FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vancouver School of Theology
VANCOUVER SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY ANNOUNCES MAJOR GIFT FOR CHAIR ENDOWMENT
It is with humble gratitude that the Vancouver School of Theology’s announces that a major gift of three million dollars has been confirmed. The donation was revealed at VST’s Chancellor’s Dinner on Wednesday, March 13th, at the University Golf Club. This gift will be used to endow The Reverend John Ralph Butler and Elisabeth Letitia Baker Butler Chair of Homiletics and Biblical Interpretation.
In September 2012, Acting Dean and Principal Rev. Dr. Stephen Farris received a phone call from Reverend Laura Butler, a retired United Church minister, with the news that she and her brother, Reverend Ralph Butler and his wife Mrs. Wanda Butler, wished to endow a Chair in Homiletics at VST in memory of their late parents, Reverend John Butler and his wife Elisabeth Butler. Both Rev. John and Mrs. Elisabeth Butler were keen supporters of theological education, and the donation of their remaining fortune to VST to a Chair in Homiletics seemed a most fitting way to honour their life and legacy.
The Butler gift is the first endowed Chair at Vancouver School of Theology. The establishment of a Chair focusing on the discipline of homiletics at VST firmly places the school within the leading ranks of North American theological institutions offering advanced studies in the art of preaching. This three million dollar endowment by the Butler family represents the most significant gift in support of homiletics (teaching the practice of preaching) in North America.
Dr. Farris and representatives of VST’s Board of Directors have been working with the Butler family on the terms of the endowment for the past several months, and the first installment of the funds has been received, with the remainder to follow over the course of the next year. Once the entirety of the donation has been received by VST, the school will then start the process in determining who will be named to the Chair.