Before your arrival at the School of Religion, you will be assigned to a faculty member who will help you to choose your academic schedule and guide you through the curriculum requirements. Usually, your faculty advisor will remain the same for the duration of your stay at the School, unless he/she goes on academic leave. Your faculty advisor plus all the students assigned to her or him make up the Advisory Group.
If you encounter any academic problems or personal problems that could affect your academic performance, you should talk to your faculty advisor so that he or she knows what is happening and will be able to support you as much as possible. If your faculty advisor is in a conflict of interest (i.e., there is conflict between you and your advisor in one of your advisor’s classes), you can talk to the Chair of Theology or the Principal of the School.
All Theology students at the School of Religion are members of Queen’s Theological Student Society (QTSS). QTSS is the student group that helps to plan and facilitate student life at the School of Religion. It is also the organization that represents the Theology students of the School to faculty of the School and the University as a whole.
The QTSS has an elected “core group”. This group consists of a convenor (or co-convenors), secretary, treasurer and a class representative from each year. Representatives to some of the other committees in the School sit in on the core meetings and all students are welcome to attend.
As members of the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) Queen’s Theological students are welcome to attend any and all of the Orientation activities of the SGPS. Attending these activities is a good way to get connected to the wider University and to build friendships outside of the School of Religion. It will also help you learn about the services provided by the SGPS. You can visit them in person at their office in the John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) or view their website at http://www.sgps.ca/.
QTSS has several Standing Committees. Every student is asked to be on at least one of these committees. The Worship Committee is responsible for the organization, facilitation and promotion of the chapel and communion services; it encourages awareness of the variety of the liturgical expression at the School, and helps foster an ecumenical spirit. The Social Committee is responsible for planning various social activities throughout the year. They usually plan a Christmas party and the year-end banquet. The Common Room Committee ensures that the common room is stocked with supplies such as coffee, pop, and juice, which are available to you at cost. The Liaison Committee helps the School community reach out to its members who have either just graduated or are away from the community in the current year due to internship. The Outreach/Campus Relations Committeeseeks to reach out and be involved in the life of Queen’s, Kingston, and the world, to increase awareness of the role of the faith communities in the world, and to respond to issues facing the Queen’s community and the wider world.
QTSS sends representatives to various committees of the College. One such committee is the Committee on Theological Studies (CTS). QTSS sends a representative to this faculty committee. The Committee on Theological Studies (CTS) is responsible for the day to day academic running of the Theology program. Among many other things, this committee deals with academic petitions, grievances, curriculum and program matters. QTSS also has a representative on the Committee of Religious Studies, the governing body for the School.
Occasionally a special request is made for a student to serve on an ad hoc committee, such as a Faculty Search Committee or Renewal, Tenure, and Promotion Committee. QTSS will be contacted in each instance.
The School of Religion gathers for worship each Tuesday from 11:30am – 12:30pm, during the regular academic year. This service is usually led by faculty and students and tries to reflect the diversity of the student body and the Kingston community. The diversity of the worshipping community may include people with physical limitations, a variety of social backgrounds, diverse sexual orientations, as well as different theological perspectives and denominational traditions. The School wants to respect the life experience of the people worshipping each week. Accordingly, we try to use inclusive language and images in the worship services. The School of Religion’s policy on inclusive language and a brief explanation of inclusive language is discussed in the section entitled “Inclusive Language”.
The worship service is usually held in the Morgan Memorial Chapel; however, all of God’s creation is a sanctuary and worship services are not restricted to the chapel. If a group chooses an alternative worship space, please give consideration to the accessibility of that space. Our worship services are open to the entire Kingston community and as such it is important to remember that there are people with different needs for physical accessibility.
The School of Religion Worship Committee is comprised of students and faculty. The committee is responsible for ensuring there are worship leaders for weekly chapel and coordinates guest speakers. The Worship Committee offers an excellent opportunity for students to engage in all aspects of planning and leading worship.
Students are encouraged to make use of the chapel as a place of retreat whenever they feel the need. The one limitation to this is that a few courses may, if appropriate, use the chapel as their “classroom.” The Morgan Memorial Chapel is also rented out to the wider community for other services.
Please check with the front office if you want to use the chapel outside of regular worship times to avoid a scheduling conflict.
In addition to the above worship service, students can also gather at various times during the week for informal prayer and reflection on campus. A number of faith traditions and denominations are represented by local congregations within walking distance of campus in which students may participate in the life of a local religious community.
The journey through theological study is very challenging and sometimes it invites you to question the theological and spiritual assumptions on which your faith has been based. The Queen’s University Chaplain, the Rev Brian Yealland (613-533-2186), is available to meet with you, provide a listening ear, and assistance in exploring your questions on a personal level.
The student lounge, located on the fourth floor of Theological Hall, is shared with students in Religious Studies. It is a good place to sit and chat with other students and is used by many students to eat their “brown bag” lunches. The student lounge is not only a gathering spot for theology and religious studies students but also others whose classes are held in Theological Hall.
The Reading Room is located on the third floor in the west wing of Theological Hall. It is intended to be a quiet place for students to work. Carrels and computers are available for students to use. The room is locked at 4:30pm each day, but students who wish to use the room in evening hours can sign out a key in the Main Office. Occasionally the room can be used for meetings – bookings are made in the Main Office.
Every student at Queen’s University is expected to obtain a university internet account. Once you receive a student number, you may set up your Internet account by using SOLUS. Instructions are posted next to the first-floor computers on the east wall of Stauffer Library. You can also access the internet at any public or semi-public computing site on the campus. If you have any problems, the computer support office in Stauffer Library is there to help. If you are not very familiar with the Internet it is a good idea to sign up for (free) Internet introduction classes in September and October in Stauffer Library. Since the School uses email as an official means of communication, you need to set up your account as soon as possible.
Since every Queen’s University student has access to an email account, the School assumes you will check your email regularly (at least weekly) for messages. This is the main way in which we communicate with students. Important messages about academic programs, job opportunities and School life are posted on a student list serve. Please ensure that the Main Office has an email address at which you may be reached, and keep them advised of any changes.
Please note that the Office of University Registrar will only use students’ @queensu.ca email accounts for communication purposes. Therefore, you should check your Queen’s account regularly, even if it is not your most-used email account.
Student mailboxes are located on the left-hand side of the entrance to the Main Office. Be sure to check your mail regularly as this is another primary means of communication (i.e. notices of meetings, notes from faculty members, returned papers, etc.)
Each Tuesday, before the chapel service, there are usually several announcements about events affecting the life and work of the School or about events in the wider Kingston community that may be of interest to those in attendance.
Just outside of the Student Lounge, there is a blackboard where students and faculty occasionally post notices of upcoming events.
There are three main bulletin boards for students in Theological Hall – one beside the chapel, one by the Main Office, and one in the Student Lounge. Notices posted on bulletin boards in Theological Hall (except for the Bulletin Board in the Student Lounge) require authorization from the Main Office.
There are some study carrels and lockers available at the School. To reserve a locker, sign up at the Main Office and place your lock on the locker. If the Main Office has not been notified that you are using a locker, your lock may be cut off.
Some study carrels are located in the Reading Room on the third floor. These are for general use by all students taking classes within the School. Since the School is a public facility, and, unfortunately, theft of personal items has occurred, you are advised not to leave any valuables on these carrels. Study carrels are also available in the Queen’s University Stauffer Library and students are encouraged to make use of these. You may want to consider sharing carrels with other students, especially commuting students, so that more students have access to the carrels within the Theological School. Occasionally the Reading Room will be booked for large events, workshops or meetings, so you may have to temporarily re-locate to another study area.
In the fall term, usually in the week following Thanksgiving, some classes are replaced by the School’s Annual Theology Conference, consisting of special lectures and workshops. One of the highlights of the academic year, this is a time of gathering of alumni, friends of the School and current students. All students are expected to participate.
Two study breaks are scheduled during the academic year. In the fall term, Reading Week is the thirteenth week of term, the week after the end of classes. In the winter term, Reading Week is the seventh week of term. No classes or School committee meetings are scheduled during these two breaks.
Most classes, with the exception of field education and reading courses, are evaluated using the USAT (University Survey of Student Assessment of Teaching) system. It is designed to allow students to give faculty feedback on their teaching without the fear of negative repercussions. They are an important component of the evaluation of a faculty member’s annual review. Each term, QTSS is asked to appoint a USAT coordinator, who will then find a student representative from each class to be evaluated. The student rep is responsible for scheduling the evaluation with the instructor, obtaining the appropriate USAT blank forms from the Main Office, conducting the evaluation, and returning the completed forms to the Main Office. There is a specific timeline for these evaluations (10th and 11th week of term), and a strict deadline for return of completed forms.
Please check regularly the School of Religion Website for calendar information, updates on courses, continuing education events, special lecture series, etc. The address is: http://www.queensu.ca/religion.
There is a semi-public COMPUTER SITE situated in the basement of Theological Hall (Drama Dept) for the use of all Queen’s Students. For a complete list of computer sites on campus, please see the ITS Website: http://www.queensu.ca/its/sites.html.
There are also computers in the Reading Room at Theological Hall. These are surplus computers that have been placed there for student use. However, they are not serviced or maintained by School staff, so students are expected to solve any problems that may arise with them.
The following audio visual equipment is available: TV/VCR/DVD; data projector; Tape/CD/radio for playing and recording; video camera; overhead projector; slide projector; screen. This must be booked in advance through the Main Office. Priority is given to faculty bookings and continuing education events for teaching purposes. This equipment is not allowed to be removed from Theological Hall.
Candidacy for Ministry in The United Church of Canada
Regulations governing the acceptance of candidates for the ministry, their supervision, training and ordination are set down in The Manual (sections 20-30, 720-732). Further information may be obtained from the Education and Students Committee of one’s Presbytery, a Conference Office or the School.
The Testamur of the School of Religion, Queen’s University is an ecclesiastical document awarded to United Church of Canada candidates who have completed the required course of study for either ordained ministry or diaconal ministry in The United Church of Canada.
Reports to Education and Students Committees
If you are a candidate for ministry in The United Church of Canada, the School is required to submit yearly reports on your progress and suitability for ministry. These reports are sent to your presbytery Education and Students Committee (E&S Committee). This report will be reviewed with you before it is sent. You will be asked to sign the report to indicate that you have seen it. Your signature does not necessarily mean that you agree with the report. Your E&S Committee also needs a copy of your transcripts to accompany the report. To be able to send a copy of your transcripts, the School needs you to sign the clause in the report authorizing the School to send your transcript.
The yearly report is written by your faculty advisor on the basis of discussions among faculty. It is normally written and reviewed with you sometime between the end of March and the middle of April. Make sure that you do not leave Kingston for the summer before you have seen and signed this report. Your continued status as a candidate for ministry may be jeopardized if you do.