MCS-HCS Collaboration Media Release

Cross-Provincial College Collaboration Means More Christian Leaders for Canada

In a bold move, Master’s College & Seminary (Ontario) and Horizon College & Seminary (Saskatchewan) are joining forces to make Christian leadership training more accessible and affordable, sharing costs, curriculum, and faculty in a lean and sustainable collaborative operating model.

Since the 1930s, Horizon and Master’s (known colloquially as MCS) have prepared lay and professional leaders for Christian ministry, each with historic ties to The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. The need for Christian leaders in Canada today is high. As Baby Boomers move rapidly into retirement, too few young leaders are emerging to replace them—and training institutions are struggling as a result.

The Association of Biblical Higher Education, the accrediting body for Christian colleges in Canada and the US, reports an alarming fifty-five per cent decline in enrolment among its accredited Canadian institutions since 2016, and news of closure or consolidations of historic Christian colleges and seminaries in the US continues to populate newsfeeds.

“The days of operating solo are no longer the best way to steward our resources or bring holistic education,” says Jason Small, MCS Board Chair. “Today calls for collaboration.” For Horizon and MCS, collaboration looks something like the creation of Toy Story.

MCS-HCS Partnership signing 2023

Thursday, November 23, 2023: HCS President and MCS Transitional President sign the Partnership Letter of Intent, in Mississauga, Ontario.

Back row (left to right) PAOC District Superintendents Rev. Paul Israelson (SK and HCS Board Chair), Rev. Andrew Porterfield (MB-NW ON), Rev. Jason Small (Western ON and MCS Board Chair), Rev. Jason Luscombe (Eastern Ontario and Nunavut), Rev. Michel Bisaillon (Quebec), Rev. Kevin Johnson (Maritime).

Front row (left to right): Dr. Jeromey Martini (HCS President) and Dr. Bill Morrow (MCS Transitional President).

Photo by Zakaria Ahada on Unsplash

In 1991, independent animation studios Pixar and Disney entered a strategic partnership with the aim to produce a computer animated movie. Pixar was developing new methods of animation, but the small company lacked scalability to take it to the big screen. Disney, meanwhile, was looking for new ways to engage its considerable customer base. The partnership resulted in Toy Story, the first feature-length computer animated film and highest grossing movie of 1995. Collaboratively, they redefined movie animation.

In similar fashion, MCS and Horizon envision collaboration as a catalyst for changing Christian leadership training in Canada. Founded in 1939, MCS has been serving the largest church constituency in The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada as Eastern Pentecostal Bible College since 1949 and MCS since 2000. For the past decade, Horizon has been pioneering new models of Christian leadership education. These include introducing a competency-based curriculum, partnering with community and business colleges to offer co-vocational programming, investing in technology to deliver quality online learning to individuals and church hubs, and expanding accredited seminary options.

“We’ve seen success,” says Horizon President, Jeromey Martini, noting Horizon’s sixty-five per cent enrolment growth since 2016. “But with our lower population on the prairies, our challenge is scalability.”

In May 2023, MCS Transitional President Bill Morrow was tasked with finding the best options for the future of MCS. Morrow weighed input from visioning groups, pastors, district and section leaders, board members, and alumni. When Morrow and Martini connected in early summer, a dynamic solution quickly appeared.

“It’s a great thing,” says Morrow. “What Horizon is doing is what Master’s wants and needs. This is an incredible opportunity for both colleges and our constituencies.” Martini concurs, “This is exactly what Horizon needs. Master’s has so much strength and scale to bring to the collaboration.”

MCS and Horizon will continue operating in Ontario and Saskatchewan respectively, granting degrees under their distinct names. Martini will begin as President of both institutions in January, serving alongside Morrow at MCS until Morrow finishes in June. Together, they will coordinate and consolidate curriculum, resources, faculty, and staff cross-provincially, and set up church-based learning hubs.

“There’s a lot of overlap between our organizations,” Martini says. “And with technology to erase the distance between us, we can be much more effective together at preparing Christian leaders to serve Canada and beyond.”

As Horizon and MCS step into this historic new phase, they invite the Christian community to join them in celebration. An FAQ page is available on each institution’s website. A schedule of events for constituents to ask questions and learn more will be posted.

For media enquiries or for more information please use the contact form below.


Horizon College Seminary was established in 1935 in Saskatchewan and is one of five Canadian colleges originally created to serve the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (PAOC) regionally in Canada. Horizon is designated to serve the PAOC districts of Saskatchewan and Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario. In recent years, Horizon has extended its mandate to form official partnerships with the Christian Missionary Alliance, the Church of God (Cleveland) in Western Canada, and the Mennonite Brethren, as well as to partner with local churches and groups who share Horizon’s core faith perspective and values.

Leadership: Horizon offers experienced senior leadership in a time of significant change at MCS. Horizon’s Pentecostal leadership has led Horizon through high-stakes transitions to a competency-based curriculum, to a new facility, and significant growth in enrollment and student satisfaction. In addition, Horizon’s leadership will guide MCS as it aims to establish hubs for church-based learning.

Programming: In addition to pioneering a competency-based curriculum, Horizon has partnered with community and business colleges to offer co-vocational programming. Additionally, the province of Saskatchewan allows theological colleges to grant Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees. Partnership with Horizon allows MCS students the option of graduating with a B.A. designation from Horizon instead of the Bachelor of Theology degree (B.Th.) should they wish.

Affordability: Sharing resources with Horizon enables MCS to reduce the cost of tuition.

Accessibility: While MCS already offers many courses by distance education, MCS has focussed on serving students at our Peterborough location. Going forward, our in-person courses will be more accessible, thereby making more program options accessible to our distance education students. Significantly, changes to our model of distance education will provide increased support for those who wish to benefit from church-based learning.

Faculty: Collaboration creates a larger base of core faculty shared between both institutions.

To learn more about Horizon, see their about us page and their institutional effectiveness page.

Master’s and Horizon are entering a strategic partnership that some businesses refer to as a “joint venture” (think Pixar and Disney before they merged). In our strategic partnership, Master’s and Horizon will create a sustainable operation through shared senior leadership, finances, staffing, and curriculum, while each retaining our distinct names, identities, and degree-granting authority.

No, MCS will continue to operate as Master’s College & Seminary, or MCS for short. For promotional purposes, we may at times cross-brand with Horizon using designations and branding such as “MCS-Horizon”:

Master’s and Horizon will continue to operate with their own individual governing boards. Through a model of shared governance, each board empowers a Joint Venture Council to act on its behalf. This Council oversees the strategic partnership and administration through its President/CEO who is responsible for administering both colleges.

Bill Morrow will continue serving as Transitional President until April 2024. In January 2024, Dr. Jeromey Martini will begin as president of both MCS and Horizon, serving alongside Dr. Morrow at MCS until June. Along with Dr. Andrew Gabriel in Saskatoon, they will coordinate and consolidate curriculum, resources, faculty, and staff cross-provincially, and set up church-based learning hubs. Martini has served at Horizon for over 15 years, including the last 10 years as President. A former pastor, he has a Ph.D. in New Testament studies from the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) and is ordained with the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada. He has also been on the Theological Study Commission of the PAOC since 2009.

Both Horizon and MCS will remain independently accredited with the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). We have stayed in contact with ABHE throughout the transition to ensure that we will operate in a way that will meet ABHE’s Standards of Accreditation.

No, MCS will continue to operate and grant degrees in Ontario.
A Church Hub can be designed to serve the needs of your church, regardless of where you are located. A Church Hub refers to a church where one or more students are seeking to integrate their studies with significant ministry engagement and learning in a local church context. Each Church Hub will have at least one ministry leader designated as supervisor-mentor for the student(s) serving at the hub.

We envision different types of Church Hubs:

  • Single-student and multi-student Church Hubs: A church that has one or more students who are ready to engage in ministry training at their church. Students will take classes remotely, although they may choose to travel one to four times a year to take a one-week module on campus.
  • Destination Church Hubs: Churches that can provide housing for multiple students to move to engage in ministry training at their church. The college will promote these hubs as locations where students might choose to complete their programs. While students will take most classes remotely, some classes may have in-person instruction at the Church Hub.

For more information see our Church Hubs for Ministry Training FAQ.

There are at least three main reasons for shifting to church hubs.

First, there is increased awareness that the best place to prepare for ministry is in a real-life ministry context. We can accomplish much through ministry practicums and internships, but nothing compares to embedded learning in a ministry context.

Second, church-based learning benefits both the local church and the student. For many local churches it is difficult to send away to school those volunteers in their congregation who are called to ministry. This is so because when volunteers leave to study, the church loses their volunteers with no assurance that the volunteers will return. Consequently, there is a growing trend of churches raising leaders from within their congregations and forsaking education altogether.

For students, church-based education reduces the overall cost of study and increases their practical learning experiences in the context of a local church. In addition, we expect that as more students engage in the day-to-day life of church ministry, more students will sense the call to full-time vocational ministry and fill the great need that we have for competent, Spirit-filled leaders in our churches, both now and in the future.

Third, there has been widespread declining interest in residence-based theological education. ABHE-accredited Canadian institutions have experienced over 55% decline in enrolment since 2016, and decline in enrolment has impacted MCS as well. There is simply less demand for residence-based theological education in Ontario than it costs to provide it.

We aim to establish several Destination Church Hubs—churches that are within commuting distance for many students, and some that can even provide housing for where students might relocate to engage in ministry training at that church.
Begin by reading through our Church Hubs for Ministry Training: FAQ, and give some thought to the “Additional Considerations” section of the web page. Please contact us if you want to learn more!
MCS and Horizon will operate with a common curriculum and a common set of programs, using Horizon’s program model as a base. Consolidating faculty and curriculum is one of the great advantages of bringing MCS and Horizon together.

This means expanding the programs we can offer. There is a lot of overlap in what MCS and Horizon teach and Master’s will continue to offer ministry training, including majors in pastoral leadership and youth ministry. Additionally, Master’s will expand to include programs similar to the programs Horizon currently offers. More details will be available on our website soon.

MCS will ensure that all courses that current students have taken will count towards their programs going forward. At the same time, we do anticipate making some changes to students’ programs. For example, students entering their second year in fall 2024 will begin engaging in the competency-based model of education and internships for students in four-year degree programs will expand from one semester to two semesters. In the latter part of the winter 2024 semester, the Registrar’s Office will communicate with each student to clarify what their program will look like going forward.

MCS will be offering distance education in a manner that is more integrated with on-campus courses. Course will be more video-centred, with live-streamed and video-on-demand options available. Additionally, this means a significant reduction in tuition costs.

Yes—in a good way! MCS is reducing the overall cost of tuition and fees for the coming 2024-2025 academic year. Additionally, the opportunity to study at a church-based learning hub means that many students will not have to add the additional burden of having to pay for room and board, radically reducing the overall cost of their education.

Students will still register with MCS and can continue to access student loans according to government eligibility requirements.

Master’s will continue to offer ministry training, including majors in pastoral leadership and youth ministry. In addition, Master’s will be expanding its program options to include programs similar to the programs Horizon currently offers. More details will be available on our website in the coming months. The first-year of our degree programs are all the same, so once students are accepted to study at Master’s, they will have plenty of time to determine which focus they would like to have in their program for their second year and beyond. Students who choose to study with Master’s for only one year may receive a Certificate in Christian Leadership.
To pass a course, students demonstrate competency in what they are learning. Therefore, when students complete their course work, if they haven’t learned something well, they won’t simply receive a low grade and move on. Instead, they will have the opportunity to keep learning until they are able to demonstrate competency in what they are being assessed in. The result is that a student won’t pass a course with minimal skill or understanding of a topic (e.g., a grade of D), but will instead have demonstrated competency in what they are learning. Learn more about CBE here.
MCS+Plus programs let you combine studies at MCS with certificates or diplomas from a community college or business school, meaning you graduate BOTH with a degree from MCS AND a certificate or diploma from the community college or other institution. This prepares you for serving in the church AND the world. Examples of programs include:

  • BTh Media Ministry
  • BTh Mental Health & Addictions Ministry
  • BRE Christian Studies and BioTechnology
  • BRE Christian Studies and Health Services
  • BRE Christian Studies and Applied Technology
  • BRE Christian and Business Studies
  • BRE Christian Studies and Office Administration
  • OTHER PROGRAMS OPTIONS AVAILABLE – show us the program you’re interested in!
George Brown College, Humber College, Seneca College (Toronto), Georgian College (Barrie), Algonquin College (Ottawa), Sault College (Sault Ste. Marie), Fleming College (Peterborough), Mohawk College (Hamilton), Durham College (Oshawa), Nova Scotia Community College – and more.

Because MCS is the institution receiving transfers from other colleges, we are happy to consider Certificate and Diploma transfers from numerous community colleges and programs, so just ask! Meanwhile, we are working to establish relationships with various institutions and build programs to help serve you well. Examples of programs include:

  • BTh Media Ministry
  • BTh Mental Health & Addictions Ministry
  • BRE Christian Studies and BioTechnology
  • BRE Christian Studies and Health Services
  • BRE Christian Studies and Applied Technology
  • BRE Christian and Business Studies
  • BRE Christian Studies and Office Administration
  • OTHER PROGRAMS OPTIONS AVAILABLE – show us the program you’re interested in!
YES! For Plus Programs we require a completed Certificate or Diploma that is one or two-years in length. Talk with us about the program you took and where it’s from. We’ll need your transcripts and will help advise you on next steps.
You can be a big help in this historic moment of Kingdom collaboration! Specifically, you can support us in three ways:

  • Speak life and pray – in this time of transition and change, you can help by being a positive influence in speaking well of this Kingdom work and praying for its success.
  • Send students and host a hub – do you know someone with a call to ministry or who could benefit from the spiritual and Christian worldview formation MCS provides? Send them our way! And consider turning your church into a hub for your own and other congregants to study with us!
  • Support us financially – as with all enterprises, we can’t do this without financial resources. At this exciting time, your financial support goes a long way to ensuring our success in preparing leaders for the Kingdom. Thank you for your generosity!

MCS and Horizon share nearly identical undergraduate programs and students are welcome to apply to whichever school they wish, but applications typically follow a different pattern depending on where you live and whether you’re in a church with the PAOC (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada) or a different church denomination.

PAOC students living in Ontario and east of Ontario typically apply to MCS and PAOC students in Saskatchewan Manitoba typically apply to Horizon.

Students with the Alliance, Church of God (Cleveland),Mennonite Brethren, Redeemed Christian Church of God, and other church denominations are mostly served through Horizon.

More Questions?

Please reach out to us using the form below and we will do our best to answer any questions you may have regarding this new partnership.