McMaster Divinity College is delighted to welcome students from around the world. Our goal is to provide you with resources to ease the process of studying and moving to a new country. We look forward to meeting and working with you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Did you know? Our student body represents more than 36 countries worldwide.
  • Programs & Study Formats

    PhD | Doctor of Philosophy (Christian Theology)

    Our PhD program is designed to prepare students for the teaching, writing, and leadership ministries of the Church and academy. It is a full-time research degree that builds upon previous foundational theological study and encourages the development of valuable research and teaching experience.

    This program is fully residential, meaning students must attend in-person for required coursework.

    MA | Master of Arts (Christian Studies)

    The MA in Christian Studies is a research degree is designed to prepare students for doctoral-level studies or to develop advanced competence in theological studies. This program has a research-oriented emphasis, building on prior academic preparation in the general areas of theological education.

    This program is fully residential, meaning students must attend in-person for required coursework.

    MA–PhD | Accelerated Master of Arts–PhD Program

    Our accelerated MA—PhD option combines the coursework and research requirements of our traditional MA and PhD degrees into a shorter time frame. This option is designed for highly motivated and academically advanced students who wish to complete their master’s and doctoral degrees in a more efficient and streamlined manner.

    This program is fully residential, meaning students must attend in-person for required coursework.

    DPT | Doctor of Practical Theology

    This advanced professional program is designed for ministry practitioners who desire to contribute to their field of ministry through practice-led research.

    This program can be completed in person or fully remotely with online (asynchronous) and livestream (synchronous) courses.

    MA | Master of Arts (Theology & Ministry)

    This professional degree is designed to provide students with a deeper theological understanding, an opportunity for personal spiritual development, and Christ-centred guidance for navigating a complex world.

    This program can be completed in person or fully remotely with online (asynchronous) and livestream (synchronous) courses.

    MA | Master of Arts (Counselling & Spiritual Care)

    This professional degree is designed to train specialists who can guide and counsel individuals and couples regarding their values, their spirituality, and their individual or couple dynamics.

    This program can be completed in person or fully remotely with online (asynchronous) and livestream (synchronous) courses.

    MA | Master of Arts (Global Christianity)

    This professional degree is designed for students passionate about understanding the complexities of the Christian faith around the world. Students are educated in biblical studies, theological studies, and ministry studies, taught by faculty who live, work, and worship in various cultural contexts around the globe.

    This degree program is fully remote (asynchronous) to accommodate participants from across the world and to ensure a cohesive learning experience.

    MDiv | Master of Divinity

    The MDiv degree is the traditional seminary degree. It is designed to equip students to be effective leaders for the Church including areas like counselling, chaplaincy, and missions. Through academic study and practical application, the thesis option allows deeper research into a particular topic and can be appropriate preparation for doctoral studies.

    This program can be completed in person or fully remotely with online (asynchronous) and livestream (synchronous) courses.

    CertCS | Graduate Certificate

    Our Graduate Certificates are designed to offer opportunities for students to strengthen their vocational aims by specializing in a particular area of graduate study. These areas of study include: Church and Culture, Spiritual Care, Spiritual Formation, Pastoral Ministry, Worship Studies, Church Leadership, Christian Thought & History, Biblical Languages, Christian Studies, Biblical Studies, and Theology.

    International students are only eligible to complete the certificate program remotely with online (asynchronous) and livestream (synchronous) courses as this program does not qualify for a study permit.

    See All Programs


  • English Proficiency and Transcript Assessment

    English Proficiency Test

    If English is not your first language, you must provide proof of English proficiency by sumbitting a TOEFL or IELTS test score:

    • Minimum TOEFL score: 92
    • Minimum IELTS score: 7.0 in all categories

    You may not need to provide proof of English proficiency if:

    • Your first language is English
    • You have completed your post-secondary education in English
    • You have resided in Canada for over 4 years


    WES Assessment for Transcripts

    If your documents are not in English, please provide an official translation. You may be asked to provide an official transcript assessment through World Education Services (WES). If you are unsure if this applies to you, please contact us.


  • International Student Fees

    International Tuition Fees

    At McMaster Divinity College, international students pay the same rates as domestic (Canadian) students. Learn more about the tuition fees and funding available for each degree program at the link below:

    See Funding & Fees

    University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP)

    Every person living in Canada must have coverage for primary healthcare services, such as hospital, physician, surgery, and medical testing. Ontario residents have OHIP, the mandatory government health insurance plan. International students access comparable coverage through the University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP), a not-for-profit insurance plan created by Ontario’s universities. You and any family members who come to Canada must have UHIP – this primary healthcare protection is mandatory. To view the UHIP premiums for you and your family, click the link below.

    See UHIP Fees


  • Steps to Becoming a Student

    1. Apply

    Fill out the application form and pay the applicable international application fee.

    Start your Application

    2. Submit References

    Follow up with your references to submit the applicable reference form on your behalf.

    See Online Reference Forms

    3. Submit Transcripts

    Request official transcripts from your institution and have them sent to our Admissions Office.

    By mail:
    McMaster Divinity College
    Attn: Admissions Office, Room 128A
    1280 Main St W
    Hamilton, ON  L8S 4K1
    905-525-9140 x24402

    By email:

    4. Submit English Proficiency or WES Assessment

    If applicable submit your english proficiency and WES assessment. See above Language Exams & WES Assessment for more information.

    5. Admissions Decision & Acceptance Letter

    If your application is accepted, you will receive an acceptance letter and a document designed to assist with your study permit application. Please read through them carefully and let us know if you require additional information or changes.

    6. Apply for Financial Aid

    Financial Aid Application

    7. Apply for Study Permit

    If planning to study in person, apply for your study permit using the information below.

    Study Permit Process

    8. Housing & Moving to Hamilton

    Research housing options to secure housing and learn more about living in Hamilton, Ontario.

    Move to Hamilton

    9. Register for Courses

    Once you are enrolled, our Student Records department will contact you with instructions on how to register for courses. Courses for the upcoming terms can be found on our course schedule below.

    View Course Schedule


  • Study Permit Process

    We are excited to welcome new students to Canada to study with us at MDC! Along with our assistance throughout your application process, we want to support you in your relocation. Please note that we are not qualified to provide immigration advice. All information can be found on the IRCC (Immigration Canada) website, and we encourage you to continuously check their website for the most accurate and up to date information.

    Official Government Resources

    IRCC Website     EduCanada

    Study Permit Eligibility

    Determine your eligibility for a study permit, and learn how to fill out your application form using the resources below.

    Study Permit Guide  Study Permit Package

    Steps to Apply for a Study Permit

    1. Create an IRCC account to start your study permit application, submit documents, get messages, check the status of your application, and more.
    2. Check if you are eligible for the Student Direct Stream (SDS)
    3. Check your estimated study permit processing time.
    4. Apply online or apply on paper
    5. Find your IRCC application package to get your required documents.
    6. FAQs on completing your application form.
    7. If you choose to hire an immigration consultant (not required), please ensure that you agent is licensed to represent immigrants or to give advice.
    8. Check if you need to provide additional materials for your application, including biometrics, police checks, or medical exams, and where to get these done.
    9. If you choose to submit your application to IRCC Visa Office, find your local office.

    Upon acceptance into your program, the admissions department will provide you with a Letter of Acceptance, which includes your program, the start date, and a signature form our VP Academic.

    You will also receive an Immigration Document designed to help you with your immigration process. This will include the date, MDC’s Designated Learning Institution (DLI) number, your program, your start date, your name and address, your estimated annual and full tuition, as well as any financial aid awarded to you, and a signature from our VP Academic.

    International students admitted to the Graduate Certificate program will receive a Letter of Attestation. Students admitted to our master’s and doctoral degrees do no require this document.

    Relocating with Your Spouse and Family

    The spouses of some international students may be eligible for an open work permit. Learn more about eligibility for your spouse to work in Canada.

    In Ontario, children under 18 years old are considered a minor and may require a study permit to enter Canada. Find out if your minor child requires a study permit to study in Canada.

    Languages Canada is an accredited program teaching Canada’s two official languages, English and French, to Canadian and international students. These programs introduce students to Canada’s languages, culture, values and way of life. Learn more about Languages Canada.

    Travelling to Canada

    Learn more about how to plan your trip to Canada.

    Getting to Canada

    Work Permits Following Graduation

    Visit the IRCC’s page to see your path toward getting a work permit, permanent residency, and citizenship.

    If you would like to know more about your study options at MDC after you have completed your program, please contact us.

    Other Important Information

    Re-entering Canada After Travel
    Prior to planning your trip, ensure you can re-enter Canada when you travel outside of Canada.

    Immigration Frauds and Scams
    Please watch out for immigration fraud and scams.


  • Moving to Hamilton

    Read through the information and resources below for cost of living information in Hamilton, finding and applying for rental housing, transportation, finding a church, grocery stores, banking, cell phone and internet providers, student savings and discounts, and seasonal weather in Ontario.

    Cost of Living

    Off-Campus Housing Averages

    1 bedroom (shared housing): $800-$1000
    1 bedroom (studio/bachelor): $1,400-$2,000
    2 bedroom: $1,500-$2,500
    3 bedroom: $1,800-$3,000


    Utilities are often paid separately from rent. Students should expect to pay the cost of electricity, heating, water, and cable/internet.

    The approximate cost of utilities in Hamilton area (per month):

    Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water): $90-$350
    Internet (6Mbps, unlimited date, Cable/ADSL): $45-$100+


    We advise students to budget approximately $200-$250 per month per person for groceries.


    The cost of daycare varies throughout Hamilton. Below is a general idea of what you can expect to pay for childcare. These costs are according to the CWELCC 2023 guidelines.

    Licensed Centre-based Care:

    Infant age care (newborn to 18 months): approximately $30/day
    Toddler age care (18 months to 2.5 years): approximately $24/day
    Preschool age care (2.5 years to 4.5 years): approximately $21/day
    School age care (4.5 to 12 years):

    • Before and after school age care approximately $22/day
    • Full day on days when not in school approximately $41/day

    Licensed Home-based Care: Full day care approximately $23-33/day
    Independent (non-licensed) Home-based Care: approximately $30-$40/day

    Learn About Budgeting

    Finding Housing

    Below are some resources to find rental housing in Hamilton, Ontario.

    Please note that all listings are submitted by private landlords and are not affiliated with McMaster Divinity College. It is your responsibility to exercise discretion when communicating with landlords or subletters.

    Online Postings


    Pre-Screened Listings


    Facebook Student Groups

    We advise you to beware of scams on Facebook housing groups. Please do not interact with any job postings in these groups as they are often spam.


    Neighbourhood Guides


    Documents Often Required for Rental Application

    1. Credit Report: a summary of your credit history, or personal details for your landlord to run a credit check. Your credit report includes your credit score, payment history and any outstanding debts. Some landlords will accept a credit report that you can get online.
    2. Job letters & bank statements: a job letter that shows employee name, job position, and income. Bank statements that show the flow of your money and if you are paying other bills on time.
    3. Proof of Income: including recent pay stubs, a Notice of Assessment (NOA) or Proof of Income Statement from the CRA.
    4. References: supporting document of recommendation from current or past landlord, property manager, superintendent, or a character reference.
    5. Proof of Identification: Canadian Driver’s License, Passport, or other valid government-issued photo IDs.

    You have the right to question the use of your personal information in the application process according to the PIPEDA (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act). Your landlord can only use your information for the purpose of which it was collected.

    International law says that people in Canada have the right to affordable housing. To help achieve this in Ontario, tenants and landlords (or housing providers) have rights and responsibilities under the Human Rights Code.

    You also have rights as a tenant. Review the City of Hamilton Tenant/Landlord Resources to learn more about your rights as a tenant including how much rent can be raised per year, what must be provided (and paid for) by the landlord, etc.

    Familiarize yourself with Ontario’s Standard Lease Agreement prior to signing a lease agreement.


    How to Spot a Scam

    Here are some warning signs to look out for when looking for housing:

    1. Too-Good-To-Be-True Prices: When you find a price that seems significantly lower than other similar listings. Combined with the other warning signs, look out for places that advertise low prices, in hopes to bait people for money, or to suddenly spike prices.
    2. Fake Photos: Many scammers will post very nice pictures at cheap/affordable cost. To vet these pictures, right click, then click “search image with Google.”
    3. No Address or Neighbourhood Details: Exercise your discretion here. Legitimate listings usually include the neighbourhood, area, and ideally the complete address. You should be able to check against Google Maps to see if the address advertised is accurate to the listing.
    4. You are Asked for Money Before Signing the Lease: It is NOT legal to ask you for any security deposit, “first and last” rent or any upfront fees or instalments before you sign a written, formal rental agreement. Do not make any payments, especially online via e-transfer, or wire money to anyone asking you for a substantial amount of money before you have signed anything.
    5. You are not Allowed to see the Property: Before making any payments, signing any lease, or moving in, you must see the property. You should be able to get a live, virtual tour or go in person to check out the place and make sure the cleanliness, size, and maintenance is up to your standard, and accurate to the pictures and description in the listing.
    6. The Lease is Incomplete/there is no Screening Process: Always look for a landlord that is responsible, high-quality, and responsive. Professional landlords will have a tenant screening process and complete rental application process. Landlords should want an application and credit check at the least, to ensure that you are able to pay rent in full and on time. If the lease is incomplete, do not sign it.
    7. The Listing is Written Poorly: Good and professional landlords will ensure that their listing is well-written and contains detailed descriptions of their place. If the listing has tons of typos, poor grammar, excessive punctuation, or capitalization, it is very likely that the listing is a scam.


    Hamilton Transit (HSR)

    The HSR is Hamilton’s local transit system.

    Schedule & Route Tools HSR Fares

    GO Transit

    GO Transit is a network of train and bus lines that aid people to travel around the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

    Metrolinx, GO Transit is the regional public transit service for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. They provide service to downtown Toronto and other nearby urban areas.

    Plan Your Trip

    On-Campus Parking

    On-campus parking is available for MDC students but not guaranteed due to high demand. Contact Parking Services for further information.

    Parking Services

    Finding a Church

    There are many church denominations represented across Hamilton. Search for a church near you on Google Maps or by denomination using the links below:

    Canadian Baptists of Ontario & Quebec (CBOQ) Church Finder

    Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC) Church Finder

    The Alliance Church Finder

    Groceries & Shopping

    There are many grocery store options in Hamilton. To shop sales, download and use the Flipp app.

    Affordable Grocery Stores

    • No Frills
    • Food Basics
    • Walmart

    More Expensive Grocery Stores

    • Fortinos
    • Longos
    • Sobeys

    International Grocery Stores

    • Nations Fresh Food
    • Hamilton Farmer’s Market


    • Shoppers Drug Mart
    • Rexall
    • IDA

    Shopping Centres/Malls

    • Limeridge Mall (Hamilton)
    • Mapleview Mall (Burlington)
    • Square One (Mississauga)


    Learn more about Canadian bank accounts below. Note that most Student accounts do not have a monthly fee.

    Canadian Banking Banking & Credit Tips

    Visit the Government of Canada website for more information on Banking to confirm the necessary documentation.

    Government of Canada Banking

    Cell Phone & Internet Plans

    The most popular cell phone and internet providers in Canada are:

    • Bell
    • Rogers
    • Telus

    There are many smaller, more affordable mobile phone options that can be used within the city such as:

    • Koodo
    • Fido
    • Freedom Mobile
    • Wind

    Some other internet providers include:

    • Cogeco
    • Teksaavy

    Compare Mobile and Internet Plans

    Student Savings & Discounts

    Many business in the Hamilton community offer special discounts and savings, specifically for students.

    Learn More

    Seasonal Weather in Hamilton

    Hamilton is located in Southern Ontario and temperatures can range from 30°C in the summer to -20°C in the winter. Be prepared when moving to Hamilton that proper cold weather clothing will be necessary.

    From Moving2Canada:

    Summers in Hamilton are warm, with an average July temperature of 22°C, but this warmth can quickly turn more intense when the humidity kicks in. Air conditioners are a smart investment, as you’ll likely get use out of one from June to September.

    As in most of southern Ontario, Hamilton’s spring is fairly short and wet, acting more as a short melting period in between winter and summer. Temperatures get slightly milder, but nobody takes off their winter boots until about April, when the sidewalks are finally clear of slush and grit. Fall is longer and milder, giving plenty of time to enjoy the glorious changing colours of the foliage, both in the city and in the many nature trails and conservation areas surrounding the urban core. For most Canadians, including those living in Hamilton, fall is the last breath of fresh air before the long cold winter, and you’ll notice Hamiltonians getting outside and enjoying it to the fullest during from September to November.

    If you’ve done any research at all about moving to Canada, you may have some idea of what to expect when it comes to winters. In Hamilton, as in most other Canadian cities, winters are long and cold – but those in southern Ontario can be less extreme than other regions of Canada. Hamilton typically sees temperatures at freezing or below for 129 days out of the year, but average temperatures rarely drop lower than -10°C.

    Finding proper cold weather clothing will be one of the top priorities when your first winter in Hamilton is approaching, and it is worth investing in boots and a coat that will last for years. Several outlet malls in the Hamilton area and closer to Toronto begin to sell good-value winter gear in September and October. If you can bear the autumnal chill, hold out for deals around the end of November. Canada has seen a growing offering of ‘Black Friday’ sales, in emulation of the United States – where stores offer major price cuts on the third Friday in November, the day after American Thanksgiving – and this is a great time to get a bargain on winter clothing. See our winter in Hamilton page to learn more.

    To check the local forecast, use the link below or an app like The Weather Network:

    Hamilton Forecast


  • Working in Canada

    Most international students are legally allowed to work in Canada while they study. Please refer to the IRCC’s website to see how many hours your are able to work during the semester and during breaks.

    Do not exceed the number of hours you are eligible to work and please ensure that you are able to work according to the conditions of your study permit.

    You are welcome to look for off-campus work. Many Canadians use online job boards such as:

    You may also seek out specific companies you are interested in, look for career opportunities or job postings on their website, and email them your resume.

  • FAQ

    Are there scholarship for international students, pastors, ministers, etc.?

    All students are encouraged to apply for financial aid each year. Financial aid is need and merit-based. You may view our funding and fees page, and apply on our website.

    View EduCanada’s website for additional international scholarships.

    What is UHIP, and can I opt-out?

    UHIP is compulsory health insurance for all international students in Ontario. UHIP provides coverage for primary healthcare services, such as hospital, physician, surgery, and medical testing. View UHIP premiums to learn more about the cost. Visit UHIP’s website for more information about your coverage.

    Can my spouse and/or children join me in Canada?

    Please refer to IRCC’s website to determine if your child needs a study permit, and if your spouse is eligible for an open-work permit.

    Can I study remotely and/or part-time?

    All students on study permit are required to attend all classes in-person, and to study full-time. International students in the MDiv, MTS and Certificate programs can study remotely from their home country.

    Am I eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) after my studies?

    McMaster Divinity College is a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). Please refer to IRCC’s website to determine if you are eligible for a PGWP.

    What if I don’t meet the admission requirements for my program?

    Please speak to Admissions to learn more about your options. Some students enroll in some courses or a certificate to support their future reapplication.

    Do I need to provide a TOEFL or IELTS test? Do you accept Duolingo or other proficiency tests? What is the minimum score requirement?

    You may have to provide an English proficiency test score if English is not your first language. You may not have to take a test if any of the following applies to you:

    You have completed post-secondary education in English.

    You have been a resident in Canada for over 4 years.

    We only recognize TOEFL and IELTS tests. Our minimum requirements are a TOEFL score of 92 or 7.0 in all IELTS categories. Please contact admissions if you have additional documentation of English proficiency.

    Does McMaster Divinity College have on-campus housing?

    We do not have on-campus housing at MDC. Our students often rent in Hamilton or nearby areas. Please refer to our Move to Hamilton page for assistance.

    Do I need a letter of attestation?

    Currently, Master’s and doctoral degree students do not require this letter.

    What if my study permit takes longer than expected or is refused?

    If you are waiting to hear from IRCC, you may begin your studies with us remotely from your home country until you are able to come to Canada. In most cases, accepted applicants will be able to defer their admission for up to one academic year without having to submit additional documents. Please keep our Admissions Office updated on your study permit process and let them know if you require any assistance.

    I am unable to contact my previous institution for my transcripts. What can I do?

    We require all transcripts from your post-secondary education. In order to avoid delays in processing your application, you may provide an unofficial transcript for initial review. Please note that you will receive a conditional letter of acceptance until we receive your final, official transcript.