What is MASI?
The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies (MASI) is an autonomous academic unit of the Faculty of Theology of the University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) in the University of Toronto (U of T). It specializes in Eastern Christian Studies, including the theology, spirituality, liturgy, history, and ecclesial polity of the Eastern Christian Churches, both Orthodox and Catholic. The Institute focuses on all four families of Eastern Churches: Eastern Orthodox, Pre-Chalcedonian, Assyrian and Eastern Catholic.
Founded in 1986 by Father Andriy Chirovsky at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, the Sheptytsky Institute moved to Ottawa’s Saint Paul University in 1990. In 2016, MASI signed an agreement with USMC paving the way for its move to Toronto. Since July 1, 2017, MASI has been an autonomous academic unit within USMC’s Faculty of Theology and part of the Toronto School of Theology, an ecumenical consortium of 7 colleges.
MASI’s current director since 2017 is Father Peter Galadza who was previously the acting director.
The Sheptytsky Insitute was named after Andrey Sheptytsky (1865-1944), who became the Metropolitan, the highest-ranking leader of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church in 1901, at the age of 36. He held this position until the end of his life. A man of deep prayer, a gifted teacher (who had the equivalent of three doctorates), preacher and philanthropist, Sheptytsky founded the Lviv Theological Academy in 1929 in Ukraine.
Students of MASI include university students studying at USMC and UofT as well as clergy, church leaders and lay individuals from North America, Ukraine and around the world. One of its most notable former students is Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Ukraine, who is MASI’s international patron.
MASI offers primarily graduate university degree programs in Eastern Christian Studies. Some undergraduate course offerings are being contemplated at this time. At the graduate level there are two professional (pastorally oriented) degrees: M.Div. and M.T.S., with an emphasis on Eastern Christianity, as well as two research-oriented degrees: the M.A. and the Ph.D. Four general areas of specialization are represented by MASI professors: Spirituality-Doctrine, Liturgical Studies, Historical Studies, Ecumenism and Eastern Christianity. Some courses are offered online as distance education.
The Sheptytsky Institute publishes a peer-reviewed journal, “Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies” as well as two series of scholarly books in theology: Studies and Documents.
An important component of the Sheptytsky Insitute is its Byzantine rite chapel where members of the university community can participate in the liturgical life of the Eastern Churches. All are welcome to attend the regularly scheduled worship.
Several income streams support MASI. USMC shares tuition income with MASI and gives the Institute infrastructure support (use of Windle House and chapel space in Elmsley Hall, administrative support, basic office equipment and building maintenance). Salaries are covered by donations from the MASI Foundation, which holds the Institute’s endowments. A registered charity in Canada and a 501(c)3 in the USA, the Foundation makes donations to help USMC with the Institute’s annual budget. MASI’s academic and support staff are employees of USMC. The Foundation also invested wisely years ago in the Ontario Student Opportunity Trust Fund; thus, there are some monies set aside for scholarships for Ontario residents wishing to study at MASI. The Institute also has a small revenue stream through some of its publications.
The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies
University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto
81 St. Mary Street
Toronto, ON, M5S 1J4 Canada