Faculty of Divinity Bursary Policy: MTS & MDiv
GENERAL THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION: MASTER OF THEOLOGICAL STUDIES (MTS) AND PROFESSIONAL THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION: MASTER OF DIVINITY (MDIV)
The bursary program is intended to assist basic degree students who, without financial assistance otherwise might have difficulty completing their program. The intent of this policy is to ensure that each student’s individual situation is considered in a manner that is equitable to all applicants. Awards decisions are made by a Bursary Committee composed of the Dean of Divinity, the Controller/Bursar, one member of the teaching staff, one alumna/us and the Divinity Registrar.
The total amount of assistance available is determined by the income generated annually by trust funds and gifts designated for the purpose.
- Students must apply for bursary support by the published deadlines (generally on or about September 15, December 10 [for internship and emergency applications] and May 15). Except in very special emergency situations late applications will not be considered. No student will be considered except by application.
- Awards are based on financial need. Applicants are expected to disclose fully all household resources and expenses.
- Students are expected to have realistic financial plans to cover the period of their programs and to have explored other reasonable sources of funding (family and spousal contributions, church and other granting agencies, scholarships, government assistance including loans, childcare and special needs bursaries, etc.) before completing the application for bursary assistance.
- The bursary committee will consider reasonable expenses related to a student’s program including tuition, books, required program expenses, and a basic level of family or personal living expenses. The committee reserves the right to demand proof of emergency expenses.
- The Bursary committee requests students who are eligible to apply to OSAP or equivalent options. The committee however, recognizes that students may have already accumulated significant debt in achieving first degrees or if entering ministry as a second career may have already set aside significant funds for retirement or family life. Students are not expected to enter into unsustainable levels of indebtedness or to liquidate fixed assets (e.g. real estate and RRSPs). However, students must appreciate that continuing in or returning to university may necessitate a change in lifestyle for themselves and their families. The bursary committee will not consider reasonable need to include costs beyond basic or emergency expenses. Neither will it make awards to pay previous debt or to increase retirement assets during the program.
- The committee will not discriminate against an applicant because of family status. However, applicants must disclose their entire financial situation including their family’s and/or partner’s resources and expenses.
- While bursaries are need-based and not academic awards, they are intended to support students through the normal length of a program. Bursary support will be limited to three years of full-time study unless exceptional circumstances warrant further assistance. Part-time students may be considered. Students must have an overall 60% average to continue to be eligible for bursary assistance. Special and non-degree students will be considered only in exceptional circumstances.
- International students may be considered for bursary assistance. However, like domestic students, international students and their families are expected to have reasonable financial plans to pay for the costs of a university education. Expenses will be considered in the same manner as domestic students (i.e. limited travel allowance). Awards to foreign students will not be larger than the maximum awards made to domestic students.
- Several bursary funds give preference to students who meet certain conditions (e.g. ordination stream, year of program, diocese etc.). There are enough unrestricted funds available that a student should not be excluded from assistance for not meeting conditions of the restricted funds.
- Bursary applications are available online
- The budget should encompass the financial year commencing May 1 and ending April 30 the following year. The budget should extend personal savings over the length of the program, i.e., do not budget in such a way that savings will be consumed in one year.
- Awards will be based on financial need, and therefore may not be one of the award amounts listed above. The “Award Limit” is the amount available for the summer session and the winter session combined, and this limit will not be exceeded except in extraordinary circumstances.
Terms of the Award
- Students who are awarded a Fellowship in the College, or any other major award, will have the amount of the award included as income in their bursary application. Changes in income must be reported to the Bursary Committee.
- The award will be deposited to the student’s account and will be applied first against outstanding tuition fees, library fees, and/or College loans. Any excess will be available to the student under the conditions of their notification letter.
Repayment of Awards
Full or partial repayment of award will be requested if the student transfers to another college, or changes course load. Repayment may also be requested if a student subsequently receives a major award.
Financial assistance is available to students who find themselves in emergency situations such as the need for urgent dental care. Assistance may be provided either in the form of a short-term loan or as supplement to the normal bursary award. The Bursary Committee will determine eligibility for such assistance. Limited funds are available.