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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.

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 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, 2022

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.


Received 10-year reaccreditation by the ATS.

Vice-Principal appointed.


Implemented new governance model.

Addressed student services matter raised in ATS visiting team report and working on required report on this matter.


Successfully responded to other internal and ATS recommendations.








Cultivate the research and teaching capacities of faculty and students.


New Principal in place.

2 year CLTA in New Testament and Early Christianity hired.

Faculty discussion in Fall 2022 concerning shape of EC faculty going forward in light of recent retirements


Completed at least one, and possibly two, faculty searches to renew the faculty complement at a rank appropriate to curricular needs.

Completed search for successor to Pamela Couture as Jane and Geoffrey Martin Chair of Church and Community


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

Ample supervisory support for doctoral students.

Providing resources to help international students in enhancing academic writing.

Ample support for faculty grant writing and research.



Faculty Executive

Faculty search committees


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


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

Appointed a faculty member as Director of the CRIC.

Clarified pathways to advanced study for students in professional degrees.


Expanding the programming of the CRIC; strengthening links with the United Church for continuing education offerings.

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

Increasing our visibility within the Muslim and Buddhist communities and reaching out to them

Increased cooperation with the DSR and other units to facilitate options for courses in various traditions.


Seeing robust enrollments in all BD and graduate programs; successful certificate programs.

Making the CRIC a “go-to” place in Canada for continuing education.


Principal Faculty

Vice-Principal and GD Director 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.

Working with the United Church to enhance course offerings and attention to indigenous histories and cultures at all the United Church-related theological schools.

Continuing to articulate as a community what “decolonizing” may look like for our teaching, learning, and community life.


Strengthened relationship with the Sandy Saulteaux Spiritual Centre once their new Keeper of the Circle is in place.

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.


Continuing development of relationships to recruit and support Indigenous students; implementation of curricular and co-curricular developments to educate our diverse ethnoracial and cultural student body (Indigenous, People of Colour, Euro Canadians, and International).

Developing and deepening partnerships with other programs.

Reflection at Emmanuel College about how the College will be changed by these partnerships.




Program Directors Faculty

Centre/AI Committee TST Director Admissions Counselor and Recruitment Coordinator

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).


Continue the multireligious cohort course with the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).

Spiritual and Community Life Program Manager offering regular interfaith and

tradition-specific events.

Arrangements 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 the area of Buddhism



Planning to assess intercultural learning and teaching.


Continue to expand inter-disciplinary approaches, especially in the Ph.D. program

Expand cross-registration possibilities 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 and multicultural world; Ph.D. program that supports interreligious scholarship


Vice Principal

Program Directors 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.


Hosting international speakers (e.g., Rethinking Preaching Conference).

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 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.

Working with Muslim Advisory Committee on an MTS in Islamic Theology.

Re-connecting with United Church communities of faith in the GTA

Developing a recruitment management system for all constituencies.

New recruitment videos.

Increase UCC recruitment by 50% through online MDiv options.

Expand effort beyond the GTA to re-connect with UCC communities of faith



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.


Director of the Centre and Events and Media Coordinator gradually increasing 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 local, 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 endeavours


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



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 slight increase in the Annual Fund in comparison to pre-2020-2021 fiscal years (Annual Fund campaign in 2020-21 fiscal year for COVID relief for students raised a much larger sum than any previous year)

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

Have Executive Director, Alumni Affairs and Advancement, attend a faculty meeting to talk about the Annual Fund and fund-raising.


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


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

Working toward realizing major gifts relating to graduate scholarships and endowed professorships.


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


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.

Reviewed graduate funding and RF protocols, resulting in increased transparency around Graduate Funding and RFs.

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


GD and Program Directors


Foster effective relationships with other units within Victoria University


New Principal in place.

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.

Determining other possibilities for greater synergy with Victoria U. offices


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



Advisory Committee Events and Media Coordinator

Spiritual and Community Life Prog. Mgr.


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


Faculty playing a collaborative role in governance, academic planning, and sharing research at TST.



Supporting the redevelopment of professional graduate programs at TST.

Hybrid M.Div. approved.


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