Deer Park United Church Gives $1.5 Million to Emmanuel College

Congregation’s Gift Supports Sacred Music Program and Doctoral Students 

Through the generosity of a local congregation, Emmanuel College has received $1.5 million in support of theological study. This gift by Toronto’s Deer Park United Church will have a tremendous impact on the College, with $1 million providing for the creation of the Deer Park Professorship in Church Music and $500,000 to establish the Deer Park Scholarship in support of doctoral-level theological research. Members of the Deer Park United Church congregation.

“For decades now, Deer Park United has enjoyed an excellent repertoire of beautiful liturgical music under the leadership of an Emmanuel College graduate, William Wright. The decision to make a gift that would be used to help develop future leaders of music in the church was a natural one for us to make,” says Margaret Piller, chair of the board of trustees, Deer Park United Church (seen here, centre, with fellow members of the Deer Park United Church congregation). “What was also important to us, though, was to foster a love of learning and theological education. The scholarship we’ve established takes that extra step to attract doctoral students of the highest caliber to a future of teaching in the church.”

Deer Park United Church’s gift of $1.5 million will significantly expand Emmanuel’s capacity for fostering an academic community in which the learning and scholarship of every member may flourish. The endowment of the Deer Park Scholarship will create an annual award of $20,000, a welcome sign of encouragement to the next generation of theological thinkers and leaders.

“This gift from Deer Park United Church provides crucial support in two key areas of Emmanuel's work. First, through the gift of the professorship, the congregation secures an enduring and first-rate faculty presence for the Master of Sacred Music program. Second, through this endowment for doctoral scholarships, Deer Park provides financial support for tomorrow's leaders when they need it most,” says Emmanuel College principal Mark Toulouse. “This is indeed a lasting legacy that will serve both church and academy for generations to come.”

Deer Park United Church began in 1881 as Deer Park Presbyterian Mission. In 1925, the congregation voted to join the newly formed United Church of Canada. From 1913 to 2008, the congregation of Deer Park United Church worshipped at 129 St. Clair Avenue West in Toronto, until the maintenance costs of the church’s building necessitated a relocation. The $1.5 million gift from Deer Park United Church is made possible through the recent sale of property at the congregation’s former location.

Globe and Mail story on Deer Park Congregation Gift

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