Institute for Christian Studies
ICS Toronto is an independent graduate school of inter-disciplinary philosophy. At ICS, Junior Members and Senior members take part in shared learning through participatory seminars, mentoring, and an inter-disciplinary approach to study. ICS is affiliated with the Free University in Amsterdam. VU has co-sponsored and co-supervised the awarding of ICS doctoral degrees. The Institute is also affiliated with the Toronto School of Theology of the University of Toronto, with whose courses ICS courses are cross-listed and students from the other institutions may, as may ICS Junior Members, matriculate across institutions - but with restrictions on how many credits for a degree a student may take from these approved external sources.
By 1972, ICS had moved to its current location on College Street, had added several faculty and had begun granting Master's-level certification in philosophy. In 1980, ICS began to develop a doctoral programme in co-operation with the Free University of Amsterdam.
In 1983 the ICS received Royal Assent to a Charter from the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The AAACS then ceased to exist and allowed the ICS to develop. In 1992, ICS was authorized to grant a Master of Worldview Studies degree, a one-year program in large part to accommodate non-philosophers teaching in Christian elementary and secondary schools; and in December 2004 ICS was given ministerial permission to grant PhD and MA in Philosophy degrees on its own standing before the Crown, without a necessary mediation through the Free University in Amsterdam. The strong bond between the two institutions, and inter-academic affiliation and cooperation, continues.
For many years ICS has enjoyed a close working relationship with the Free University (Vrije Universiteit) in Amsterdam, whereby responsibility for the program was shared between the two institutions. Until 2005, it was the Free University which actually granted the degree. As of 2005, ICS is authorized under the consent of the Minister of Colleges, Training and Universities to grant its own PhD. ICS anticipates continued collaboration of some kind with the Free University, such that qualified students may have the opportunity to seek a degree conjointly granted by both institutions.