B.A. in Theology Pastoral Studies

pastoral grey

The essence of Pastoral Leadership is perhaps best described in I Peter 5:2 where we read, ‘shepherd the flock of God that is among you.’  The call to pastoral ministry is a call to lead, feed, guide and protect others.  Following the example of Christ Himself, we are called to live lives of humility which are marked by both dependence and confidence.  Students begin this journey of discovery, accompanied by practitioners who both model and instruct students on how to live and lead with integrity, skill, and passion.

Over the course of the four year degree, the focus will be:

  • A Posture of Service [year one]
  • The Discipline to Follow [year two]
  • Committed to Equipping [year three]
  • Prepared to Lead [Internship]

Our grads have gone on to serve in a variety of Ministry expressions, from being the lead pastor in rural settings, staff positions serving as part of a pastoral team, to others who have found expression of their pastoral calling in non-traditional settings.  In each case, they are making an eternal difference.



From your first weekend program retreat until the goodbyes of grad day, your Pastoral Ministry training experience will be comprised of many highlights. Over your time in Pastoral, there are multiple ministry assignments where we are allowed the privilege of leading Sunday morning services across Alberta.  Other highlights include the third year we participate in the Minister’s Gathering of the PAOC and then the fourth year field trip to Vancouver where we are able to engage and interact with significant leaders, up close and personal, as well as the insight of completing the Birkman Assessment.  

Another thing you will be sure to experience is a deep sense of community as together we discover and affirm each other’s call and gifting.  You will develop friendships that will continue to enrich your life well beyond your time at Vanguard.


Classes over the course of the degree provide an extensive approach to learning and training.  Core to the program is the concept of the Metanarrative.  Creative, engaging and interactive would be words that describe the environment that is created by the professors. More than just dispensing information, Vanguard attempts to help students develop critical thinking, wrestling through the scriptures and establishing an approach that reflects those biblical values.  As one grad stated, ‘Vanguard cannot not teach you everything you need to know but it will teach you the questions that need to be asked.’


  1. Develop and model a biblical framework for life and ministry.
  2. Adopt effective servant leadership in the context of the church: shepherd and equip people to be disciple-making disciples.
  3. Participate in the practical leadership tasks of local church ministry: Lead the ordinances and church revitalization best practices.
  4. Integrate an intentional approach to spiritual well being: discern a clear sense of call and explore natural and spiritual gifting.
  5. Model an unwavering commitment to the authority of Scripture, competence in study, and effective communication skills for preaching and teaching that address cultural narratives.

Pastoral Ministry: Bachelor of Arts in Theology