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Emmanuel College faces financial squeeze: 125th anniversary touches off appeal for future funding.

AT THE END of October, the College of Emmanuel and St. Chad, one of the Anglican Church of Canada's most venerable theological colleges, celebrated its first 125 years--and kicked off a fundraising campaign it hopes will enable it to contemplate another 125.

"We need to build resources if we are to have a future," said Principal Walter Deller.

The college, located in Saskatoon, is facing a financial crisis that has already resulted in the layoff of two staff members and the remaining employees put on 12 months' notice. A proposed layoff of a faculty member was rescinded by the college's executive council.

Mr. Deller said the school has been running annual deficits of $100,000 to $150,000 per year for the past ten years, drawing on a pool of capital that was the result of the sale of a building in the early 1980s. "Now our pool is beginning to run dry," Mr. Deller wrote in the spring edition of the college's newsletter.

The capital campaign seeks to add $3 million to the college's $2 million endowment, with an additional $1 million for scholarship trusts. In addition, the campaign looks to raise $4.5 million to fund three professorships--for a total goal of $8.5 million, he said.

It started on Oct. 31 with a celebration, cathedral service and banquet as Canadian Anglican bishops met in Saskatoon for their regular Fall meeting. At the banquet, Mr. Deller announced that the college had received a lead gift of $500,000 From an individual donor who wished to remain anonymous.

Mr. Deller said his school's situation isn't unique. "There is a crisis across the country in terms of the Funding of theological education," he said. Over the past decade, there has been some decline in enrolments, but numbers don't always trend downward. "When I came here (as principal) in 2001, there were six students. Now there are over 30," he noted.

However, in general, he said, "there are fewer candidates for ordination, linked in part to the decline of the church." While young people are still attracted to the priesthood, a greater proportion are middle-aged and launching a second career. There is also "tremendous pressure" to get candidates out of theological college and into active ministry as fast as possible, said Mr. Deller. The latter two trends mean more students opt for distance education, but the college, stuck with an infrastructure that includes residences, doesn't see a decrease in costs.

Bishop John McLean, the first bishop in the area, when Saskatchewan was still part of the Northwest Territories, founded Emmanuel College in 1879 in Prince Albert, Sask. In 1883, it was incorporated under Federal statute as the University of Saskatchewan. In 1907, the province of Saskatchewan (which had joined the Canadian federation in 1905) established its own university and Emmanuel gave up its title as the University of Saskatchewan. In 1909, Emmanuel moved to Saskatoon. St. Chad's College was established in 1907 in Regina for the training of divinity students. In 1964, the two colleges amalgamated on the Saskatoon campus. In 1969, Emmanuel and St. Chad pooled its resources with the United Church's college, St. Andrew's, and the Lutheran school, Lutheran Theological Seminary, all located at the University of Saskatchewan, to Form the Graduate School of Theology offering the Master of Sacred Theology degree. In 1981, the colleges cross-listed their courses, offering them to students enrolled at any of the three schools.

Not only are demographics a problem for Emmanuel and St. Chad, but so is its source of funding. "The church has not invested as a whole in theological education," he said, noting that colleges receive no funding From General Synod, the church's national office. An annual grant From the 10 dioceses in the ecclesiastical province of Rupert's Land has not changed in 10 years at about $32,000, but the college's annual operating budget is now about $800,000 compared to about $400,000 10 years ago, said Mr. Deller.

However, donations have risen over the years, representing about 34 per cent of the budget, From 31 per cent 10 years ago. "There's been a development office in place since 1998 and it's made a world of difference," said Mr. Deller.
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Title Annotation:Focus on Education
Author:De Santis, Solange
Publication:Anglican Journal
Date:Nov 1, 2004
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