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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 the Bible, 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. 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 under 10%). For more than eight 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 and the TST took steps to connect to the new Canadian Yeshiva and Rabbinical School. Both initiatives provide a new and important interfaith 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 Objectives and Strategies

1. Enhance educational excellence PDF of Rubrics 1 

Explore a conjoint PhD degree with TST and the University

Develop a new academic centre with a focus on global, contextual, and intercultural theological education

Maintain strong support for research and scholarship through the Academic Initiatives Fund, research leaves, encourage external grant applications, and monitoring faculty load

2. Create connections to Emmanuel's urban context, the global church, and the diversity they represent PDF of Rubrics 2

Broaden ways that courses and continuing education can attend to both urban connections and racial-ethnic/intercultural studies, and work to bring diversity to both faculty and adjunct positions

Extend the Muslim Studies program (i.e., MPS/MTS tracks in Muslim Studies) and other interfaith initiatives

Improve global connections by establishing institutional partnerships, funding student and faculty global experiences, and creating scholarship for international students

3. Recruit and educate leaders, in association with the United Church of Canada, attuned to the changing context and mission of church in Canada PDF of Rubrics 3

Develop an educational sabbatical leave program for ministers (in the United Church of Canada and its ecumenical partners)

Partner with the United Church, alumni/ae, and urban agencies and programs to create educational opportunities that emphasize leadership in diverse and urban settings

Seize opportunities within the United Church to foster greater appreciation for the contemporary role of theological education

4. Strengthen financial sustainability PDF of Rubrics 4

Work to create a new Alumni/ae Advancement Officer's position for Emmanuel College

Design a capital campaign to develop new resources in areas compatible with this strategic plan

Increase both enrollment and contributions to the annual fund

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

Restructure internal administration at Emmanuel College, including faculty committee structure

Attend to ties with the Board of Regents and evaluate the role of the Victoria University Senate, the Emmanuel College Council, and the United Church of Canada in Emmanuel's governance

Develop an annual planning process



Emmanuel College is the largest theological school associated with the United Church of Canada. Since its founding, Emmanuel has been integrally connected to both Victoria University and the University of Toronto.


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.