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Carmen Lansdowne Joins Emmanuel Faculty

Aug. 09, 2023

Carmen Lansdowne.

Emmanuel College, part of Victoria University in the University of Toronto, is pleased to announce the appointment of the Right Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne to the new tenure-track position of Assistant Professor of United Church Studies, effective Dec. 1, 2025. She will direct the College’s Master of Divinity (MDiv) program and teach courses related to the United Church of Canada (UCCan).

Presently serving as the 44th Moderator of the United Church, Dr. Lansdowne is the Church’s first female Indigenous Moderator. Before she was elected as the Moderator in 2022, she served as executive director at First United Church Community Ministry Society in Vancouver, a position she had held since 2017.

Lansdowne completed her PhD in the Department for Interdisciplinary Studies in the Graduate Theological Union, University of Berkeley, California in 2016. She is the recipient of various prestigious scholarships, including The Fund for Theological Education and the Government of Canada Endowment Fund. She has taught courses on intercultural theology, Indigenous liberation theologies, and global religious traditions at the Vancouver School of Theology, the University of Winnipeg, and the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre.

“Rev. Dr. Carmen Lansdowne’s extensive research and teaching in Indigenous studies, intercultural theology, leadership and religious studies will contribute much to Emmanuel’s mission to equip leaders for rigorous theological inquiry and inclusive practices of justice and care, contextual analysis, creative activity and interfaith engagement,” says Principal HyeRan Kim-Cragg. “Her teaching and scholarship draw from Indigenous practices and knowledge in ways that promise to transform the theologies and practices of the Church.”

Not only does Lansdowne bring a breadth and depth of experience serving in ministry within the UCCan and the Indigenous church—she also brings deep ties with the World Council of Churches (WCC), World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) and environmental justice movements within the global ecumenical circles. The search committee enthusiastically recommended Lansdowne’s appointment, citing her down-to-earth, hope-generating and creative ways of engaging people on the issues that matter.

“Emmanuel College is blessed to receive Carmen’s gifts,” says Kim-Cragg. “Her cutting-edge scholarship, her deep commitment to Indigenous issues, and her passion for teaching United Church ministry will enhance Emmanuel’s reputation for theological and academic excellence. Her appointment, the first of its kind in Emmanuel’s history, contributes to its flourishing and marks an important milestone as we approach the United Church’s centennial year in 2025 and Emmanuel’s own centennial anniversary in 2028. We look forward to welcoming Carmen to Emmanuel College once she has completed her service as the Moderator of the United Church!”

About Emmanuel College

Emmanuel College was established in 1928, a few years after the formation of the United Church of Canada in 1925. Its intention was to continue the tradition of theological education established earlier by Canadian Methodists and Presbyterians who founded Victoria University. 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 is the largest theological school associated with the United Church of Canada, one of seven federated theological colleges within the Toronto School of Theology, which is part of the University of Toronto, and a fully accredited member of the Association of Theological Schools.

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