University description (as per official university website)
Wycliffe College is an Evangelical Anglican graduate school of theology, committed to preparing its students for the challenges of ministry in our society today.
We welcome those who are discerning theological studies to peruse our website, and if time and circumstance allows, visit us to get a deeper sense of who we are.
Why Study at Wycliffe?
Community - Wycliffe has a long tradition of recognizing and encouraging the essential formation that fellowship offers. We have a wide range of events and peer groups whose main purpose is to create a dynamic and trusting community.
Cost - At just under $500 per course, Wycliffe's tuition costs are less than half of most private Seminaries at the basic degree level. We also award bursary assistance based on financial need.
Scholarship - Wycliffe has had a long history of accomplished and dedicated professors who provide a learning environment that is at once enriching and challenging. A high proportion of our Advanced degree graduates go on to become professors themselves.
Toronto School of Theology - Founded in 1877, Wycliffe is a member of the TST, located within the heart of the University of Toronto. Wycliffe students are free to engage a wide range of courses from Canada's largest ecumenical consortium, and also have access to one of North America's largest theological library systems.
The character and purpose of Wycliffe College are described in our mission statement, revised in 1997:
Wycliffe College, an evangelical Anglican community of learning within the University of Toronto, serves the educational mission of the Church by challenging and encouraging those who seek a fuller understanding of Jesus Christ and his transforming power. Wycliffe assists in the theological formation of Christian men and women, trains those who are called to specific lay and ordained ministries, and fosters excellence in theological scholarship.
Wycliffe College was founded in 1877 by a local Anglican evangelical organization called the Church Association of the Diocese of Toronto. This group, primarily a lay movement centred at St. James' Cathedral, had been formed in 1873 after a clerical faction in the diocesan synod had campaigned to exclude evangelicals from important diocesan offices and committees. The Association championed the doctrinal points of the English Reformation, and, applying these principles to its immediate context, maintained the rights of the laity in Church governance, simplicity in worship, and ecumenical relations with other Protestant denominations, especially in postsecondary education. It held meetings, published tracts, established a weekly newspaper, involved itself in Church politics, and gave financial support to evangelical clergy and students. Its most lasting contribution was the Protestant Episcopal Divinity School, which first met in the schoolhouse of St. James' Cathedral. Nine adventurous students met under the leadership of the Reverend James Paterson Sheraton, a parish priest from the Canadian Maritimes who had just been appointed the College's principal and first professor.
The school grew rapidly and in 1881 moved into its own building on a site in the area of the University of Toronto. This year was the five hundredth anniversary of the traditional date of the first English Bible, which had been inspired by the teaching of the Oxford priest and professor John Wycliffe. It therefore seemed fitting to name the building 'Wycliffe College', and the name was soon extended to denote the school itself. In 1885 the College was affiliated to the University, and in 1889 it became one of the federated colleges. In 1891 the College moved to its present site on Hoskin Avenue, and was formally approved by the Church as an Anglican theological college.
Wycliffe was incorporated in 1879 for the purpose of 'providing for the training of theological students in accordance with the principles of the Reformation as embodied in the Articles of the Church of England.' The College is managed according to the Wycliffe College Act of the provincial legislature, 1916, amended in 1932, 1949, and 1952. The governing body of the College is the Board of Trustees, which elects its own members. The Wycliffe College Act gives the College degree-granting powers and gives the trustees of the College the authority to enact by-laws. The Principal is the chief executive officer and the chief academic officer of the College.
From our foundation in 1877, our teaching and the ethos of our community have reflected the beliefs and values of evangelical Anglicanism. The term 'evangelical' has many current meanings; in the Anglican sense, it refers to the theological wisdom, spirituality, love of Scripture, and commitment to learning characteristic of the Protestant Reformation. Hence our doctrinal orientation is best expressed in the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion of the Church of England, as we have summarized and interpreted them in a set of statements known as the Six Principles of the College. Trustees, faculty, and students alike subscribe to these Principles:
1. The sufficiency and supremacy of Holy Scripture as the rule of faith.
2. Justification by the free grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ.
3. One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, the company of all faithful people among whom the pure Word of God is preached and the Sacraments are duly administered.
4. The sufficiency and perfection of Christ's sacrifice once made upon the Cross and the priesthood in Christ of the whole Church, of which the ordained ministry is representative.
5. The historic episcopate, a primitive and effective instrument for maintaining the unity and continuity of the Church.*
6. The presence of Christ by his gift in the hearts of all who worthily and with faith receive the Holy Communion.
*Non-Anglicans should note that the fifth principle does not assert the exclusive validity of an episcopal polity.
Statement of Moral Vision
We share not only a common intellectual life, but a common moral life as well. We believe that the following virtues are requisite for the high calling of ministerial leadership in Christ's Church. The College's goal is excellence in preparing students for life long ministries of prayer, study and emotional health.
We Are Called To Generosity Of Spirit
We commend participation in programs of help for others, in the community or at the College, such as the College mission or service project.
We Are Called To Sobriety
We are called to avoid illegal drugs and alcohol abuse.
We Are Called To Fidelity And Self-Discipline
The Bishops of the Anglican Church, in Canada and globally, teach that for ordinands the appropriate context for sexual union is between husband and wife, and we deem this norm appropriate for all Christians.
We Are Called To Devotion
Such a life includes private prayer, meditation on Scripture, and public worship. Ordinands in particular are expected to take part in our worship life in the Chapel.
We Are Called To Respect Others
This entails honoring the College Code of Non-Academic Behavior, especially with respect to sexual harassment and abuse.
We Are Called To Be Honest
This entails honoring the TST's Code of Academic Behavior, especially with respect to plagiarism and cheating.
In addition to the Six Principles and Mission Statement, members of the Wycliffe community are expected to honour the College's character as defined by this vision of our common moral life, and to conduct their lives appropriately.