Regent College Launches New Curriculum
Regent College, the Vancouver-based international graduate school of theology affiliated with the University of British Columbia, is announcing exciting revisions to its program offerings.
All of the College's graduate programs will focus more fully on the integration of faith and life, and on the formation of Christian leaders for effective service in the marketplace, church, and academy. The changes were approved at the College's Board of Governors meeting on January 26, 2013.
In the fall of 2013, Regent's flagship master's degree for lay theological education will be re-named “Master of Arts in Theological Studies” (currently the "Master of Christian Studies" degree). The name change reflects the College's commitment to theological education that engages with the arts, humanities, and social sciences. It will also strengthen the credentials of our graduates, who leave Regent to resume their work as professionals in many different fields with a newfound sense of calling and dedication, or to pursue new directions.
A revised version of the Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree will also be launched in the fall of 2013. MDiv students will study alongside those in the MA program for many of their classes, and this opportunity for would-be pastors to mix with the types of people they will encounter in their future congregations—professionals, academics, artists, parachurch workers—is precisely what makes Regent’s MDiv program unique. Furthermore, the experience of mentoring and formation in supervised ministry has been increased to two years from the current one year. Finally, the revised program will give students more options to explore innovative responses to some of the challenges facing the church in the twenty-first century.
Both the MA in Theological Studies and the MDiv degrees are based on a new curriculum that examines how God has revealed himself throughout history and how this revelation, in turn, shapes our understanding of what it means to be human and to live life fully in relationship with God. The curriculum is reflected in a new set of core courses that all students will take. These courses will provide students with a biblical, historical, and theological foundation, with a distinctive emphasis on integration, formation, and mission. Building on this core, students will then focus their studies, and work more closely with particular professors, by choosing from new and re-designed concentrations in any of the biblical and theological disciplines, as well as history, spiritual theology, World Christianity, the arts, marketplace theology, interdisciplinary studies, or applied theology.
We have also changed the name of our 24-credit-hour Diploma in Christian Studies to Graduate Diploma in Christian Studies to more accurately reflect the academic rigour of the program. Students can pursue a variety of interests in this program and can use it as a stepping stone to either the MA in Theological Studies or the MDiv program.
Paul Williams—Academic Dean, Regent alumnus, and Professor— is very pleased with the changes: "These new changes are actually vintage Regent, like a wine that's now just ready to drink. They blend the best of the past with some new life that is right for the current generation. We've worked hard on these changes as a faculty to provide the best possible teaching, vocational advising, and life mentoring for students throughout their program. There is no program quite like it anywhere in the world."
And there is more to come. Completely new programs at both graduate and introductory levels will be announced later this year, broadening Regent's accessibility in both Distance Education and the development of executive leaders.
Students already admitted to an existing program will have the option of completing as expected or switching to one of the new programs. MCS graduates will be offered the option of switching their degree to an MA designation. The Registrar's Office will be contacting all alumni in due time.
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