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Board shares next steps in guiding college's future

The Board of Regents has approved the Academic Redesign Team with two primary areas of focus.

I would like to share with you a progress update of events at St. Andrew’s College. It is no exaggeration to say these past few months have been unprecedented in the over 100-year life of the college. We have all had to summon our courage, faith, love and loyalty to the college as we move forward. We have been strengthened and uplifted by your prayers, by the shared dedication so many have for this institution and by a persistent sense of hope and optimism that there is light ahead.
 
As we have shared, the Board decision of February 25, 2021, was a mixture of intense struggle, deliberation and pain, with a realization that change was essential for the survival of our college. Now we must work collaboratively to create renewal and resurrection for our beloved school and community.
 
Through long hours of discussion and discernment, we have established a path to ensure that St. Andrew’s College continues to thrive and offer quality theological education for many years to come. This path includes a deepening of our partnerships, specifically by integrating our current academic degree programs with our partners in the Saskatoon Theological Union (STU). With the relocation of our partners into our SAC facility, we continue to deepen our relationship and are sharing many resources. Integrating our curriculum is an exciting and natural next step. We already share two of our degree programs today, the Doctor of Ministry and Master of Theology. All three schools are excited about the growth opportunities and enhanced learning a completely shared curriculum and faculty will provide to our students and our communities.
 
To support this change initiative, the Board of Regents has approved the creation of a new team, the Academic Redesign Team (ART), that will operate through the college’s Academic Committee. We are in the process of determining the team’s membership which will consist of educators, ministers, and theologians from our campus, our committees and our community. The intention is for this team to have two primary areas of focus:
  • The most urgent area of focus will be to ensure an effective integration of a shared curriculum for all of our current degree programs, along with sharing the faculty with our STU partners. We intend to continue our current degree programs and to provide a smooth transition for any student who may be impacted though the transition.
  • Additionally, this team will establish a plan and process to enhance our Continuing Education offerings. These new CE offerings will allow us to connect and provide ongoing learning for our denominational friends, and also make new connections with other life-long learners who want to enhance their faith and their vocations through educational opportunities offered by St. Andrew’s College. This is something many from our community have been requesting.
 Over the next year, working with our STU partners, we anticipate having our academic integration plan well defined, with Academic Committee bringing the plan to the St. Andrew’s Board. We are excited about the learning opportunities and new connections this integration with our partners and the expansion of continuing education offerings will provide to our students and our community.
 
The College recently applied for The Lilly Foundation Pathways to Tomorrow Grant. We are pleased to advise you that the Association of Theological Schools has notified us that a grant of approximately $50,000 (US dollars) has been approved. The funds are designated specifically to provide resources to support this work.
 
Despite the financial challenges the college faces resulting from the loss of our lease revenues, due to the excellent financial management of our Chief Administrative Officer and our Board, the college’s reserves are expected to sustain our operations for the next two years. This will provide us with the time to identify and contract with new tenants. Significant time, resources and efforts are being made to identify and acquire new tenants. We are currently engaged in rezoning discussions to increase the pool of potential tenants as there are restrictions with respect to the types of organization with which we can lease. Still, we remain hopeful we will find new tenants in the not-too-distant future. Should you be aware of organizations seeking rental space, please feel free to put them in touch with Leslee Harden, our Chief Administrative Officer.
 
We continue to be grateful for the support we have received from within our campus, our alumni, our community, The United Church of Canada, and our many partners and friends.
Now more than ever, we need your prayers, your support and any other help you can offer to sustain our school during what we hope will be a short-term financial challenge. We thank you for being there for us and look forward to sharing more about our progress over the next months.
 
We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions. Please feel free to contact either Principal Richard Manley-Tannis or me.
 
May you feel the spirit of resurrection and hope in your lives and may you be richly blessed.
 
In the name of the Risen Christ,
 
Doug Neufeld
Chairperson
St. Andrew’s College Board of Regents
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