MTS - Indigenous

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  • Overview
    The Master of Theology - Indigenous (MTS-I) graduate theological degree is designed and taught by Indigenous scholars and practitioners. It is the outcome of an innovative, educational partnership between NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community and Tyndale Seminary. The program is approached from a multidisciplinary understanding of Indigenous theology, history and praxis. It will enable student to: encourage others to fully embrace being an Indigenous follower of Jesus Christ; assist a community in following God's call; inspire people to embrace their Indigenous culture; and, learn how to fully engage ministry and its Indigenous context.
    The NAIITS/Tyndale Masters in Theological Studies/Indigenous is uniquely designed to equip you for a contribution to the Indigenous world— wherever serving your community finds you—on the Rez, the urban core—or somewhere in between!
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    Theology and Indigenous People
    in Conversation!

    Indigenous peoples’ contribution to the theological enterprise has been long absent. Are you being called to change that?

    If so, what better place to prepare than with a theological studies program delivered by Indigenous scholars.
    54 Credit Hours Earns you an MTS

    You will study with some of the finest Indigenous practitioners and scholars in the Native North American context—men and women with earned experience to accompany the academics. To check out the faculty, visit

    A Majority Indigenous faculty
    An Indigenous designed curriculum
    Course delivery with Indigenous methods


    As one of a growing community of Indigenous scholars you will work and study with an expanding community of leaders connected to the NAIITS learning community.

    Designed specifically to train Indigenous people—and those who work within an indigenous context—the MTS/Indigenous, in partnership with Tyndale University College and Seminary, is intended to increase your effectiveness in whatever ministry context you find yourself in - whether teaching, pastoral care or community mobilization.

    The Program offers you courses that include:

    Indigenous Theological Methods
    Theologies in Global Perspective
    Ethics in Intercultural Context
    Theology and Praxis of Pedagogy
    Theology and Ethic of the Land

    This degree is a non-resident degree. Face-to-face time with faculty takes place in the month surrounding the annual NAIITS symposium with summer and winter study cohorts, one-to-one and small group mentorship rounding out the delivery.
  • Details

    Indigenous academic leaders have designed and tailored this degree for Indigenous people and those serving in its communities. More than 80% of professors in the program are Native North Americans with doctoral degrees from a wide range of universities and seminaries. Student will learn from professors who are engaged in their own Indigenous communities and are committed followers of Jesus. NAIITS faculty is passionate about providing graduate-level theological education for Indigenous individuals and communities.


    Courses are available in flexible, accessible formats. Online-hybrid options allow student to live in home community. Intensive summer courses provide face-to-face classroom experience. Wrap-around conference courses related to the NAIITS Annual Symposium stimulate learning with Indigenous theological learners. Elective courses allow student to further tailor the program to his or her own learning and ministry environment.

    Mutual Learning Communiy

    Student will join with colleagues who are working in Indigenous contexts and will grow in leadership capacity as relationships are built. The program will provide one-to-one experiences and small-group mentorship. Any on-site courses are offered within the intercultural and denominationally diverse Christian community at Tyndale, located in the easily accessible, multiethnic city of Toronto.

  • Course Framework
    Biblical Studies (9 Credits)

    Biblical Interpretation
    Examines the methods, principles and practices of interpreting the biblical texts. In addition to deepening one’s understanding and use of standard tools of biblical research, the course will contrast Indigenous epistemologies used in hermeneutics with those of Western traditions.

    Hebrew Scripture Foundations
    A general introduction to the historical, sociological, and theological context in which the Hebrew Scriptures came into existence, this course will provide the student with an understanding of the major emphases of the texts. In addition, the student will be introduced to themes of community life and praxis in the Hebrew Scriptures that find parallels in historical Indigenous worldviews of creation and Creator. The course will use community understandings, models and paradigms as a basis for comparison.

    New Testament Foundations
    A general introduction to the historical, sociological, and theological context in which the New Testament Scriptures came into existence, this course will familiarize students with the content and structure, distinctive theology, and introductory matters of the New Testament. in addition, the student will be introduced to the nature of the early Christian community, its transitions and changes from a strictly Hebraic construct as found within the Jewish community, and projections made for its future development.

    Theological Studies (15 credit hours)

    Theology I: Indigenous Perspectives
    This course is a theological reflection focused on the concept of community. It will examine the Christian doctrines of creation, fall, and redemption, identifying God’s community-creating purpose in the world. Other issues examined include evil and the fall in their spiritual and cosmic dimensions, ecology and the cultural mandate. The course will include understandings of the nature and origins of community as portrayed within Indigenous cosmologies and spiritual perspectives.

    Theology II: Theology and Ethic of the Land
    The course will help students to develop an integrated understanding of God, humanity and culture focusing on current debates and their bearing on Christian mission and community. Practical issues such as the relationship between the sacred and the secular, the role of art, the place of work and leisure, and the significance of political engagement will receive particular attention in juxtaposition with Indigenous perspectives in each area. This course is normally taught by an Indigenous instructor.

    Creation and Transformation (Directed Study)
    The centre of Christian theology is Jesus Christ who unites Creator and creation. Therefore, this course will focus on the scriptural and ecclesiastical traditions concerning the person and work of Christ in transforming Creation. This will provide the basis for a discussion about the implication of Christology for the transformation of creation community. Thus, the course will seek to engage the ideas represented by the councils, creeds of past theologies, and then move to examine the theological praxis that resulted in a colonial and post-colonial context.

    Indigenous Theologies and Methods
    This course will delve into unique Indigenous theological contributions to the meaning of Christian faith and life. Utilizing a thematic approach, the intersection of one’s experience with the Creator, the nature of the spiritual, the Gospel story, redemption and redeemer will be explored in contrasting views with Western theological method.

    World Religions
    Jesus followers must be willing to interact and engage with an inquiring mind, in a knowledgeable way and in a Christ-like manner with peoples of other faiths. This course provides an overview of the major World Religions including the place of Christianity in the religious arena. It offers a foundation for understanding the classification of religions as well as the chronological development, adaptation, geographical distribution, worldviews, and cultural impact of world faiths. A summary of major religious innovators/figures, central doctrines/teachings, sacred myths and texts – including potential emerging world religions – will lead into a discussion concerning appropriate Christian responses to the world’s religions and their adherents. Indigenous values such as respecting others and story-telling are central to the approach utilized in this course.

    Christian History (6 credit hours)

    History of Christian