Professor of United Church Formation and Studies
Accountable to: President of VST
Position Status: Full faculty member
Works closely with: Dean, Faculty, particularly the other Directors of Denominational Formation, the Director of Theological Field Education
Relates to: All Programs and Staff
Application Deadline: April 1, 2022
The successful candidate for this position will be a member of the team of staff and faculty committed to theological education for ministry at Vancouver School of Theology. This is a full-time position. The initial appointment will be made for a three-year term. The appointment can be renewed for a further term or terms in accordance with the provisions of the VST Faculty Handbook. Compensation will be related to the experience and qualifications of the candidate. The terms of employment are those set out in the VST Faculty Handbook.
Thorough familiarity with the identity, polity, ethos and history of the United Church of Canada is essential. A record of effective ordained ministry, including demonstrated ability at congregational leadership, revitalization and growth in the United Church of Canada and experience and demonstrated skill in United Church formation will be crucial. Expertise indicated by a publishing record and a doctorate in a theological discipline such as theology, history or ethics is desired.
The appointment is subject to the approval of the President, in consultation with Faculty Association, and the Board of VST.
The successful candidate for this position will become part of a team of staff and faculty committed to theological education for ministry at Vancouver School of Theology, where our calling is to educate and form thoughtful, engaged and generous Christian leaders in collaboration with Indigenous churches and communities and other faith traditions. As well as responsibility for formation of United Church students, the responsibilities of this position include coordinating United Church studies, worship and community life, teaching in the area of the candidate’s expertise and providing liaison with and reporting to the appropriate United Church judiciaries.
As Director of United Church Formation and Studies, the person will:
1. Report to the United Church of Canada – accreditation and fitness for ministry of UCC Students
- attend Faculty Student Review Council (FSRC) twice a year
- prepare annual reports on UCC students for appropriate church bodies
- review reports with students
- keep UCC student records
2. Support and direct UCC student formation
- Meet with students to support their relationship with Office of Vocation (UCC) and preparation for ministry, offering vocational counsel and direction as needed
- Give guidance/counsel as needed along the Candidacy Pathway (UCC Outcomes)
- Inform students of important polity or policy changes within the church
- attend and support weekly UCC student-led worship during the terms
- provide and/or arrange leadership for UCC student retreats
3. Provide Assessments
- Assess academic credentials for the UCC Testamur – for UCC candidates and Admission Ministers, upon request
- Liaise with UCC Office of Vocation regarding assessments
- coordinate with the Dean and Registrar for the delivery of denominational courses* based on student enrollment, rotation of course offerings in the curriculum, and available sessional instructors
- liaise/host/support sessional instructors
* current UCC Denominational Studies courses
- UCC Doctrine and Faith
- UCC Polity
- UCC History and Ethos
- UCC Worship
- UCC Intercultural Education
- teach two and a half courses per academic year in the area of their experience and expertise
5. Denominational Ethos
Recognizing that the President is mandated to provide official representation from the school to the denomination, the DDF will:
- consult with the President on matters pertaining to the life of the United Church of Canada,
- carry the mission and priorities of the school as the DDF engages the church and its communities of faith
- embody the ethos, policies and practices of the UCC in the school
- liaise with other UCC faculty and staff as appropriate
- serve national and regional United Church governing bodies as appropriate
- relate to other UCC schools as appropriate
- work with librarians to maintain inventory of UCC resources in VST library
- maintain records on UCC students as required
- administrative duties as required
7. Liaise with other VST Directors of Denominational Formation on common issues
A Successful candidate will:
- Have a doctorate in an area of United Church studies (theology, liturgy, history), a proven track record of publication and be committed to shaping his or her discipline through publishing as well as other academic and ecclesial contributions;
- Possess skills and gifts of pastoral care appropriate to the position. In addition to experience in pastoral care, professional qualifications (CPE, Spiritual Direction, counselling in the areas of grief and conflict resolution) are desired;
- Be an ordained person of the United Church of Canada, or of Church in full communion with the UCC;
Have familiarity with and commitment to the mission and purpose of Vancouver School of Theology, the model of theological education of the School and the mandates and policies that guide and inform programs;
- Show ability to take responsibility for coordinating and teaching in the denominational studies and faith formation aspects of the School’s curriculum;
- Have knowledge of and commitment to, the ‘Calls to the Church’ from the Caretakers of the Indigenous United Church, the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and work cooperatively with the Director of Indigenous Studies Program;
- Be able to work creatively and effectively with colleagues and our constituencies; and
- Work in an inter-religious and interdenominational context and experience doing so.
A complete application includes a cover letter, CV, and the submission of three letters of reference, which the candidate solicits and are send directly to VST. At least one reference should speak to the applicant’s teaching and academic background and another to the applicant’s ecclesial experience. In accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, this advertisement is directed primarily to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Candidates should be ordained in the United Church of Canada, or in a Church in full communion with the UCC.
Applications may be e-mailed to email@example.com or sent via postal mail to Attention: President’s Office, 6015 Walter Gage Road, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z1. The application should be post-marked no later than April 1, 2022. Informal inquiries about the position may be made with The Rev. Dr. Richard Topping via email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 604-822-9808. The start date for this position is July 1, 2022.
VST’s core mandate is to educate and form thoughtful, engaged and generous Christian leaders for the church in the 21st century. Among theological schools, VST is viewed as a change agent and an innovator for the church. As an affiliated college of the University of British Columbia, VST is now ranked in the top 50 schools globally and in the top 10 of most improved theological schools. In 2020 VST was identified by In Trust Magazine as instituting bold transformative change for the renewal of theological education. VST is accredited by the Government of British Columbia, and in North America by ATS (Association of Theological Schools).
The Vancouver School of Theology welcomes students from many Christian communions, other faith traditions and Indigenous communities, while celebrating its core relationships with the Anglican Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada, and United Church of Canada. The Indigenous Studies Program at VST is central to the school’s identity and commitments. The Vancouver School of Theology celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year as a leader in theological education.
Vancouver School of Theology is committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons/persons of colour, women, Indigenous/Aboriginal people of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons and others who may contribute to further diversification in the pursuit of the school’s vision and mission.
The Vancouver School of Theology acknowledges that the land on which they are located is the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xwməθkwəyəm (Musqueam) People.