Facts About AST
Atlantic School of Theology (AST), founded in 1971, chartered under provincial statute in 1974, bases its operations on property in Halifax where Theological Education has been delivered since 1878. As a Graduate School, AST is the result of amalgamation of three Faculties, (Anglican, Roman Catholic, and United Church of Canada) into one ecumenical school. Other Christian denominations (e.g. Lutheran, Presbyterian, Salvation Army etc.) are also represented. In March of 2002, AST and Saint Mary's University, Halifax, signed a Memorandum of Agreement affiliating the two institutions. An example of that affiliation was the establishment of the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs (CCEPA).
- Governance: AST has a Board of Governors, appointed by the three Founding Parties, and representation of Students, Faculty, and ex-officio representation of Administrative Staff.
- Accreditation: AST received a 10-year accreditation in 2009 from the Association of Theological Schools (U.S. & Canada).
- Catchment Area: the Atlantic Provinces and Bermuda. The Summer Distance MDIV program attracts students from across Canada.
- Graduates' Employment: Over 1,200 persons since 1971, in Church Leadership, Pastoral Care, Hospital and Canadian Military Chaplaincy*, and community organizations.
- Student Profile: the typical AST Student is a mature 36 year old, married, in their second or third career. They usually carry a significant debt load, and can anticipate immediate employment upon graduation in jobs paying $30-50,000 per annum.
- Current Enrollment: 110 students in our degree programs, and 8 students in adult education certificate programs. A Diploma in Youth Ministry program and a Diploma in the New Evangelization have 38 students.
- Tuition: at $585.00 (2014/15) per course, among the lowest in the region. Students are eligible for a bursary program from the Province of Nova Scotia.
- Student Employment: AST occasionally employs students in its Library and Housekeeping Departments.
- Bursaries: AST manages numerous Bursaries, which annually assist 45+ persons and total $60,000+
- Other Financial Assistance for AST Students: Pine Hill Divinity Hall offers a tuition allowance for United Church Candidates. Bursaries are also available for a limited number of lay applicants. Full-time theological students studying for ordination in the Anglican Church of Canada may be eligible for funding for tuition. As well, other scholarships and bursaries may be available. Roman Catholic students may be eligible for financial assistance through the Vocations Office of their diocese.
- Program Delivery Modes: Classes on campus and Internet-based courses across Canada.
- Faculty: 8FT, 2PT, 8 Sessional Faculty with academic or professional doctorates, and 2 academically qualified administrative persons who also teach.
- Annual Budget: The 2014/2015 Budget is $2.7 million.
- Library: Over 90 thousand volumes - the largest collection of its kind east of Montreal. The AST Library is a partner in Novanet giving students at other universities in the province access to this unique collection.
- Fundraising: There have been two successful capital campaigns at AST: $3 million was raised for a new library in the early 1990s and $3 million for the Future Growth campaign, which wrapped up in 2010. In addition, there is an annual fund appeal each year, supported by alumni, friends, churches, founding parties, faculty, staff, board of governors, corporations, and foundations.
- Impact on Community: The Supervised Field Education programme places students in Social and Community Service Agencies throughout the metropolitan area. Most years this placement represents 11,000 volunteer hours (estimated value $300,000 per annum) of contributed services to the community. Placements include services to the homeless, the elderly, youth, the sick and dying, battered women at group homes, transition houses, food banks, and hospitals. AST is a resource to over 700 church congregations in Atlantic Canada.
* Chaplaincy: "The ecumenical program at AST prepares chaplains for the Canadian Military who are particularly well suited to work in a multi-denominational setting like ours. We value the formation that our chaplains receive at this unique school." Quote; Major John Fletcher, Formation Chaplain, Maritime Forces Atlantic.
(Revised January 2015)