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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.


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.


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, is also a living testament that acknowledges that efforts are underway to address our limitations. We must continually seek new ways to listen to voices that have not previously been heard in the life of Emmanuel College.

Read the full Emmanuel College DEAR Declaration 

The Process of How “DEAR” Came Into Being

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 a 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 of 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.

Major 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 and ecological sustainability
  • Monitor the effectiveness of governance and the planning process in relation to the mission

One-Year and Five-Year Goals

  • See the attached rubrics listing major action items for each of the strategic directions

Emmanuel College Strategic Plan Rubrics

Approved by EC Council, May 2, 2023

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

Started working on ATS report on the Student Service.

Successfully respond to Student Services matter to ATS (Feb 2024)

Successfully respond to the other internal and ATS recommendations




Cultivate the research and teaching capacities of faculty and students

Two searches to renew the faculty complement at a rank appropriate to curricular needs

A new Buddhist Spiritual Care LTA position in place

Improved book accessibility through the library support

Upgraded the chapel as dual- delivery room and completed the Elevator modernization

Jane and Geoffrey Martin Chair in place

Engage faculty Trauma- informed Pedagogy and support graduate students in their teaching and research through Wabash Large Grant

Full faculty complement to staff and recruit for our BD and graduate programs

Ample support for research and collaborative research

Provide resources to help international students in enhancing academic writing


The Office of the Principal

Faculty Executive

Faculty search committees

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

Approval of a Hybrid MDiv
To renew MOA with faculty of music for sustainable MSMus

The first institutional collaboration with Knox through the secondment of the faculty appointment for spiritual care and practical theology position


Implement the Hybrid MDiv

Explore other programs working with TST (e. g., MTS Hybrid, inter- religious, and TSA)

Establish anniversary committees in partnership with CRIC

Increased enrollments in all BD and graduate programs

expand successful certificate programs

Host various anniversary events (towards 2025 and 2028) involving Muslim, Buddhist, and UCC communities

Principal Faculty


BD Committee Directors

Director of CRIC and Events and Media Coordinator

Anniversary 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

Faculty dinner conversation on teaching in light of antiracism, decoloniality and interculturalism

Colloquia on DEAR declaration and Decolonizing Education

CRIC Event on Indigenous- Muslim Peace Education

Continue to do the College wide DEAR discussion

Increase Indigenous presence (through the garden project, see #4 below) and Establish relationships with other Indigenous theological schools

Build up Black membership and Asian descent members in partnership with CANAAT and Asian Center at Knox

Continue to implement curricular and co-curricular developments to educate our diverse ethnoracial and cultural student body (Indigenous, Racialized, Euro Canadians, & International)

Complete the Indigenous Healing Garden project by centennial years (2025, 2028)



Program Directors


Indigenous Advisory Committee

Garden Project and Its Advisory Committee

and ECAA

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

Spiritual and Community Life Program Coordinator with the sessional instructor offering leadership on regular interfaith events

Arrangement in place for EC students to do several courses in Buddhism at the DSR in lieu of one or more of their faith-based courses in Buddhism


Share and collect critical Incidents due to religious diversity in the classrooms through engaging trauma informed pedagogy

Continue to cultivate inter- religious encounters through food sharing and other cultural learning opportunities

Robust growth in Buddhist and Muslim students through BD and graduate programs

Implementation of Interprofessional Health, Arts and Humanities Certificate for MPS students in collaboration with Knox


Vice Principal

Program Directors


Advisory Committee

Spiritual and

Community Life Program Manager

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

Hosted international speakers

Launched a new initiative
“Feeding Students Campaign” connecting with UCC and other communities of faith

Supported international students by connecting with local congregations

Principal’s official visit to various schools in Korea and Asia

Various Alumni gatherings for recruitment and scholarships


Continue to attract strong international students (BD and GD)

Making efforts to establish scholarships for minoritized students


Principal’s Office



Admissions Counselor and Recruitment Coordinator

Advancement Office

Rubric 3

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

Where Are We 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

Re-kindled “Faculty on
the Road” reached out to United Church and other communities in the GTA

Represented EM at CASC conferences in collaboration with Knox College

EM Website adding various languages for the sake of communication and recruitment strategy

Pilot “Mentoring” program between current students and the recent grads through AAA

Update alumni database and feature Alumni in EC Connects for promotion and recruitment working with Vic U Communications

Increase enrollments by working cooperatively with UCC offices, Buddhist, and Muslim Advisory Committees


Ample support of religious leadership and spiritual care in the Canadian context

Working with AAA, Vic Event team, & UCC Foundations host EM centennial year events (2027-2028)

Establish effective recruitment management plans through regular updates of alumni/ae

Principal’s Office

Advisory Committee

Admissions Counselor and Recruitment Coordinator

Vic Communications

Program Directors


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

UCC studies faculty in place

Renewed UCC-Vic MOA

Strategize to recruit UCC members on the Vic U Board

Plan UCC centennial events in collaboration with various UCC members

EC faculty contributing to the Strategic priority for UCC and Canadian faith communities working together to think through emergent theological issues

Faculty ECAA

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

Saw a steady support in the Annual Fund in comparison to pre-pandemic years

Diversify ECAA membership

Working effectively with the advancement team with respect to growing Emmanuel’s Annual Fund and joining Vic Capital Campaign, in working with U of T “Defy Gravity” Campaign

Well-coordinated fundraising activities as centennial events that maximize the expertise of the advancement team to solicit gifts from alums and fuller participation of all 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

Realized a significant gift in the Master of Sacred Music Program

Received from Victoria U (Bloor Lands) a commitment of
$50,000/year for 10 years for Ph.D. student funding

Making a progress in priority areas, including the Muslim and Buddhist MPS endowed professorships, as well as scholarships for international, and other minoritized students


Priority faculty 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

Promoted the webinar on “Creating Your Will: Answering Key Questions to Help You Get Started.”

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

Create an Indigenous Healing garden

Foster Environmental sustainability into our regular academic planning and operation

Received grants from the UCC foundation and the Office of Indigenous Initiatives

Secured the architect firm to draw the plan for the garden

Established the Garden project committee and Advisory Committee

Apply various grants and successfully secure a few

Get the permit to start Construction
Do an Ecological audit Send ECSS member to join
Vic U sustainability committee

Complete the Ramp to the garden

Complete the Indigenous healing garden (by 2028)

Establish an endowed funding to maintain the land and hire a staff an indigenous keeper

Vic President’s Office

Principal’s Office

Bursar’s Office (infra
structure and sustainability)

Advancement team

Garden Project Committee

Indigenous Advisory Committee


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

Reviewed faculty teaching and service load (in relation to graduate supervision load)

Director of CRIC in place as a pilot project (to review in 2025-2026)

Reviewed and Renewed Spiritual & Community Life Coordinator position

Monitor VP roles

Monitor Principal’s roles

Monitor the effectiveness of the staff in the Principal’s Office

Successfully respond to and Implement ATS self-study recommendations re: the sustainability of the
Principal’s role

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

Succession plan for Registrar

Faculty Executive

Principal’s Office


GD and Program Directors

Foster effective relationships with other units within Victoria University

EC staff liaisons in place with Office of the Dean of Students and Communications

Involved in the search committee (EM Principal and Office Manager) for the new Bursar

Secured Presidential Priority Fund for the EM garden project in light of the strategic framework of the Vic U

Implement MPS students CPE practicum, offering counselling through Vic Dean of Students office and the support of SCLPM that serve both EC and VC students and create greater synergy with Victoria U. offices

Exploring other possibilities for collaboration (e. g., our faculty teaching at VC and contributing to VC academic events)

Smooth and collaborative event planning among Vic and EM staff (e.g., convocation/ installation)

Positive students and alumni experience and collaboration

Mutually supportive relationships between University offices and EC administrators, faculty, staff, and student society


Vice Principal

Advisory Committee

EM staff

Spiritual and Community Life Prog Coordinator (SCLPC)



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

Principal serving TST Board Executive

Faculty playing crucial roles in governance, academic planning, and sharing research at TST


Supporting the redevelopment of professional doctorate programs at TST and Hybrid MTS, MTS in TSA.

Supporting the plan of offering graduate cohort courses

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


Principal’s Office

Vice Principal

Graduate Director


TST Director

TST Board, SEC, Academic Council