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Principal's Report

St. Andrew’s College principal Lorne Calvert outlines the activities and successes of the year past in his annual report to United Church of Canada conferences.

Greetings from your College in Saskatoon.

Having now entered our second century of service to The United Church of Canada, the community of St. Andrew’s College remains deeply committed to the mission of providing justice-driven education for Christian leadership in the context of the Canadian west.

At the heart of St. Andrew’s College is the intersection between learner and teacher, seeker and guide, student and Church. We are happy to report that the number of those choosing to journey with us at St. Andrew’s, in preparation for ministry and in professional development and continuing education, is a growing number. This year’s first-year class on the pathway to ordination is the largest class to enter at St. Andrew’s in well over a decade.

An example of the growth in our student body is in the integration seminar, a requirement for all of our M.Div. students preparing for ordination during their on-campus year. The class matches second-year students with volunteer service placements in community-based organizations, with follow up theological and personal reflection with faculty and student colleagues.  During the current year three of our students are participating in integration seminar. Next year’s integration seminar will involve a minimum of nine with the potential to grow to 12 students.

 In addition to the new students on the ordination pathway we have welcomed five new students into the professional development program through our new D.Min. in rural ministry and community development.

Our new students have been joined by students from Hanshin University in Seoul (four in the past two years) under our partnership agreement with Hanshin University. Together they join students engaged in their second year of studies and those currently serving on their residencies in ministry.

The students choosing to journey at St. Andrew’s are being drawn from across Western Canada, are generally younger than in recent years, and are diverse in background and experience, but they united in their commitment to the Church and in their desire to serve Church and community.

As St. Andrew’s College continues to pilot the unique residency model with its deep integration of the practice of ministry and the academic study, it is deeply gratifying to see the response in a growing student body. As our student body continues to grow, so too will be the need to discover new residency opportunities and learning sites. The College understands this as a real challenge going forward.

Supporting our students, providing for our teaching faculty and educational resources, and maintaining our College home also remains an ongoing challenge. St. Andrew’s deeply appreciates the support of the Mission and Service Fund, through our national Church, which continues to provide for about 10 per cent of our annual expenses. We are aware that this same level of support may not be sustained and that the current 90 per cent of our revenues the College is required to raise annually may grow.

Stained Glass from Meewasin UnitedToday we are happy to report a balanced budget largely due to some significant gifts from the congregations of Bethel United Church in Saskatoon, Sask., and Grandview United Church in Moose Jaw, Sask., who have generously provided for the operational budget of the College from the proceeds of the sale of their church buildings. While the College continues to lease space to the University of Saskatchewan as a revenue source, and appreciates an ongoing grant from the Province of Saskatchewan, the lifeblood of the College remains in the annual gifts from individuals, families, alumni/ae members, congregations, UCWs and presbyteries.

The generosity of our donors in this past year has supported our programs, enabled the College to become accessible to all with the installation of an elevator, and provided a new level of support to our students with a full year of paid tuition.

It has been a remarkable year in the life of the College.  We celebrated our 100th anniversary and the beginning of our second century with a great summer reunion and events throughout 2012.  We held a special convocation that awarded the degree of Master of Theological Studies to number of St. Andrew’s graduates from the 1940s, ’50s and early ’60s whose studies had not been recognized with a degree. We began a new sharing of space with the congregation of Meewasin Valley United Church and received from the congregation gifts of a grand piano, a large audio-visual system, and the complete collection of the church’s stained glass windows. We were able to renew our chapel with gifts from Grandview United.

We are also working through shifts and changes in our relationships with our ecumenical partners on campus to maintain our ecumenical experience and the unique capacity to prepare students for shared ministry. This spring we are making ready to be active participants in the discussions regarding the future of theological education in The United Church of Canada that will take place later this year.

But most remarkable of all is the faith and commitment we find in our growing student body.  They study without attachment to former times, know our contemporary Church and our world very well, and are cognizant of the many challenges we face, yet they bring a new generation’s optimism and hope to their study and to their willingness and desire to serve.

In a Palm Sunday meditation in the St. Andrew’s Chapel one of our students observed for us:

     “I believe we are exactly where God wants us to be.

      Now indeed is the opportunity to shake off our cloaks of invisibility, to set our faces resolutely toward Jerusalem, toward the telos  (the end and reason) for our call.   To commit to a life of joy and sorrow in service to God and God’s people in a ‘bare ruined’ choir, in service to the coming Golgatha, and the stone that will be rolled away.”

                                                                                                        — Kathleen James-Cavan

To the mission of a justice-driven education for Christian leadership, St. Andrew’s College remains committed.

Lorne Calvert
Principal 

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As an Affirming Ministry within the United Church of Canada, we are welcoming and inclusive of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.

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