For most of the years since its founding 1849, St John’s College has prepared people for ordained ministry and lay leadership in the Anglican Church of Canada. In the early 1970’s, after a short period in which training was not offered through the College, theological education was re-established with new emphases and new programmes designed to meet the wide range of needs within the church. This programming continued in various forms until 2011 when the Faculty of Theology was suspended. In 2016, the Synod of Rupert’s Land received a report from the Theological Education Commission that outlined a proposal for advancing a culture of theological education in the Diocese and St John’s College was identified as a key partner in this work. Since that time, 6 credit hours per year of theological education has been delivered through a partnership between Canadian Mennonite University and St John’s College, often delivered through the Ecclesial University Project at St Margaret’s Anglican Parish. While these offerings have been well received as a contribution to the ongoing education and formation of disciples in the Diocese, there continues to be a need to offer a more focused program of training for those working in church ministries.
To this end, the Diocese recently hired a “Diocesan Discipleship Developer” to work on creating a framework for discipleship training and formation in the Diocese. The Diocese recognizes that St John’s College will not be a full seminary at any point in the foreseeable future. However, reimagining St John’s as a “Theology Hub” for the Diocese appears to be a right-sized solution to the ongoing training and formation needs of the Diocese
The St John’s “Theology Hub” consists of three planks:
- Increased offerings of academic courses in theology through St John's College, the Ecclesial University Project, and our partnership with CMU.
- Partnership with the Western Education Collaborative Anglican Network in the delivery of a licentiate.
- Workshops, study groups, public lectures, and other forms of public scholarship in theology.