VST announces Rev. Dr. Richard R. Topping as Principal-designate!


The Reverend Dr. Richard R. Topping

Vancouver School of Theology is pleased to announce that it has appointed The Reverend Dr. Richard Topping as its new Principal. Through a rigorous process that resulted in applications from across North America, Richard Topping was chosen as the leading candidate for the position through unanimous choice of the VST Board of Governors. Dr. Topping will take up his position as VST Principal on July 1, 2013, and will be inducted in the Fall of 2013 at a date to be announced.

Dr. Topping received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies from University of Waterloo, a Master of Arts in Theology and his Doctor of Philosophy from St. Michael’s University in the Toronto School of Theology. He took on a pastoral charge as Minister at Zion and Knox Presbyterian Churches in Muskoka, Ontario from 1993-1996 and at the Church of St. Andrew and St. Paul in Montreal, Quebec, where he was Assistant Minister from 1997-1999 and Senior Minister from 2000-2009. Dr. Topping also taught at Presbyterian College (2001-2009) in the Montreal School of Theology at McGill University in the areas of Preaching, Pastoral Theology, Introduction to Ministry and Church, Ministry and Sacraments. He has written or coauthored numerous documents for the Presbyterian Church in Canada and serves on the Church Doctrine Committee for the national Presybterian Church in Canada. He is the authour of Revelation, Scripture and Church and co-editor of Calvin @ 500.

Dr. Topping is currently on the faculty of VST’s partner institution, St. Andrew’s Hall, and will continue to teach in the areas of Reformation History and Theology, and Christianity and Culture. As part of the VST family for four years, he has demonstrated a dynamic leadership style, engages students exceedingly well and has earned the affection of respect of his colleagues on the faculty. He recently earned the 2012 ‘Just Desserts Award’ on the UBC campus for going above and beyond the requirements of duty in service to students. This is the first time a VST professor has received this student initiated and selected award.

Dr. Topping takes over the leadership position at VST from Acting Principal and Dean, the Reverend Dr. Stephen Farris.  In addition to his responsibilities as Dean of St. Andrew’s Hall,  Dr. Farris took on the VST Acting Principal position when the Reverend Dr. Wendy Fletcher left for sabbatical in January of  2012 and subsequently resigned her position as VST Principal in the Spring of 2012. Vancouver School of Theology expresses its gratitude to both Wendy Fletcher and Stephen Farris for guiding the institution with steady leadership and inspired vision over the past number of years, and looks forward with great anticipation to continuing to provide its students with excellence in theological education under the leadership of Dr. Richard Topping.

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