July 15, 2013
Vancouver: Vancouver School of Theology (VST) and The United Church of Canada are pleased to announce that Vancouver School of Theology will become the recipient of increased financial support from The United Church of Canada. The income from an existing United Church fund to support ecumenical theological education, held in trust with the Vancouver Foundation, will be re-designated to VST to strengthen the United Church’s participation in the support of United Church teaching faculty at VST. The income generated from the fund will be made available to VST for an initial period of two years. This will ensure that VST is able to maintain and fortify its existing commitment to provide an excellent standard of education to United Church of Canada students at VST.
VST incoming Principal, Rev. Dr. Richard Topping made the following statement on behalf of VST; “This generous commitment will allow us to expand United Church faculty time devoted to Public and Pastoral Leadership and United Church Formation. We’re grateful for this strategic investment in theological education.”
In addition, The United Church of Canada recently assisted VST in obtaining the services of a governance coach for the Board of Governors. Following nine months of consultative services, the coach affirmed that “no change (is) required in VST’s model of governance.” Dr. Heather Clarke, Chair of the Board of Governors agrees that VST’s board adheres to good policy governance practices including shared governance. “We can be proud of the accomplishments of the past nine months in which we searched for and found just the right principal to assume responsibilities July 1, 2013, removed the state of financial exigency, held strategic consultation sessions both internally and externally to help guide the school in fulfilling its mission, and added four gifted and committed members to our Board.
Speaking on behalf of The United Church of Canada, Steve Willey, Program Coordinator for Education and Leadership Development stated, “In making these funds available, The United Church of Canada is re-affirming its historic partnership with VST in educating and preparing men and women for leadership in the church and the world. We hope that the increased United Church presence at VST will encourage its members to make their own financial commitment to this priority by contributing to efforts such as the campaign to establish and endow the United Church Chair in Pastoral & Public Leadership.”
Vancouver School of Theology expresses its gratitude to The United Church of Canada for its renewed commitment and support, and looks forward to a continued partnership with the United Church in the years ahead.