About the MDiv Church in the City Program

Five people, three men and two women sitting on couches having a discussion. There is a table with a laptop on it in the foreground






The Master of Divinity Church in the City Program at Tyndale Seminary

educates and equips a new generation of men and women as congregational leaders for the Canadian church, through an educational partnership involving an integrative, mentored approach to learning.

Vision of the Church

This program is organized around a missional understanding of the Church as the people of God, called together into a distinctive community of worship, prayer and equipping, who are sent out into every sphere of society and every corner of the globe as witnesses in word and deed to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. This means that mission is integral to the church; the church is missionary by nature. Our postmodern world needs a church that is focused on mission, not maintenance. Therefore, this program equips leaders who equip God’s people to be salt and light in society.

Who is the Program For?

This program is for you if:

  • You have a passion for a creative engagement of the Gospel and culture.
  • You are wrestling with what it means to be the Church in the 21st century.
  • You are engaged in vocational Christian ministry, part-time or full-time.
  • You have exhibited Christian leadership skills.
  • You who are committed to the vocational goal of congregational leadership.
  • You are endorsed for further study by a sending church or organization.
  • You have a heart for church planting.

Program Requirements - Courses

  • Spiritual Formation
  • Old Testament Theology & History
  • Elementary Greek I & II
  • Greek Exegesis INew Testament Theology & History
  • Ephesians (Greek Exegesis II)
  • Gospel, Church & Culture
  • Missional Hermeneutics in a Postmodern World
  • History of Christianity I & II
  • Forming Missional Leaders
  • Systematic Theology I & II
  • Integrative Seminar I & II
  • Pastoral Care in a Missional Framework
  • Urban Ministry in Canadian Context
  • Faith & the Marketplace: Forming Missional Leaders for the Marketplace
  • Contextual Ministry
  • Internship
  • Electives (6)

Total MDiv Courses: 27

Course descriptions

Tyndale Cross mounted on wallHow the Program Works

  • You maintain your ministry involvement and work while studying for the Master of Divinity degree.
  • You use your ministry setting as a laboratory for learning—you test ideas from the classroom in your ministry, and bring your ministry experiences into the classroom.
  • You join a group of students and stay together as a group throughout the entire program (called a 'cohort')
  • You come to campus only one day per week, plus one Saturday per semester, during the three years of the cohort section of the program.
  • You learn from a group of faculty who stay together with you throughout your program, providing mentoring as well as classroom instruction.
  • You learn in an intensive format—courses are 6 weeks long with the exception of two, which are done in a one-week retreat format, and the Internship, which is spread out over the course of the program.
  • You learn in a community context, with common classes plus a shared meal, worship and small group component.
  • You study about 15-20 hours per week outside the classroom.

How Long Does the Program Take to Complete?

The Master of Divinity degree normally can be completed within three years. The In Ministry format will typically take four and a half years. In the In Ministry Program there are three components:

  • Twenty-one (21) courses are taken in the cohort format and are completed over seven semesters. In this section courses are taken sequentially, one every six weeks. That means that a modular format will add one year to an MDiv. completed on a fulltime basis in a traditional format.
  • Then, there are six electives that can be taken, most effectively upon completion of the cohort, but in other circumstances some can be completed prior to entrance.

How Do I Choose Electives?

  • Since the program allows you to choose 6 elective courses, you may elect to:
  • Pursue a six-course major in the Seminary curriculum (such as Christian Education, Youth Ministry, Missions, Spiritual Formation)
  • Pursue a four-course concentration in a certain field, chosen from over 10 offered by the Seminary
  • Select individual courses that meet your needs or suit your interests

What Are Major Benefits of This Approach?

  • Integration of study and ministry: there is a constant interplay of academics and the practice of ministry, with direct application to your own ministry
  • Academic rigour: there are high academic standards as you pursue scholarship in the service of the church’s life and mission
  • Community: the cohort group becomes a close circle of co-learners who share the same commitment and ministry goals
  • Mentoring: the program has a built-in mentoring component

What do I Need to Do Before Studying in the Program?

Before the program begins, you need to be functioning as a leader within your ministry context, or be in process of becoming a leader. 

How is Curriculum Set Up?

There are four streams in the courses you take—each course pulls together these streams. Your courses in this program use an intentionally multidisciplinary and team-taught approach to teaching. Some courses are held off campus in order to facilitate your hands-on immersion experiences in different ministry settings.

Christian Tradition

Courses on the Old and New Testaments and biblical interpretation, systematic theology and church history develop your capacity to think critically and constructively about faith and culture that is biblically-based and rooted in the historic Christian tradition.

Cultural Context

All our courses are geared toward understanding the intersection of Christianity with culture, and enable you to see, hear and personally embrace a gospel-shaped engagement with urban, Canadian pluralistic culture.

Spiritual Formation

Through focused coursework, mentoring experiences and communal worship, the program integrates your personal growth into spiritual maturity, as a member of a community that demonstrates love of God and neighbour.

Missional Leadership

Issues of Christian leadership and congregational development are woven throughout the courses, so that you gain an ability to empower the people of God to become agents of peace, justice and reconciling love in a multiethnic, multisocial world.

What Approach to Education Does This Program Take?

The program operates with an educational model that emphasizes interactive adult learning. Our students are mature individuals who are highly motivated, self-disciplined and capable of grasping information efficiently. You read texts and prepare assignments during the week, so that classroom time focuses primarily upon interpreting and applying the main themes and concepts related to a given topic. Classes involve dialogue and interaction between professor and students.

Your ministry involvement, life experience and theological insights are rich resources to share with the group. Classroom time is designed to assist the process of theological reflection on the practice of ministry as you learn from your responsibilities and experiences. We believe that students have much to teach each other and much to learn from each other.

The program also operates with the view that you will learn best when you are supported by a caring group of people to whom you are accountable. For this reason, you have a "ministry support team" consisting of 2 or 3 people from your faith community or organization (other than your immediate supervisor). Their role is to provide prayer support, pastoral care and encouragement for you as your pursue your studies. They meet with you once per month during the program, and they gather together with you and all the students once per semester to celebrate God’s faithfulness and provision.

How Does the Program Facilitate Integration?

Our goal is to see each student work through the issues related to the integration of the material learned in the classroom, around the table at lunch and in the framework of worship, with the practice of hands on ministry. To facilitate this, there will be one course each semester, which will have an open-ended assignment, due prior to the start of the next semester. This assignment will require the student to design and implement, in a ministry context, a project born out of the material studied in the previous semester. There will then be an evaluation this semester long project. All of this will be done with the mentoring support of the faculty cohort, other students in the cohort and a ministry mentor.

How Does This Program Teach Preaching?

Our approach to preaching is an example of the uniqueness of this program. There is no course on preaching taught in this program because preaching is far too important to the life and mission of the church to be confined to a single course. Rather, each course you take will involve a component of the course specifically dedicated to preaching. For example, in a course on "Christianity and Culture" we ask, "How do we preach effectively in a postmodern culture?" In a course on spirituality, we ask, " What are the spiritual demands and needs of a preacher?" In systematic theology, we ask, "What is a biblical theology of preaching?"

In addition, you are preaching to one another during our chapel times together as a group, and receive feedback from the faculty mentors about the content and delivery of your message. Also, mentors will review videos or audiotapes of your preaching in your ministry setting, and work individually with you to hone your skills as a preacher.