At its May-June meeting, the college council of the College of Emmanuel & St. Chad in Saskatoon made the decision to suspend college operations effective June 30, 2013. Working with other college stakeholders, the council will develop a plan for restructuring Emmanuel & St. Chad, which since 1967 has been the official accredited theological college for the ecclesiastical province of Rupert’s Land.
According to Terry Wiebe, college principal, the college sold its historic buildings to the University of Saskatchewan in 2006. It has since been renting space in the Lutheran seminary and using its chapel.
“This decision, which was not easy, was made only after carefully considering the current financial condition of the college, the ongoing decline in student enrolment, and the current and projected costs of operating the college,” said the Rt. Rev. James Njegovan, bishop of Brandon and college council president, in a statement.
The council concluded that it is in the best interests of the college, its students and the broader constituencies the college serves to embark on a process of review and restructuring. “It is our hope that over the next three-year period, we…will find new and more effective ways of using the resources of the college to educate students in a variety of academic areas that meet the changing needs of the church with regard to theological education,” Njegovan said.
“As to how realistic it is to expect the college to reopen, I can only say that there is some hope among the current members of the college council that this will be possible after a thorough review of assets available, a new mandate for the college and a realistic assessment of the interest shown by the wider constituency for doing so, Bishop Njegovan told the Anglican Journal.
The college’s library collection will move to the United Church of Canada’s St. Andrew’s College, which along with Emmanuel & St. Chad’s and the Lutheran Theological Seminary, is one of three partners in the Saskatoon Theological Union at the University of Saskatchewan.
The decision to suspend operations will not affect the capacity of the college’s parent organization, University of Emmanuel College, to grant degrees to students satisfactorily completing program requirements. Only two or three students are expected to have to complete their degrees elsewhere.
Emmanuel College was founded at Prince Albert in 1879. The Dominion Parliament incorporated the college as the University of Saskatchewan in 1883, but when the provincial government established its own university in Saskatoon in 1909, Emmanuel College moved to Saskatoon and, while retaining its university status, relinquished its charter title to the new university, taking as its new name the University of Emmanuel College.
St. Chad’s College was established in Regina in 1907, where it continued its work until 1964, the year it amalgamated with Emmanuel College. Together they formed the College of Emmanuel & St. Chad, continuing as an affiliate college of the University of Saskatchewan.