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Vision

To be a leading theological school where students become more deeply rooted in their own religious or spiritual traditions while engaging the beliefs and practices of people of other traditions.

Mission

Rooted in the ecumenical heritage of the United Church of Canada, shaped by its context in Victoria University and in relationship with Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and other religious communities, Emmanuel College equips leaders and scholars for rigorous theological inquiry and for inclusive practices of justice and care, contextual analysis, creative activity, and interfaith engagement.

Values

Emmanuel College values a collegial environment for

  • inclusive and respectful dialogue 
  • intellectual curiosity 
  • academic excellence 
  • public engagement
  • artistic, musical, and liturgical creativity
  • innovation in interfaith learning 
  • the search for justice and right relations

Dignity, Equity, Accountability, and Responsibility (DEAR)

We believe in the notions of difference and equity and strive to implement them in the many aspects of our institutional and community life. Emmanuel College has been blessed with the gifts and teachings of its Christian foundation. However, due to its colonial history, it has not always lived up to the principles of equity and respect. Inspired by Eurocentric expressions of Christianity, this legacy contributed to establishing systemic barriers that prevented minoritized / racialized communities from contributing to the church, as well as to the erasure and belittlement of Indigenous beliefs, forms of knowledge, and religious traditions.

As we collectively move forward, this declaration, which is intended to inform decision-making processes at Emmanuel College, also is a living testament that acknowledges that efforts are underway to address our limitations. We need continually to seek new ways to listen to voices that have not previously been heard in the life of Emmanuel College.

Strategic Plan

Emmanuel College seeks to provide a theological education critically informed by the heritage and tradition of faith. Through theological and ethical reflection, historical awareness, critical study of sacred texts, and attention to matters of both practical and contextual experience in congregations and other settings, the College provides important resources for the education of leadership for the church and other public settings and for the provision of spiritual care. Given its significant and longstanding relationship with the United Church, Emmanuel educates between one-quarter and one-third of the church’s ministers. The United Church funds a portion of Emmanuel's annual budget (currently around 7%). For more than nine decades, individuals and congregations in the United Church have provided scholarships, bursaries, and endowments supporting the work of the College.

In addition, since its founding, Emmanuel College has been a constituent school within Victoria University and has maintained close relationship with the University of Toronto. This university context has enhanced the quality of theological education at Emmanuel. Further, in 1944, Emmanuel associated with a few other theological colleges, and by 1970, this federation had emerged as the Toronto School of Theology (TST). This federation places all Emmanuel’s activities firmly in an ecumenical context. In 2010, Emmanuel launched its new Canadian Certificate of Muslim Studies program, which became the Muslim focus in the Master of Pastoral Studies program. In 2015, Emmanuel introduced the Diploma in Buddhist Mindfulness and Mental Health and then the Buddhist focus in the Master of Pastoral Studies program. Both initiatives provide a new and important multifaith dimension to theological education in Toronto.

These relationships, both the historical and the more contemporary, provide the backdrop for this strategic plan. The work they have enriched will continue. Alongside these historic commitments, the fulfillment of these strategic objectives will benefit church, university, social justice agencies, and other publics, and improve the quality of theological education offered at Emmanuel College.

Strategic Directions

  • Enhance academic excellence
  • Deepen connections to Emmanuel’s contexts and the pluralism they represent
  • Recruit and educate leaders, attuned to the changing context of spiritual and religious leadership in Canada
  • Strengthen financial sustainability
  • Monitor effectiveness of governance and the planning process in relation to the mission

See the rubrics below listing major action items for each of the strategic directions.

Emmanuel College Strategic Plan Rubrics

Approved by EC Council, May 4, 2021

Rubric 1

1.  Enhance academic excellence

Where We Are Now?

Where Do We Want To Be After One Year?

Where Do We Want To Be After Five Years?

Who Is Responsible?

Use the ATS self-study process to advance the mission of the college.

UTQAP complete. Final self-study narrative to be received by the Victoria University Board in June and submitted to ATS in July 2021.

10-year reaccreditation by the ATS.

Successfully responding to internal and ATS recommendations.

Principal

Faculty

ATS Steering Committee

 

Cultivate the research and teaching capacities of faculty and students.

Hiring delay due to the global pandemic. Hiring a 2-year secondment coverage in MPS. Assessing curricular needs for future searches.

Hiring a new Principal. Considering other searches, particularly a professor of NT and early Christianity, to renew the faculty complement at a rank appropriate to curricular needs.

 

Full faculty complement to staff and recruit for our BD and graduate programs. Ample supervisory support for doctoral students.

Ample support for faculty grant writing and research.

Principal

Faculty Executive

Faculty search committees

 

Monitor existing and evolving program developments and institutional capacities, including implications of the changing religious landscape.

Developing proficiencies in online teaching for remote/hybrid courses.

Clarified pathways to advanced study for students in professional degrees. 

Using Lilly Pathways for Tomorrow grant in partnership with the UCC to support wellbeing of religious leaders.

Implementing a plan for online/blended education in the MDiv and other programs.

Centre programming to support Lilly grant priorities.

Showcasing faculty and graduate student research through conferences, book launches, and Centre events.

Seeing robust enrollments in all BD and graduate programs; successful certificate programs; cooperation with the DSR and other units to facilitate options in various traditions.

Principal

Faculty

BD and GD Directors

Program Directors

BD Committee

Events and Media Coordinator

Centre Committee

 

 

Rubric 2

2.  Deepen connections to Emmanuel’s contexts and the pluralism they represent

Where We Are Now?

Where Do We Want To Be After the First Year?

Where Do We Want To Be After Five Years?

Who Is Responsible?

Broaden ways that courses, continuing education, and community life can incorporate Indigenous education as well as decolonial, postcolonial, intercultural theories

A variety of courses meet the new Coloniality and Power designated elective; Indigenous guest speakers and panels; response to TRC call to action #60 embedded in curriculum, with two new approved courses; winter colloquium on TRC 5 years later

Connecting with NAIITS and new Indigenous studies courses and events at UofT; strategizing to increase Indigenous presence at Emmanuel; development of scholarship resources and supports; articulate as a community what “decolonizing” may look like for our teaching, learning, and community life

Continuing development of relationships to recruit and support Indigenous students; implementation of curricular and co-curricular developments to educate both Indigenous and settler students

Principal

BD Committee

Faculty

Centre/AI Committee

TST Director

Admissions Counselor and Recruitment Coordinator

Foster the interreligious and intercultural learning of Emmanuel students and explore the interreligious dimensions of theological education (including pedagogy, practices, and student life).

Piloted first-year multireligious cohort course with the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI); Spiritual and Community Life Program Manager offering regular interfaith and tradition-specific events

Planning to assess intercultural learning; finding a process to cross-register with other U of T departments (e.g., languages); robust participation in spiritual and community life events

Recognized for cultivating a creative approach to theological education that values academic excellence and prepares students (and those who teach them) to thrive in a pluralistic world; Ph.D. program that supports interreligious scholarship

Principal

BD Committee

Faculty

Advisory Committee

Spiritual and Community Life Program Director

Foster the local, national, and international connections that contribute to our mission, including scholarships for international students.

International students participating remotely during the global pandemic; new funding allocated for intl students; hosting intl speakers; developing initiative with the UCC that draws on strengths in MDiv and MPS

Return to international conferences and research funded by AI and Vic Grants; developing international recruitment and scholarships

Funded travel and study experiences for students as well as faculty; clarity about the relationship between globalization and local imperatives of TRC

Principal’s Office

Faculty

Advancement Office

 

 

Rubric 3

3.  Recruit and educate leaders, attuned to the changing mission and context of spiritual and religious leadership in Canada

Where We Are Now?

Where Do We Want To Be After the First Year?

Where Do We Want To Be After Five Years?

Who Is Responsible?

Cooperate with the United Church and Buddhist and Muslim communities in recruiting students and develop a communications strategy that effectively promotes Emmanuel to various constituencies.

Launched an integrated admissions portal system; new e-newsletter presences; consulting with Muslim Advisory Committee on an MTS or MDiv stream.

Developing a recruitment management system for all constituencies; new recruitment videos; increase UCC recruitment by 50% through online MDiv options.

Supporting religious leadership and spiritual care in the Canadian context; benefiting from an effective recruitment management plan; working cooperatively with local, regional, and national United Church offices

Principal’s Office

Advisory Committee

Admissions Counselor and Recruitment Coordinator

Vic Communications

MDiv Director

 

Partner with the United Church, alumni/ae, interfaith agencies, and other partners through continuing education to create educational opportunities that support leadership in diverse settings.

Healthy participation in diverse online continuing education events; MDiv Ministry Integration Seminar redesigned for UCC leadership needs; new Lilly grant to assess and plan with UCC

Moving from assessment and planning to implementation of Lilly Pathways for Tomorrow grant; Centre programming that meets needs of various religious constituencies.

Distinctive United Church ethos for living into a multi-religious curriculum; excellent reputation for Centre programming and partnerships

Principal’s Office

Events and Media Coordinator

Centre/AI Committee

Advisory Committee

Alumni and Advancement

Alumni Association

Contribute theologically to the United Church of Canada and other communities of faith

 

Contributing to regional and national committees and events; providing resources through teaching and research

Renewed faculty complement engaging in a variety of United Church and other programs and endeavors

EC faculty and Canadian faith communities working together to think through emergent theological issues

 

Faculty

Advisory Committee

 

Rubric 4

4.  Strengthen financial sustainability

Where We Are Now?

Where Do We Want To Be After the First Year?

Where Do We Want To Be After Five Years?

Who Is Responsible?

Work with Alumni Affairs & Advancement to enhance connections with our constituencies, particularly to increase giving to the Annual Fund among our alumni/ae.

Realizing a matching gift from the Brushey-Martin family for the annual fund related to COVID-19 emergency student funding.

 

Working effectively with the    advancement team with respect to growing Emmanuel’s Annual Fund.

Well-coordinated fundraising activities that maximize the expertise of the advancement team to solicit gifts from alums and other supporters of programs at Emmanuel College.

Vic President’s Office Principal’s Office

Advancement team

 

Fundraising to develop new Major Gift resources in areas compatible with this strategic plan

 

Working toward realizing major gifts relating to graduate scholarships and endowed professorships. New MacNaughton doctoral scholarship.

 

 

Making significant progress in priority areas, including the Muslim and Buddhist MPS professorships, as well as scholarships for Indigenous and international students.

 

Priority positions endowed, bringing general relief to the operating budget.

 

Vic President’s Office

Principal’s Office Advancement team

Develop an enhanced strategy for Legacy giving

Continue to execute LG mailing with brochure. Spring 2021 gift planning workshop to promote legacy giving to the Emmanuel community

Working to secure legacy gifts. Regularly scheduled workshops on planned giving and a media campaign to support this work. Proactive rather than reactive focus.

A strong and growing roster of legacy gifts to provide endowment support in coming years.

Vic President’s Office

Principal’s Office        

Advancement team

 

Rubric 5

5.  Monitor effectiveness of governance and the planning process in relation to the mission.

 

 

Where We Are Now?

Where Do We Want To Be After the First Year?

Where Do We Want To Be After Five Years?

Who Is Responsible?

Continue to monitor and improve the internal administration of Emmanuel College for the purpose of accomplishing the mission of the institution

 

Following effective planning and assessment cycles.

Clarified graduate supervision and teaching loads in relation to TST.

Clarified staff reporting and support relationships.

Reviewing graduate funding and RF protocols; clarifying academic HR policies and policies between EC and Vic/TST/UofT

Efficient, equitable, and effective functioning of the administrative work of the College.

Faculty Executive

Principal’s Office

BD, GD, and Program Directors

Foster effective relationships with other units within Victoria University

 

Searching for a new Principal; EC staff liaisons in place with Office of the Dean of Students and Communications

Implementing ATS self-study recommendations re: the sustainability of the Principal’s role, liaising with Vic offices, and faculty administrative roles

Positive student and alumni experience; mutually supportive relationships between University offices and EC administrators, faculty, and staff

Principal Search Committee

Faculty

Advisory Committee

Events and Media Coordinator

Spiritual and Community Life Program Manager

Support equitable and ecumenical cross-school cooperation through the Toronto School of Theology

Successfully navigated UTQAP review; faculty playing a collaborative role in governance, academic planning, and sharing research at TST.

Supporting the redevelopment of professional graduate programs at TST

A strong culture of ecumenism at the TST with robust participation from faculty of all schools in its programs and governance

Principal’s Office

Faculty

TST Director

TST Governance Structures