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Master of Pastoral Studies

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The Master of Pastoral Studies (MPS) is a twenty-credit (post-baccalaureate) degree that equips persons for leadership in the helping professions. Students may take courses to specialize in spiritual care and psychotherapy or take courses to support skill and leadership in pastoral care, congregational leadership, and social service. Graduates of the MPS program are prepared to be helping professionals within faith communities, work as institutional chaplains/spiritual care practitioners, establish their own psychotherapy practices as psycho-spiritual therapists,  pursue careers in the non-profit sector, and work within community or non-profit contexts.

Each course provides a strong academic foundation with experiential learning (scenario training, case studies, journaling, reflection papers, and direct client contact hours) to integrate theoretical knowledge with skill development. The emphasis is on the development of practitioner skills and knowledge alongside of safe and effective use of self. Students are trained to integrate theological and psychological concepts and apply this learning to their practice in ministry.

At Knox College, MPS students choose one of three foci:

  • Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy, for providing spiritual care and therapy in faith communities, private practice, social service agencies, or public institutions (healthcare, prison, education, long term care, hospice);
  • Social Service, for providing leadership in faith-based organizations, non-profits, or secular social agencies; or
  • Congregational Leadership, for providing leadership in Christian congregations by focusing on worship, preaching, pastoral care, or other areas of congregational life and mission. (Appropriate for either lay or ordained students.)

MPS Degree with Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy Certificate

In the Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy focus, students may choose to complete the specific requirements of the Certificate in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy (SCP Cert.). The MPS SCP is a recognized educational program by the College of Registered Psychotherapists in Ontario (CRPO). Students completing the SCP Certificate will be eligible to register as psychotherapists with the CRPO as qualifying members while completing their client contact hours. (240 client contact hours are embedded in the degree.) The program curricula are aligned to meet the entry to practice competencies of two organizations: CRPO and CASC (Canadian Association for Spiritual Care), with two units of Supervised Pastoral Education training applied toward certification in CASC.


Read the full program description here.

See the Course Requirements for the MPS SCP Certificate here.

Apply here.

Admission Deadlines

Admission Deadlines

  • Fall Admission: May 31
  • Winter Admission:
    International students – Sept. 30;
    Domestic students – Oct. 31
  • Spring/Summer Admission: February 15
  • For Th.M. and Ph.D.: check current date
  • For D.Min.: check current date

Program Resources