FAQs

Q. I want to be a minister. Will my denomination accept a Master of Divinity from VST as preparation for ordained ministry?

A. VST’s Master of Divinity program is accepted for ordination by the United, Anglican, and Presbyterian churches in Canada, and by the Presbyterian and United Methodist churches in the United States of America. Many other denominations accept all or part of this program but may require at least one year in their own denominational school. Check with your denominational authorities to be sure.

Q. May I study for a Master’s degree at VST as a part-time student?

A. Yes. Many students choose to pursue their degree part-time. When you have completed the prerequisite courses, the curriculum allows you to take courses in whatever order you like. Many of the prerequisites are listed as Foundational Courses. Students may take a maximum of three years to complete a Diploma in Christian Studies, the first stage in a basic degree program, and seven years to complete all basic degree requirements.

Q. Can I complete a VST diploma or degree program without moving to Vancouver?

A. We are expanding our offerings in distributive learning and in modular format. You can start a diploma or degree program at VST but at the moment you could not complete it without moving here. Our current extension program (Native Ministries Degrees) does require students to travel to VST for a residential component once or twice a year. For an update on the progress of distributive learning/modular format, please email the Registrar’s Office.

Q. Can I take courses at VST if I don’t plan to study for a degree?

A. Yes. For degree program courses, you may apply to take occasional courses for a maximum of four years and 21 credit hours. In addition, VST’s Chalmers Institute offers seminars and courses that are shorter and aimed at both interested lay people and clergy already in ministry. The Chalmers Institute Summer School, the Native Ministries Consortium Summer School, evening/weekend programs and various lecture series may also interest you.

Q. Will I have opportunities for practical ministry during my time at VST?

A. Yes. The School enjoys close cooperative relationships with local churches, hospitals, social service agencies and other institutions. These enable VST to provide you with supervised learning programs in a diversity of ministry specializations. Students are also given the opportunity to take more advanced courses as electives in this field. Each degree program has units for contextually-based learning.

Q. I have lots of experience, but no university degree. May I come to VST?

A. Yes. A certain percentage of students without a Bachelor’s degree may take courses. Those interested in one of VST’s basic degree programs must usually have two years of undergraduate university credits. If you are seeking ordination, you also require the endorsement of your denominational authorities.

Q. Am I too old to go back to school?

A. No. VST has students in their 50s and 60s. Many students are starting a second or third career, returning to school after years in other occupations.

Q. How can I afford theological education?

A. Although VST’s tuition costs are lower than many comparable private universities, the cost of theological education is high. There are many ways to finance your education. In addition to their own assets, many students are eligible for student loans from the Canadian or US governments. Limited financial assistance is available from VST after you have accounted for your assets and sought out all other possible sources of financial support. For more information, see the Financial Aid page or contact the Registrar’s Office at 604-822-9563 or By Email.

Q. Is there student housing at VST?

A. Yes. We do have student housing with a variety of types of accommodation. For more information please see the Student Housing section. St. Andrew’s Hall (www.standrews.edu), the Presbyterian residence adjacent to VST, also offers housing.

Q. I want to bring my family with me. Will VST welcome them?

A. Yes. Many students bring their families with them, and the presence of children enriches life at VST. If you plan to live on campus, we recommend that you apply for housing early. Schools and daycares are close by, and a playground is located at St. Andrew’s Hall, next door to VST.

Q. Is VST wheelchair accessible?

A. Yes, in early 2006, we moved into the newly-renovated Iona building, which is completely wheelchair accessible. Special parking and access is at the south side of the building.

Q. I heard that there’s some construction going on at VST. How will that affect students?

A. Construction of market housing continues around us, however we are doing our best to ensure that the effects are minimal.