 611 – Studying the New Testament

TS 640 – Mennonite Tradition in Historical Context

Plus:

4 other TS or other approved graduate courses

Thesis:

Master’s Thesis Proposal

Master’s Thesis (4.0 credits)

Master’s Thesis Submission

Academic Integrity Milestone Requirement

1.2 Core Courses and Other Courses

The core courses introduce students to the basic disciplines of theology, biblical studies, and history of Christianity and provide a foundation of knowledge for other courses and research projects. The four additional required courses in the Applied Studies option are formative for the practice of ministry. Additional courses from the TS program, as well as from other UW graduate programs, Ontario universities, or theological schools may be included in a student’s program of study with the approval of the student’s advisor. Normally no more than 25% of the courses required for the completion of any Option may be completed outside the TS department. If transfer students bring in 25% or more course credits, they will normally not be able to take additional courses outside the MTS program.

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2. The University of Waterloo, Conrad Grebel University College and the MTS Program

The Master of Theological Studies program and the MTS degree are offered conjointly by the University of Waterloo and Conrad Grebel University College. Students in the program are fully part of both the University and the College.

It is important that students applying to any graduate program in the University have a good understanding of the distinctive features of the program, the teaching and research interests of the faculty, the academic expectations, and the potential financial resources that may be available.  Potential students are strongly encouraged to contact the TS office well before completing a formal application through the University website. This makes it possible to clarify many important issues about the program, admission, funding, tuition, and courses early in the application process.

While most of the personal contact with the program will be through the TS office, all MTS students are fully UW graduate students.  All academic policies of the UW apply and all UW services available to graduate students are available to MTS students.

The TS office is based on the Grebel campus within the University of Waterloo and all classes are offered at the College. Grebel offers study space for full time grad students in the College library and has graduate lounge space and lockers on the fourth floor.

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3. People

3.1 Teaching Faculty at Conrad Grebel University College                                                                     

TS Director / Theology

Jeremy Bergen

jbergen@uwaterloo.ca

2122

TS Administrative Assistant

Melodie Sherk

melodie.sherk@uwaterloo.ca

2121

Applied Studies / Practical Theology

Carol Penner

c2penner@uwaterloo.ca

2112

History of Christianity

Troy Osborne

troy.osborne@uwaterloo.ca

2114

New Testament

Alicia Batten

abatten@uwaterloo.ca

2116

Old Testament

Derek Suderman

dsuderman@uwaterloo.ca

4207

Music and Worship

Ken Hull

krhull@uwaterloo.ca

1106

       

Adjunct Instructors

Church and Ministry

Rudy Baergen

r2baerge@uwaterloo.ca

 

Church and Ministry

Marilyn Rudy-Froese

mrudyfro@uwaterloo.ca

 

Theologies of the Global South

Nestor Medina

netto.medina@gmail.com

 

Aging and the Spiritual Life

Jane Kuepfer

jane.kuepfer@uwaterloo.ca

2124

3.2 Other Contacts in Theological Studies

Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre

TMTC Director

Kyle Gingerich Hiebert

kyle.gingerichhiebert@utoronto.ca

 

TMTC Administrative Assistant

Pablo Kim Sun

pablo.kimsun@mail.utoronto.ca

 
       

Anabaptist Learning Workshop (ALW)

ALW Coordinator

Matthew Bailey-Dick

mrbailey@uwaterloo.ca

2124

ALW Administrative Assistant

Melodie Sherk

melodie.sherk@uwaterloo.ca

2121

3.3 Administrators at Grebel

Chaplain

Ed Janzen

ejjanzen@uwaterloo.ca

24230C

Dean

Marlene Epp

mgepp@uwaterloo.ca

2118A

Director of Finance

Sara Cressman

scressman@uwaterloo.ca

2115

3.4 Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs & Student Finance Office (University of Waterloo main campus)

General inquiries

Christina Treusch

ctreusch@uwaterloo.ca

Needles Hall

Finance Office

Loron Pellowe

lpellowe@uwaterloo.ca

Needles Hall

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4.  Prospective Students

4.1 Admission Requirements

  • A four year BA, BSc, or equivalent credentials from an accredited university or college.
  • At least a 75% average in previous undergraduate or graduate studies.
  • Applicants who do not meet these requirements but who demonstrate aptitude for such studies may be admitted by meeting the requirements of Probationary or Transitional admission or completing a Qualifying program as defined by the Admissions Committee.
  • English proficiency as defined at English proficiency requirement.
  • See the admission information and admission requirements webpages for more information about the documents required and application process.
  • Full-time and part-time studies are available. Students will be required to complete their requirements within five calendar years from the date of their initial registration. Exceptions to this limit will be made only through appeals approved by the TS department.
  • Deferrals for admission and entry may be permitted for up to one year (three terms).

4.2 Inquiries

Potential MTS applicants are strongly encouraged to contact either the TS Director/Graduate Officer or the TS Administrative Assistant via email or phone prior to applying online. Before making such an inquiry, applicants should review UW information about graduate programs, Admission information, and the Application Requirements for the MTS program.  A personal contact with the MTS program at that stage provides an opportunity to discuss the applicant’s academic and theological background, areas of interest, how the program suits those interests, and which program option seems preferable.

4.3 Application Procedures

4.3.1

All applications to the MTS degree are made through an on-line application, through the UW Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs Office (GSPA).  The cost to apply is $100.

4.3.2

The application process is available online. Once an application is formally initiated, the applicant is assigned a UW “Quest” account into which future documents are deposited and through which communication with the applicant takes place.

4.3.3

The application “documentation” process requires:

  • uploading official copies of all previous undergraduate and graduate transcripts;
  • completing the “Supplemental Information Form” outlining reasons for interest in the program, identifying the preferred program “Option”, and describing long term study and career aspirations;
  • providing three reference letters through the forms and links provided. Two of these should be from people competent to assess the candidate’s academic capacities and potential. For applicants to the Thesis Option at least two of the three references must be academic.
4.3.4

All required documentation must be submitted to the GSPA before final admission decisions can be made. Applicants waiting for final grades from their current program should submit their most recent grade report and then send the final transcript when it is available. Provisional admission decisions can often be made based on a strong academic grade report.

4.3.5

After the application has been successfully uploaded, it will be reviewed by the TS Admissions Committee. All applicants will be interviewed either in person or by telephone as part of the admission process. The admissions committee may also ask applicants for additional information.

4.3.6

When a decision has been made by the MTS Program, a recommendation for admission or non-admission will be submitted to the GSPA. They will act on this recommendation. Their action will be posted, along with a decision letter, to the applicant’s Quest account.

4.3.7

Students normally begin their program in the Fall term, to enable them to participate in both University and College orientation programs, to complete required core courses, and to qualify for optimal funding support. In exceptional circumstances students may be permitted to begin in the Winter term, but they should be aware that this will limit their program orientation, course selection, and access to financial aid.

4.3.8 Transfer Students

Students transferring from another institution will go through the same application process. Once an application has been approved, the student should request that the director review the transcripts for transfer credit.  Courses that have been applied towards a degree or certificate are not eligible for transfer credit. Up to half of the required courses for the program can be transferred. If students transfer courses from another institution, this may reduce the number of courses they may take at other institutions while in the MTS program. The total number of transferred credits plus courses taken elsewhere during the program cannot exceed half of the total required courses.. 

4.3.9 Advanced standing

Students with extensive formal academic background in theological or religious studies may petition to take an alternate course in lieu of one or more core courses.  If this petition is granted, the alternate course must be taken in the TS program in the same disciplinary area (e.g. Theology, Old Testament, New Testament, or History of Christianity). There is no reduction in the overall number of course required for the degree.  The petition must be approved by the student’s advisor, the Director of Theological Studies and by the instructor of the core course in question.

4.4 Admission

4.4.1

Once a student has been admitted to the University and to the MTS program, regular communication with the TS Director/Graduate Officer or TS Administrative  Assistant is encouraged in preparation for the first term of study. Students will be assigned a faculty advisor.

4.4.2 Admission to an Option 
  • Most students are admitted to the Coursework Option, and for many this is the program that best meets their objectives. 
  • Students with an interest in the practice of ministry should contact the Coordinator of the Applied Studies Option during the admission process. If this is the Option they choose, the Coordinator will be their advisor.
  • Students interested in the Thesis Option will indicate this on their “Supplementary Information Form” as part of the application process.  The capacity of a student to undertake a large research and writing project, the compatibility of a proposed area of research with a faculty member’s expertise, and the availability of faculty members in the area of interest are among the factors that will be considered if the student confirms their interest in the Thesis Option during their first or second term in the program.  Once a thesis advisor has been confirmed and a thesis proposal is approved, the thesis advisor will become the student’s program advisor.

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5. New Students       

5.1 Orientation at the University of Waterloo and Grebel

The Orientation is important. It is typically held during the week prior to the start of classes in Fall. It is an orientation to Graduate Studies at UW, the Faculty of Arts and the MTS program. It is an opportunity to meet other graduate students and faculty, become familiar with facilities and services that are available, and have many questions answered.  Some events are organized by the UW Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, Grad Students Association, and Faculty of Arts on the main campus. These include an Academic Integrity workshop, which is a mandatory “milestone requirement” for all grad students. Students do not receive a grade for “milestones”, but they are requirements for graduation and appear on a transcript.  Some events at Grebel are held with students entering the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPACS) program. Other events are designed specifically for new MTS students.  Participation is required for all new students, including those who may have begun courses in the previous Winter term and those who have been admitted for the current year but have deferred their enrolment until the Winter term.  Exceptions will be dealt with individually. Details for the day will be sent to students prior to the event.

5.2 Academic Integrity Workshop

Academic integrity is an integral part of academic research, teaching and learning. MTS students, as well as all other UW students and faculty, are expected to demonstrate academic integrity in their work. In order to assist students in understanding what academic integrity entails, and what constitutes academic misconduct (for example, plagiarism), all graduate students must attend an Academic Integrity Workshop, organized by the Office of Academic Integrity, during the Orientation Day. This is a milestone requirement of the MTS program. The Office of Academic Integrity has a number of useful online tools, including a tutorial for graduate students.

Students will also complete the Academic Integrity Module (available on LEARN) in the first eight weeks of the program.

5.3 Email

Email is the primary means of communication at the UW. All students are given a unique email address (xxxxx@uwaterloo.ca) and are expected to check it for messages from the University and the MTS program. Students may redirect mail sent to their uwaterloo.ca address to another account. An online tutorial provides instructions for forwarding messages to another account.

5.4 Quest

Registration and course enrolment are web-based functions at the University of Waterloo and can be accessed through the Quest account that the student will be given during the application process. With a Quest account, a student can manage their University-related affairs, including finances, course enrolment, and viewing an unofficial transcript.   

5.5 WatIAM

The UW Identity and Access Management (WatIAM) is the main online identification system of UW.  WatIAm userIDs are used by Quest, WaterlooWorks, UW-ACE, myHRinfo and others. Students’ userID and passwords are managed using the WatIAM system.

5.6 WatCARD

A WatCARD is a library card and university identification card.  To learn how it can be used and where to get it, visit the WatCARD website.

All students need a WatCard.  Once their status in Quest has changed to ‘matriculation’, they can go to the WatCard office located on the lower level of the Student Life Centre.  Students must bring with them government-issued photo ID, as well as their UW student number, and be prepared to have their photo taken. WatCard Office Hours are Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm (ext: 32751)

WatCards have many uses, including:

  • borrowing privileges from UW’s libraries on campus. 
  • borrowing library materials from other TUG libraries (Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Guelph) through the UW
  • access to the PAC (Physical Activity Complex) and computer labs
  • making payments for food on UW campus (not Grebel), as well as at some restaurants off-campus
  • making payments for printing and photocopying services
  • To use a WatCard in place of cash, students must add money to their account.  This can be done in person, or online.
  • WatCards are valid as a transit pass on all Grand River Transit (GRT) buses for full-time undergraduate and graduate students. Students need to show their valid WatCard to the driver when they board the bus. WatCards of part-time students are not valid as a transit pass. More information on using Watcards as a transit pass is available online.  Information on GRT routes and schedules is available online.

5.7 Waterloo LEARN

LEARN is a web-based course management platform where students will find a UW course website, if there is one.  MTS instructors may use LEARN for a course to post articles and links, facilitate online discussions, send emails to students, and/or enter student grades.  Students access LEARN with their WatIAM user id and password.  Auditors must contact the TS administrative assistant for access to their courses on LEARN.  For more information see LEARN Help.

5.8 Library

Grebel’s Milton Good Library is part of the UW Library system. It has extensive physical and electronic resources in theological studies. The librarians are available and highly capable to assist students with their search.  Students will be introduced to the library during Orientation and are advised to become familiar with its very helpful staff and its rich resources. Students have access to books and journal articles from all across the UW system as well as the Tri-University Group (TUG) libraries—University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier, and the University of Guelph. A book may be ordered from any of these libraries to be delivered to the Grebel library for pick up.  Grad students may also use the “RACER” inter-library loan system, free of charge, for articles and books not in the TUG system. They are also encouraged to suggest books to TS faculty that they believe would enrich the collection.

Students may connect to the library from home using their Watcard numbers. On the University of Waterloo Library homepage  use the “Connect from Home” login.   The Library Survival Guide link on this page holds an abundance of information about library services. The library offers a variety of services for graduate students, including online and in-person tutorials, workshops, and one-on-one assistance with a library liaison.

Milton Good Library Hours

Fall and Winter Terms (September-April)                              Spring Term (May to August)

Monday to Thursday 8:30 AM - 10:00 PM                              Monday to Friday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM                                                             Saturday-Sunday Closed
Saturday 1 PM - 5 PM
Sunday Closed

Reference Services are generally available Monday to Thursday 8:30-7:00 pm; Friday until 4:30 pm.

The Milton Good Library facilities include:

  • Public computer stations with Internet access and Microsoft Office applications
  • Use of 2 scanners, public printer (cash only), CD burner, and microfiche readers
  • Wireless access.
  • Public Photocopier (operated by funds on student Watcard)
  • Course reserves are available upon request at the Circulation Desk. Students login to their personal course reserves list using their WatIAM username and password.
  • The Grebel Library is a pickup and book return location for books requested from PRIMO or TRELLIS. Choose “CGC (UW) Circ Desk” as the pickup location. 
  • The Grebel Library is a pickup and return location for books and articles requested from RACER, the inter-library loan service and the TUGdoc article retrieval service.  Choose “Waterloo Conrad Grebel Library” as the pickup location. 

5.9 Study Space and Lockers

There is dedicated space for graduate students in MTS and MPACS in the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement (CPA) (4th floor), including a lounge, study space, and lockers.  Full time grad students can be assigned study space in the library on a first-come, first-served basis. Lockers will be assigned on a first come, first served basis at $10 per term. Student should register for a locker at the reception desk of the Centre for Peace Advancement. Locks will be reset at the end of every term.

5.10 Students with Disabilities

The AccessAbility Services (AS) Office, located in Needles Hall, Room 1132, collaborates with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum.  Students who require academic accommodations to lessen the impact of their disability should register with the AS Office at the beginning of each academic term. 

5.11 Graduate Student Association

All MTS students are members in the UW Graduate Student Association and may use their services, participate in their activities, and become involved in their governance. 

5.12 Local transit

Full-time graduate students pay a non-refundable fee that entitles them to unlimited rides on Grand River Transit buses.  The WatCARD is the bus pass. 

5.13 Housing

Though Grebel operates a residence program with dormitories and apartments, this is only for undergraduate students.  MTS students have access to graduate housing through the university, including the Columbia Lake Village-North for single students and families, as well as apartments through St. Paul’s University College. For more information see:

https://uwaterloo.ca/housing/single-grad-families

http://uwaterloo.ca/housing/residences/columbia-lake-village

https://uwaterloo.ca/stpauls/graduate-apartments-suites

The Kitchener/Waterloo area has a large stock of rental houses and apartments.  The following sites may be helpful for beginning that search:

https://uwaterloo.ca/off-campus-housing/

http://kitchener.kijiji.ca/f-real-estate-W0QQCatIdZ34

https://www.padmapper.com

http://www.viewit.ca/city/kitchener.aspx

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6. Student Enrolment and Policies Regarding Courses

6.1 Full-time or part-time status

The MTS degree may be pursued on a full-time or a part-time basis.  Students are full-time if they are enrolled in three courses in Fall or Winter semesters, and two courses in the Spring semester.  Full-time students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents qualify for a full-tuition scholarship with some conditions (see section 7.2)

Students may apply for a reduction in the number of courses that constitutes full-time status, typically with supporting medical documentation. If this is granted, it does not increase the total number of semesters that Canadian students are eligible for full-time tuition scholarships.

6.2 Continuous Enrolment

Students must either sign up for a course or fill out a “Change of Status” form each term until their degree is completed.  Students who are not planning to take a course in a specific term must complete a “Change of Status” form and indicate that they will be “inactive” that term. If they do not complete this form their file may be closed by the Registrar’s office and they will be required to re-apply to the program.  “Change of Status” forms are also signed by students’ faculty advisors or the Director, so there should be some conversation between students and the TS faculty to ensure that there is a clear understanding of the reasons for the choice of status for the upcoming term.

If a student requests consecutive “inactive” terms, there should be a discussion between the student and the advisor to ensure that the program requirements can be met. According to the GSPA, inactive status is normally approved for a maximum of two consecutive terms (maternity leave up to three consecutive terms) during a graduate program. Students who request more than two consecutive terms of leave because they have other commitments such as a full-time job or travel plans, or where long-term illness has suspended activity in their program, should voluntarily withdraw until they are prepared to resume their studies. In advance of voluntary withdrawal, students must discuss with their department any conditions which must be met upon their readmission to their program.  Normally, students who have incomplete courses on their record are not eligible for inactive status.

“Change of Status” forms can be found online. 

6.3 Degree Time Limits and Extensions

The MTS degree should be completed within five years of first enrolment. Exceptions will be dealt with on a case by case basis and will require a clear plan for completing the degree. If students are “inactive” for several terms their file may be closed and they will be required to apply again, but they will not lose credits previously earned. In a new application to the program they will be expected to indicate how they are now ready to complete the program requirements.

Students writing a thesis will be expected to report to their advisor each term documenting their activity and progress and projecting what they will accomplish in the coming term. Students who are writing a thesis but are “inactive” for more than two consecutive terms within the five year degree completion time limit, will be required to petition the department for permission to continue on the thesis project. The petition should clearly define the status of the thesis, the reasons for the delay, and outline a plan to complete the project within the degree time limit. 

6.4 Selecting and Confirming Courses

All students have a faculty advisor. Before a term begins students must contact their advisors and receive approval for the courses they will enrol in during the coming term. The advisor will then send a confirmation of that agreement (usually a copy of an email exchange) to the TS Administrative Assistant. This makes it possible to arrange proper financial aid, to monitor the student’s progress toward graduation, and to track course enrolment patterns. Once the TS Administrative Assistant has been informed, students may enrol in their courses on Quest by following the instructions in the Quest system. TS Course descriptions can be found at the TS website

6.5 Incomplete “INC” Grades

In extenuating circumstances such as illness, students may not be able to complete their course work during the enrolled term.  A date for the work to be completed can be set and both instructor and student will sign an “INC (Incomplete) Agreement Form”.  Students with more than one “INC” grade will normally not be permitted enrol in additional courses while they complete their INC courses and will not receive additional financial aid until the courses are satisfactorily completed.

If a student is required to verify illness, the form to do so is at Verification of Illness.

An incomplete grade status (INC) submitted by an instructor may remain on a student's academic record for at most two terms of enrolment following the term in which the course was taken. A student may seek a one-term extension by submitting a petition to the course instructor and the Department prior to the end of the two terms.  If a grade has not been submitted by the end of the second term and an extension has not been granted, the INC will automatically convert to an FTC (failure to complete incomplete course work, no credit granted).  For average calculation, FTC value equals 0.  An FTC status may be reverted to an INC on the academic record only if a petition from the student is approved by the Department, Faculty, and the Associate Provost, Graduate Studies.  Such a petition is granted only in exceptional circumstances.

6.6 Auditing Courses

MTS students may be participating visitors (commonly referred to as auditing) in other MTS courses without payment of additional fees. Students must contact and receive permission from their advisor and the instructor teaching the class.  If the advisor has agreed and the instructor has approved their participation, they may contact the TS Administrative Assistant who will send them an “participating visitor” form to complete for their records.

Participating visitors who require access to the LEARN system for that course to utilize resources that have been posted, should contact the TS Administrative Assistant for help.

Students may also choose to audit a MTS or other UW graduate course. Formally audited courses will appear on the student’s transcript and full tuition fees are required. Advisor and instructor consent is required. Note that audited courses do not count toward a student’s full-time status and the tuition will not be covered under Grebel scholarships.               

6.7 Taking Courses in Another Program or Institution

Students may take courses in other UW graduate programs, at any university across Ontario, or in another graduate theological program, with the approval of their faculty advisor and the TS Director.  

The process is:

  1. Speak with your faculty advisor to ensure that the course is suitable for your program.
  2. Contact the instructor to learn more about the course and request permission to take the class. Usually faculty want to ensure that students have appropriate academic preparation for the course.
  3. Provide the information about the course and the faculty advisor’s approval to the TS Director.
  4. If the request to take the course is approved by the TS Director, send the course code, title, and institution’s name to the TS Administrative Assistant, who will send a formal “request for permission”.
  5. If the arrangement with the other institution is to “pay fees at home institution,” then the student will be enrolled in a section of TS 692, and pay tuition at Grebel.  In some cases, Grebel will be paying tuition directly to the institution offering the course.  The normal limit for such arrangements is 3 courses per student.
  6. If the arrangement with the other institution is to “pay fees at visiting institution,” then the student is responsible to pay tuition and incidental fees directly and submit the receipt to the TS Administrative Assistant.  If the student has a tuition scholarship at Grebel, then the student will be reimbursed up to the current tuition for one course at Grebel. In some cases, this will not cover all fees. This course will appear on transcripts as a transferred course. The normal limit for such arrangements is 4 courses per student.
  7. At the end of the term, ensure that a transcript with your grades from that institution is submitted either to the TS Office or to the UW Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs for transfer credit.

The Ontario Visiting Graduate Student (OVGS) plan allows a graduate student of an Ontario university (Home University) to take graduate courses at another Ontario university (Host University) while remaining enrolled at his/her own university. Students enrol and pay fees to their Home University and are classed as "Ontario Visiting Graduate Students" at the Host University.

The course(s) selected must be at the graduate level, there must be no comparable course(s) offered at the UW and the course(s) must be required for the student's degree program. 

We have developed processes for students taking courses at institutions that do not fall within the OVGS program, including the Toronto School of Theology, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, McMaster Divinity School, and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, but students may take courses at other institutions as well.

The normal limit for taking courses outside of the MTS program is 1/4 of the required courses (i.e. 4 courses in Applied or Coursework, 2 courses in Thesis).

6.8 Course Drop/Adds

For an up to date listing of Course Drop/Add Dates, as well as other important calendar events and academic deadlines, visit the Graduate Studies Calendar.

6.9 Language Courses

While biblical languages are not currently offered at Grebel, and are not required for the MTS degree, students are encouraged to pursue the study of these languages when possible.  In most graduate programs which require languages, languages are “milestone” requirements, Language courses do not typically reduce total courses required. Further notes:

  • Introductory language courses do not count towards the 16 required courses in the program. In general, undergraduate courses, cannot be counted towards a graduate degree.
  • Taking an introductory biblical language course will count towards full-time status in the MTS program, subject to the approval of the advisory. Studies in modern language will be approved only if it is required for the thesis, and only with the recommendation of the thesis supervisor.
  • If a student has a tuition scholarship (full-time Tuition Award or MCEC Ministerial Leadership Award), then the MTS program may reimburse costs for up to two introductory one-term language courses.  For each course, the reimbursement would be up to the cost of one regular Grebel course.

6.10 Directed Readings in Theological Studies

A reading course is an opportunity to do focused study on a particular topic, under the direction of a faculty member, and may be taken with the approval of the advisor.  Faculty members are not able to accommodate all requests for reading courses.  A faculty member may specify the terms of references for a course, or the student may make a proposal regarding the topic, general objectives, readings, and assignments.   The faculty member and student must agree on a course outline which includes expectations for reading, regular consultation, assignments (with the weight of each towards the final grade), and deadlines.  This syllabus must be approved by the program Director.

The amount of required reading and writing will vary depending on the subject matter, the variety of assignments, and the level of difficulty.  As a general guideline, students should plan on around 1000 pages of required reading in addition to research for a final project.  The amount of writing may also vary depending on genre.  A guideline is 25-35 pages, double-spaced. Students will be registered in TS 691 – Directed Readings in Theological Studies.

6.11 Style Guide

In the disciplines of Biblical Studies, History of Christianity, and Theology, the Chicago Manual of Style is the predominant style for citation.  In the MTS program, student must use this format unless the instructor indicates otherwise.  An online version of the Manual is available at Style Guides.

In all written work students are expected to avoid language that reflects racial, ethnic, or gender stereotypes.  Inclusive language should be used when referring to human beings. 

6.12 Travel Courses

The MTS program offers the opportunity to take travel courses for credit. These courses are based on experiential learning focused on a specific historical-cultural setting. Students will fulfill the requirements of a course outline/syllabus designed around the travel experience. Often this involves preparatory readings, a reflective journal during the tour, and an analytical paper following the tour. See, for example, TS 699 - Historical/Cultural Travel Courses.

6.13 Grading and Graduation Requirement

Numeric grades on a scale from 0 - 100 are used.  There is no official scale that correlates a numeric grade with a letter grade.  However, the system in use prior to 2001 is referred to as a guide

A grade less than 70% for graduate studies indicates work that is unsatisfactory.  A grade of 90% or higher signifies exceptional achievement.  In the MTS program students must achieve an average of 75% to graduate.

6.14 Academic Integrity

Students are expected to know what constitutes Academic Integrity, to avoid committing academic offences, and to take responsibility for their actions. Students who are unsure whether an action constitutes an offence, or who need help in learning how to avoid offences (e.g., plagiarism, cheating) or about 'rules' for group work / collaboration should seek guidance from the course professor, academic advisor, or appropriate administrator.

For information on categories of offences and types of penalties, students should refer to Policy 71, Student Discipline.  A student who believes that he/she has a ground to appeal a discipline decision should refer to Policy 72, Student Appeals.  A student who believes that a decision or action of a faculty member has been unfair or unreasonable should refer to Policy 70, Student Petitions and Grievances.

If a TS instructor suspects an academic offence, the instructor is obligated to report this and consult with the Associate Dean of Arts, Graduate Studies, before discussing the matter with the student.

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7. Finances

7.1 Tuition and Fees 
Tuition for the MTS program is based on a “Fee per Course”.  For 2017-18, the cost of one course is $631.  In addition to the course tuition, there are graduate program fees that are payable each term, some of which are refundable upon request.  See the GSPA web site for the current Fee schedule.

7.2 Payment Procedures

Students must arrange to pay their fees before the university posted deadlines – either through direct payment, bank or money order arrangement or uploading their “Promissory Note”. See Payment Options. Students should be aware that any unpaid financial obligations to the University or Grebel will negatively affect their registration for future terms and the release of their official transcripts.

7.3 Promissory Notes for Funding

Students receiving scholarships, bursaries and awards will receive a “Promissory Note” which must be uploaded to their student Quest account as proof of forthcoming funds for outstanding tuition fees. Each term students must let the TS Administrative Assistant know how many courses they will be taking so that adequate funding can be arranged through the Scholarship & Bursary Committee.   For more information on how to upload these forms, and for the uploading due dates, consult the online instructions.

7.4 Financial Aid

The MTS program offers significant financial aid to full time students and limited support for part time students. Applications will be considered by the TS department. Nominations will be recommended to the college's Scholarships and Bursaries Committee. For information on graduate awards, bursaries, scholarships, and the required forms and procedures, see Financial Aid.

7.5 Full-Time Tuition Scholarship

All full-time MTS students who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible for the Full-Time Tuition Scholarship for up to six terms of full-time study.  (Students who were admitted as Transitional Students may be eligible for up to seven terms of full-time study.)  Students qualify for this award based on their annual Fall term registration. Students who register for full time study in the Fall term will receive the Full-Time Tuition Award for that full academic year, as long as they maintain the required academic standing. Students who begin the MTS program in the Winter term or register only part time in the Fall term will be eligible for significantly less funding until they have been full time students in a Fall term.

7.6 International Students

Unlike most graduate programs at the University of Waterloo, students who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents pay the same rate per course as Canadians (in 2017-18, that is $631.)  However, there are a limited number of scholarships available to international students in any given year and students are responsible for other costs.  Costs for the MTS program are about $7,500 per year in tuition, fees, and academic expenses (books, etc.), and about $10,00-12,000 annually in living costs for a total annual cost of about $20,000. Students will need to have additional sources of income. This level of guaranteed funding must be certified before a student is granted a Canadian study visa.

7.7 Research Assistantships and Marking Assistantships

Students may apply to assist TS faculty members with specific projects.  Information on this will be circulated in early Fall.  A limited number of marking assistantships are sometimes available to MTS students through the Religious Studies program at UW. Students will be informed if such opportunities arise.

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8. Research Paper and Thesis

8.1 Research Paper and Research Seminar

8.1.1. Graduation Requirement

All students in the Coursework and Applied Studies Options must complete the Master’s Seminar Presentation Milestone requirement. The Seminar is a colloquium chaired by the Program Director or designate in which Research Papers are presented to TS faculty and graduate students. This is a “milestone” requirement.  No numeric grade is assigned.

8.1.2 Purpose

The purpose of a final capstone project in theological graduate programs is to provide students with an opportunity to do integrative reflection on their total experience in the program. The paper that is presented is one window through which a student looks at the overall experience. The presentation of the paper is not a mini thesis defence. The paper has already been graded. The paper is a means of addressing a significant issue or reflecting on the overall learning and formation that has occurred in the MTS program.

These presentations are shared in community (in a seminar setting) so that fellow students and faculty can participate in and benefit from the learning of their colleagues. In graduate programs peer learning is highly valued. The seminar facilitates this.

8.1.3 General Procedures
8.1.3.1

Students in the Coursework Option will choose one of their major papers written for a course during the second year of full-time studies, or within the last four terms of part-time studies. Their choice of a paper must be approved by the Director.

8.1.3.2

Students in the Applied Option most often present the major paper written for the Integration Seminar. If they intend to present another paper they must have the approval of the Applied Studies Coordinator.  

8.1.3.3

All students will consult the professor for whom the original paper was written to determine how best to present the paper as a Research Paper at the Research Seminar.  The Research Paper will later be filed with the department as their “capstone” project. (Students may choose to make changes in the paper after the Seminar.)

8.1.3.4

In addition to presenting their own Research Paper, students participating in the Seminar will read and present an oral evaluation of one of the other Research Papers presented in the Seminar.

8.1.3.5

The Research Seminar is typically scheduled annually for late in the Winter term, after classes are over. Students who will be completing their programs in the Spring or Fall terms usually participate in the seminar in the preceding Winter term, since they will only have met their graduation requirements when this milestone is complete. A second Seminar may be scheduled in the Fall term as needed.

8.1.3.6

Detailed instructions for preparing and presenting Research Papers will be provided for students at the beginning of the Winter term.

8.2 Thesis

Only students in the Thesis Option are eligible to write a thesis. A thesis is approximately 120 pages, and constitutes 50% of the student’s program. It consists of six stages:

8.2.1. Admission into the Thesis Option

Students may indicate an interest in the Thesis Option during their application to the MTS program and they may be provisionally admitted to the Option on that basis. Students may enter the program in the Applied or Coursework Options and then develop an interest in completing a thesis. In both situations students should initiate conversation with the TS Director about their interest in a thesis, potential research area, and potential supervisor.  The Director will consult with TS faculty to advise them of the interests that have been expressed and to ascertain whether the students with these interests have the capacity to undertake a large research and writing project and whether the proposed areas of research are compatible with available faculty members’ expertise. Students will be encouraged to speak directly to potential supervisors during this process. This stage should be completed early in the second term of full time studies.

It is not necessary for a student to complete all courses before beginning to work on the thesis.  It is often advisable for students to take a course or two in the second year of study, while primarily working on a thesis.

8.2.2. Thesis proposal

If a suitable match between a student’s interests and a professor’s readiness to supervise is made, the student will be asked to develop a thesis proposal under the direction of the supervisor for approval by the TS Department Committee. The proposal is usually approved before May 1. The TS Director communicates this decision and any conditions to the student.

There is not a rigid template for the proposal, and a particular topic may call for an adaptation of this structure, but the following sections indicate elements that are normally included.

8.2.2.1 Research question and thesis statement

An articulation, in brief, of the question that animates the research, and a provisional thesis statement.  This section should also explain why the research question and thesis statement are important.  In order to do this, the proposal should give attention to the “state of the question”: previous scholarly enquiry and available secondary literature.

8.2.2.2 Methodology

This section describes the relevant primary literature and the methods to be used for interpreting it. It gives a rationale for the method and indicates how it will be used to generate dependable conclusions and verify the thesis statement.

8.2.2.3 Procedure

This section describes how the exposition will be developed, including how it will be organized by chapters or areas, with a brief topical description of what is to be covered in each chapter or area. The interrelation of these chapters or areas ought to be described briefly as well.

8.2.2.4 Implications

An indication of potential implications of the thesis project.

8.2.2.5 Bibliography

A working bibliography (books, chapters, journal articles, other sources) must be presented. It should be appropriately categorized, usually distinguishing primary and secondary literature and/or other divisions as may be appropriate.

8.2.2.6 General Comments about the Proposal
  • Overall, the proposal must demonstrate familiarity with the particular scholarly discourse within which the thesis will be situated.  It must also indicate how the thesis will remain focused and manageable within that wider discourse. 
  • If the thesis requires knowledge of particular languages or research methods, the proposal should also outline existing competencies and/or the plan for acquiring them. 
  • Proposals may vary in length from four to ten pages, plus bibliography. 
  • Research that proposes to involve human subjects must undergo an ethics review conducted by the UW Office of Research Ethics.
  • The process of drafting a proposal, as well as the thesis itself, is highly iterative.  Students should expect to rework and submit several drafts of their proposal to their advisor.  A positive student-supervisor relationship will require explicit discussion of the mutual expectations for this process.
  • Students may register for “Thesis Preparation” during the proposal stage, although often they develop the proposal while completing their Winter term classes. At subsequent stages they register for “Thesis Preparation”, either full-time or part-time.
  • A first and second reader may be provisionally identified once the proposal has been accepted. The first reader is usually a member of the TS faculty or otherwise connected to Grebel.  The student may consult with the first reader, if the student and thesis advisor agree to this.  The thesis advisor may also initiate consultation.  The second reader should remain at arms-length throughout the entire proposal, research, and writing process.
8.2.3 Thesis research

Thesis research begins during the formulation of the thesis proposal. This is followed by a significant period of focused research when the proposal is approved. Students whose research requires specific language skills (e.g. Hebrew or Greek) will be required to demonstrate competency in that language.

The student and supervisor should devise a plan for regular communication and check-ins.  Communication should happen at least once a month, and may be much more frequent. At the end of each term the student should report research activity and progress to the advisor.  The advisor will inform the TS department of the student’s progress.

8.2.4. Thesis writing

Writing the thesis under the direction of the thesis supervisor normally occurs when coursework is complete. Some students complete eight courses over Fall, Winter, and Spring, and then focus on the thesis.  It is also possible to do substantial thesis work in Spring, and then complete a remaining course or two in the Fall and/or Winter of the second year, while also working on the thesis.

Students are strongly advised to provide regular samples of writing to their advisor for comment and direction. One of the most common problems in thesis projects is that students do not understand the iterative intent of the process, and instead try to produce “papers” for evaluation and grading. The purpose of a thesis is not simply the finished product. The stimulation of intellectual dialogue, the capacity to respond to critique, and the ability to rewrite according to an advisor’s direction are all fundamental to the process. Students who write large sections of their thesis without ongoing interaction with their supervisor are often surprised and disappointed to learn that they will be expected to make significant changes in what they thought was a finished product. 

Many details about the thesis requirements at the University of Waterloo, such as formatting, title page, order of items, author's declaration, etc. may be found online at "Preparing your Thesis"

Students who wish to convocate in the UW’s June convocation must have their thesis ready for defence by the end of February at the latest.

8.2.5. Thesis Defence

The TS department determines who will serve as the internal reader and the external reader, and may consult with the student and supervisor for suggestions.

When the thesis supervisor determines that the thesis is ready for defence, the student submits three hard-copies to the TS office (in a binder, or spiral bound).  It will be sent to the two readers for their assessment.  Readers will be given at least four weeks to read and evaluate the thesis.

The defence will involve the chair, the student and three examiners: supervisor, internal reader, external reader.  It is open to the public and will be publicized to the Grebel community.

The defence will involve the chair, the student and three examiners: supervisor, internal reader, external reader. It is open to the public and will be publicized to the Grebel community.

The chair will confer with the external reader a week in advance of the scheduled defence in order to confirm that the thesis is ready for defence.  If the external reader indicates that the thesis has substantial problems or that s/he expects to vote to fail the thesis, then the thesis is not ready for defence.

The chair will consult with the examiners before the defence to clarify the procedures and the order of questioning.  If the chair or another member of the examining committee wishes to confer with other members immediately prior to the defence, then all others will be asked to leave the room. The chair is responsible for ensuring the defence starts on time, and for ensuring that time limits are observed throughout.  The chair may wish to introduce participants, and/or have participants/guests introduce themselves.

The student will summarize the thesis in 10-15 minutes. (It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure the student understands what it expected of them.)  The opening summary presentation should indicate what prompted the thesis investigation, the focus of the research, the methods and sources, and the conclusions that were reached.

The supervisor will ask two or three questions.  The supervisor may choose to inform the student about the questions beforehand.  The two readers will then ask two to three questions each, with follow-up questions as needed. Typically, the external reader is the second questioner, and internal reader is the third questioner (10-12 minutes each). After that round of questions there will be an opportunity for the three examiners to ask further questions. (6-8 minutes each)

Finally, at the discretion of the chair, other people in the room may be invited to ask questions.  The total time for the defence should be not more than 90 minutes.

This public part of the defence will conclude and everyone will leave except for the examiners and the chair.  That group will decide what the thesis status will be.  The chair will seek unanimity among the examiners.  If that cannot be achieved, a vote will be taken, and a majority will carry a decision.  The chair does not vote.  The options for decision are:

  1. Approved with minor editorial changes that can be approved by the supervisor
  2. Approved pending revisions that require the approval of the supervisor and at least one other member of the committee.
  3. Not approved, but requiring significant rewriting that must be approved by the whole committee, and which may require a further defence.
  4. Fail. Student is removed from the Thesis option.

The student (but not others) will then return to the room and be informed of the decision by the Chair. The student will be advised how to meet any further conditions related to editorial changes, revisions, or significant rewriting, and the schedule by which these must be completed.

8.2.6. Thesis completion

After the thesis has been successfully defended it will be revised or corrected, approved as outlined by the examiners, and then filed with the Department and University.  Students will be responsible for the costs of this stage.  The student must submit an electronic copy to the Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, according to these regulations for "Submitting your Thesis".  The Grebel library will arrange and pay for a hard copy to be printed, bound and placed in the library’s collection.  If a student wishes to make a personal bound copy, they are advised to contact Lehmann Bookbinding in Kitchener.

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9. Community Life

The MTS program attracts a wide range of students from churches across the theological spectrum and from religious traditions other than Christianity.  Students have diverse educational backgrounds and may enter the program as various stages in life, from their early 20s to post-retirement.  Some have educational background in theology and biblical studies at an undergraduate or graduate level, while others have degrees in other fields. Some study full-time and others combine full-time work with part-time studies. There are students who are on campus for several hours most days and others who come to campus only when they have a class.  While this diversity presents certain challenges for building community, it is an opportunity to create a dynamic community of learning, exchange, and mutual support. The forms that community life takes vary from year to year as the composition of the student body changes. All students are encouraged to participate in the many formal and informal ways that community life is fostered. 

Community life is fostered through classes, organized events, and informal gatherings, including: 

9.1 Orientation

The Orientation Day is an important event and is typically held during the week prior to the start of classes in Fall. It is an orientation to Graduate Studies at UW, the Faculty of Arts and the MTS program. It is an opportunity to meet other graduate students and faculty, become familiar with facilities and services that are available, and have many questions answered.  Some events are organized by the UW Graduate Studies and Postdoctoral Affairs, Grad Students Association, and Faculty of Arts on the main campus. These include an Academic Integrity workshop, which is a mandatory milestone requirement for all grad students. Some events at Grebel are held with students entering the Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies program. Other events are designed specifically for new MTS students.  Participation is required for all new students, including those who may have begun courses in the previous Winter term and those who have been admitted for the current year but have deferred their enrolment until the Winter term.  Details for the day will be sent to students prior to the event.

9.2 TS department initiated social events

Receptions, suppers, potluck meals, etc.  These may involve only students and faculty, or students and faculty plus partners/families.  All students are encouraged to make these events a priority.

9.3 TS student initiated social events 

Students are encouraged to initiate gatherings themselves and some years these have been quite regular.  Notice of events may be sent to the TS Administrative Assistant who can distribute it to the student email list.  Though there is not currently a MTS student society, students are encouraged to form one as a way of regularizing planning for events, as well as representing student interests to Grebel administration and beyond.  Some financial support would be available for a student society.

9.4 Dining Room/Cafeteria

MTS students are welcome and encouraged to eat lunch in the Grebel dining room.  Students may bring their own lunches (microwaves, toasters, and sandwich grill are available) or purchase them.  Cafeteria items are sold individually, and cash is the only method of payment. There have been many delightful conversations among MTS students and faculty around the lunch table.

9.5 “Common Ground” self-serve coffee and snack bar

Hours 8:30 a.m. -4:30 p.m. During fall and winter terms also Monday-Thursday 6:30-9:00 p.m.

Hot drink tokens are available from the main office. Fresh baking is available each day. Payment for all items is on the honour system.  Cash is deposited in a receptacle on the snack counter.

9.6 Study space

Study space near other students is an important feature of graduate student life.  There is dedicated graduate student space for those in the MTS and MPACS programs in the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement (4th floor), including a lounge, study space, and lockers. Carrels are available in the library (see section 5.8).

9.7 Worship

MTS students are welcome to participate in the weekly chapel service held in the Grebel Chapel, Wednesdays from 4:30-5:15pm.  These services are planned by the Chaplain, the Director of the Chapel Choir, and undergraduate students in the residence program. Some terms TS faculty and students have also organized weekly noon prayer following a liturgical pattern.

9.8 Music

MTS students may also audition for any of the Grebel choirs or ensembles.

9.9 Chaplain

Ed Janzen, the Grebel Chaplain, is available to MTS students for conversation about spiritual or personal matters, and for referrals to other resources on or off campus.

9.10 Convocation/Graduation

These important rites of passage celebrating individual accomplishment happen within the context of overlapping communities.  Since the MTS degree is a conjoint degree, it is conferred both by Grebel and by the University of Waterloo.  Students are encouraged to participate in two ceremonies: a Grebel convocation event in mid-April, and the University Convocation in June or October.  The Grebel convocation is a celebration of students who have affiliated with the undergraduate residence, with the Music department, the PACS department, the MPACS program and the MTS program.  Family members are invited to the Sunday afternoon ceremony and reception.  There are usually two valedictorians, one undergraduate and one from MTS and MPACS graduates.

9.11 Conference participation

Attending a professional conference builds community among students who travel together to an event, and have opportunities to network with students and faculty beyond Grebel and the MTS program.  Students may apply to the department for financial support to participate in conferences.  In recent years, students have attended the annual meetings of the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature (mid-November), Religion, Bible and Theology associations affiliated with the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences (late May or early June), and the Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry.

9.12 Grebel/MCEC workshops and events

The Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC) “Pastors’ Breakfast” is held in the Grebel Dining Room every Fall, and features a presentation by a Grebel faculty member.  MTS students may register for this event at no cost.

The MCEC “School for Ministers” is held at Grebel for two and a half days during Reading Week in February. This event draws over 100 pastors and other ministry leaders for keynote presentations, worship, workshops, and fellowship.  MTS students may register at no cost for the sessions through the College. MCEC offers other opportunities that are posted on the MCEC website.

9.13 Anabaptist Learning Workshop

The Anabaptist Learning Workshop is a program offered by Mennonite Church Eastern Canada in cooperation with Conrad Grebel University College. The Anabaptist Learning Workshop is a program of lifelong learning – at the intersection of Christian faith and contemporary life for laypeople, church leaders, pastors, seekers, new Canadians, and others. To register for workshops, visit the ALW Website.

9.14 Shared governance

A student representative will be selected to serve on the TS Administrative Group as a voting member. MTS students may also be invited to serve on faculty or administrative search committees, review committees, or ad hoc committees.

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10.  Services on Campus and Contact Information

10.1 AccessAbility Services

The AccessAbility Services (AS) Office, located in Needles Hall, Room 1132, collaborates with all academic departments to arrange appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities without compromising the academic integrity of the curriculum.  Students who require academic accommodations to lessen the impact of their disability should register with the AS Office at the beginning of each academic term.

10.2 Counselling Services

Counselling Services provides a wide range of strategies and services to support members of the university community facing a variety of issues, including depression, anxiety, stress management, grief, sexuality, relationship issues and substance abuse.  Counselling Services organizes periodic workshops, and offers both individual and group counseling sessions to facilitate personal and social growth, assist with life difficulties, and to intervene in times of crisis.  Counselling Services is an inclusive, non-judgmental and confidential environment. Counselling and assessment with their services is free for students.

Appointments can be made by calling 519-888-4567 ext. 32655. Appointments are booked as soon as possible, though scheduling depends on available of counselors, time of year, and the client’s personal needs. While counseling services are free, there is a “no show” fee of $35, so if you are unable to attend your appointment, please call and cancel, preferably 24 hours ahead of time.

10.3 Centre for Career Action

The Centre for Career Action assists students in planning and working towards their career goals, through individual counseling sessions, workshops, and online resources.  The Centre is located in the Tatham Centre.

All students are allowed to book 15-minutes appointments with a career advisor to discuss job search tactics, grad school preparation, or career strategy. The Centre for Career Action also offers a wide range of workshops, open to all students.  Their website contains a calendar with details of upcoming events and online resources, including job listings.

10.4 Student Success Office

The Student Success Office, located on the second floor of South Campus Hall, provides a variety of services, including one-on-one counseling with “success coaches,” as well as study sessions, to help students succeed academically.

10.5 The Writing Centre

The Writing Centre’s purpose is to ensure that all UW students have the necessary writing skills for academic success. The Writing Centre offers tutoring and workshops by professional instructors at no charge to all Waterloo students.

Professional tutors provide individual attention to undergraduate and graduate students who want to improve the quality, clarity, and depth of their writing. The Centre offers Writing Tutorials specifically geared towards graduate students. During the fall and winter terms, the Grad Writing Centre offers two five-week tutorial sessions, and a four-week session each month in May, June, and July. These one-hour, weekly sessions for graduate students will help students gain a better understanding of English grammar, improve writing, and develop proofreading skills.

During these sessions, tutors

  • review student’s work in progress, e.g., parts of a thesis, research papers, or comprehensive exam preparation
  • discuss various points of grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure
  • offer suggestions for revisions
  • teach you how to self-edit your work

The Writing Centre also offers one-hour appointments for graduate students to review,

  • part of a thesis
  • an article
  • research paper

Tutors offer constructive criticism and explain errors in grammar, punctuation, and style.

Grad Writing Services are offered free of charge to registered UW graduate students.  One-on-one writing tutorial sessions can be booked online.  Students may attend only one writing tutorial session a term. To register for a tutorial or writing consulting appointment, email Writing Centre.

10.6 Graduate Student Association and the Grad Club

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is a student-run not-for-profit organization whose membership consists of the graduate students of the University of Waterloo. The GSA actively promotes and represents graduate student interests to the university administration and various levels of government. Their lobbying efforts focus on issues such as student funding, working conditions, academic regulations, and university services.

The GSA provides a number of services for Graduate students, including legal aid, income tax aid, supplementary health and dental plans, and social events.  The GSA hosts events that are held on campus and off campus, including trips. The GSA offers financial support towards events organized by grad student departments and clubs.The GSA runs the Grad House, a members-only club with food, bar service and entertainment.

10.7 Parking and Bicycle Use

Students may park in the Grebel parking lot or other student lots at Waterloo. UW parking rates and regulations are posted.  Grebel parking rates are as follows:

Term parking pass

$169.50 ($150 + HST)

Hourly and daily parking

$3/hr up to $9 maximum/day

Full-time MTS students may purchase a Grebel parking term pass by filling out a form at reception and paying. They will require departmental authorization to confirm that they are full-time.

Bike racks are available outside three of the entrances to Grebel and near most buildings on the UW campus. There is a Bike Centre on-campus, located on the northwest corner of the Student Life Centre.  The Bike Centre annually holds a bike auction, sells new and used bike parts, and has a variety of tools available for students to use to repair bikes (at a rate of $1/hour).  Volunteers on hand can help with bike repairs.

10.8 Retail Services on Campus

10.8.1 Bookstore

Located in South Campus Hall, the University of Waterloo bookstore stocks up-to-date courseware (including course reading packages and textbooks), as well as a range of other fiction and non-fiction books.

10.8.2 WaterlooStore

Located in South Campus Hall, WaterlooStore sells Waterloo clothing and accessories, Waterloo crested gifts, and graduating memorabilia.

10.8.3 CampusTech 

Located in the Lower Atrium of the Student Life Centre, CampusTech is an on-campus store with laptops and tablets, school and office supplies, and Rogers Smart Phones.  Certified Service Technicians on-site are available to offer warranty and non-warranty service and support for almost any computer situation.

10.8.4 WriteStuff

Located in South Campus Hall, WriteStuff offers an extensive selection of Waterloo academic and stationary supplies, including course lab kits, lab coats, math approved calculators, crested stationary, presentation materials, and school and office supplies.

10.8.5 Media.Doc

Media.Doc offers a range of professional printing services, including printing and photocopying, poster and banner printing, and passport and visa photos.  Media.Doc also offers thesis printing and binding services. There are five Media.Doc locations on campus, including the main floor of the Dana Porter Library, on the second floor of the Centre for Environmental & Information Technology and in the lower atrium of the Student Life Centre (in the Campus Tech store).

10.9 Services for International Students

The International Student Experience (ISE) team provides support for international students at Waterloo. The ISE run a variety of programs and services for international students, including English Conversation Circles, peer-mentoring programs, and student advising. The ISE is in the Student Success Office, on the second floor of South Campus Hall.See also the specific information for international graduate students.

10.10 Child Care

A wide variety of Child Care Services are available through the following centres operating on the University of Waterloo campus. Due to the demand for services, early contact is encouraged. Contact each appropriate centre and place the child's name on a waiting list.

The Centres offer care for children 3 months through school age and include full and half day programs. Fees vary according to the program. Families who are unable to pay for their child care costs may be eligible for Child Care Subsidy, through Children's Services at the Region of Waterloo. Eligibility is determined through a financial needs test and approved families may be eligible for a full or partial subsidy. For more information or to apply, parents should contact the Child Care Subsidy office at 519-883-2200. Each of the centres is fully licensed and inspected under the Ministry of Community, Family and Children's Services and meets the requirements of the Day Nurseries Act, the Ontario Fire Code and the Local Health Department.

10.11 Health Services

Graduate Student fees include health insurance. The costs are modest and the coverage is good. If students are already covered by private or public health insurance they may provide evidence of that and be exempted from health insurance.

Health Services provides primary medical care for all registered University of Waterloo students. The Student Health Clinic offers three types of services: booked appointments, same-day appointments, and walk-in services. Health Services is located across the bridge located across from the Student Life Centre.

Booked Appointments

Booked appointments are the preferred method of accessing services.  Appointments can usually be scheduled within 2-3 days.  Reasons to book an appointment include:

  • immunizations (routine or pre-planned travel)
  • Verification of Illness Form
  • Mental Health Concern
  • Sexual Health Concern
  • Pregnancy Test
  • Prescription Renewal
  • Starting Birth Control
  • PAP Test
  • Any other non-urgent health concern

Same-Day Appointments

A limited number of same-day appointments are reserved for students with more immediate medical needs. Reasons to call for a same-day appointment (day or evening)

  • New injury or illness or condition that has occurred in the past 24 hours

Walk-In Visits

On a first-come, first-served basis we provide medical services for students.  Walk-In visits are for urgent medical needs.  The doctor can see a client for ONE problem in a walk-in visit.  A follow up appointment may be booked at the discretion of the doctor.  If you have already been seen by a doctor in the clinic for your condition, please book an appointment with that doctor for follow up.

Staff and visitors may receive urgent first aid treatment on a walk-in basis.

Other Services:

There are some non-physician services provided on a booked or drop-in basis

  • Drop-In: Dispensary, Laboratory, TB Test, Flu Shots
  • Booked: Repeat Immunizations, Allergy Shots, Repeat Dressing Changes

Call 519-888-4096 or drop in to Health Services for information and to book an appointment.

10.12 Athletics

All Waterloo students have access to health and wellness facilities, as well as intra-mural sports programs, fitness classes, and other courses. Facilities include:

The Physical Activities Complex (PAC):

  • 2 gymnasiums
  • Swimming pool
  • Rock climbing room
  • 2 beach volleyball courts              
  • Cycling and activity studios
  • 8 squash courts (6 American and 2 International)
  • Golf simulator room
  • 2 activity areas
  • Weight room    

Columbia Icefields Centre (CIF)

The CIF is on North Campus at the corner of Columbia St. and Hagey Blvd. and features:

  • Three gymnasiums
  • Arena
  • Five playing fields
  • Fitness studio
  • Ball diamond
  • Fitness Centre

Intramurals

Campus Rec organizes intramural sports leagues for: Ball Hockey; Basketball; Beach Volleyball; Dodge-ball; Flag Football; Ice Hockey; Indoor Soccer; Slo Pitch; Soccer; Squash; Team Handball; Ultimate; Volleyball. There are also tournaments organized throughout the year.  Information on how to register is available online.

Fitness and Wellness Classes

Campus Rec organizes a series of fitness and wellness classes. Students must register and pay a fee to participate.

10.13 Weather / Emergency Closing Guidelines

UW (and its Federated University and Affiliated Colleges) will "close" because of severe weather when normal operation would pose a significant danger to students, staff and faculty, or would prevent large numbers of them from coming to campus or returning safely to their homes. Notice of a campus closing will be posted on UW's homepage, normally by 6:00 a.m., remaining in effect until 6:00 a.m. or later the next day. Radio stations that can be expected to carry announcements include CKGL (570 AM), CKKW (1090 AM), CHYM (96.7 FM) and KOOL-FM (105.3 FM). "Closed" means: classes are not held; meetings and other scheduled events are cancelled; scheduled examinations are cancelled, to be rescheduled; deadlines for assignments and other submissions are postponed until the same hour on the next business day on which UW is not "closed."

10.14 Teaching

The Centre for Teaching Excellence provides workshops, small-group practice teaching sessions (microteaching), classroom observations and other sessions that help prepare graduate students at uWaterloo for their teaching roles.  Graduate students can attend individual workshops or choose to enrol in a certificate program in university teaching.

11. Important Dates for 2017-2018

11.1 Academic Term Dates and Deadlines

For information about registration, enrolment, add-drop, withdrawal from a course, refunds, dates for submitting a thesis, etc., see the Calendar of Events & Academic Deadlines in the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar.   All of these dates apply to MTS students.

For information about Fall 2016 New student orientation events at UW, see Orientation.

11.2 Grebel Dates

See the Grebel website for notice and description of Grebel Events.

Notices and details for many MTS grad student events will be sent in advance of the dates.  Some notable dates are:

Orientation day (MTS & UW)

Wednesday, September 6, 8:30am-6:30pm *mandatory

First day of classes – Fall term

Thursday, September 7

Mid-term study break – Fall term

October 10-11

The Benjamin Eby Lecture

October 26

Scholarship & Bursary Donor and Student Reception

November 12

Last day of classes – Fall term

December 4

First day of classes – Winter term

January 3

Reading week

February 19-23

MCEC School for Ministers

February 21-23

Last day of classes – Winter term

April 4

Updated: June 27, 2017