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Vision, Mission & Values

Vision

VST is called to educate and form thoughtful, engaged and generous Christian leaders for the church and the world in the 21st century. Our graduates are thoughtful people, reflective about how to interact with the large issues of our time out of the deep resources of faith. We don’t rush to thin relevance, but linger with scripture, tradition, scholarship and conversation with Indigenous neighbours and people of other faith traditions. Our students are engaged, willing to get involved in the world, not just wait for the next one. Our theological ethos is designed to nurture practitioners who are making a difference for God and the gospel. We are convinced that the Risen Christ is always already involved in the world (we’re missional); we discern that movement and go with the flow of grace wherever we find it – and it is surprising where it is found. Our graduates are generous people, able to find friends with whom to collaborate for the love of God and the good of the world. We go deep with God in Christ and so wide with the world God loves.

In 2018 the Vancouver School of Theology received a QS international ranking as one of the ten most improved theological schools and was ranked 39th. 2021 will be the 50th anniversary of the Vancouver School of Theology. Plans for that special year are underway, including initiatives that will carry VST into the next 50 years of service.

Mission

An education at VST invites:

  • Faithful discernment of the demands of Christian service.
  • Rigorous engagement with Christian tradition and contemporary learning.
  • Hospitable and respectful collaboration with Indigenous spiritualities and other cultures and faith traditions for the good of all creation.

Values

As a community of faith, we commit to:

  • Theological education (theological, biblical, pastoral, ethical, historical, Indigenous and inter-religious studies) and formation for the flourishing of God’s people.
  • Inspiring lives of discerning Christian discipleship in and outside this community.
  • Respect for the dignity of every person.
  • Learning and scholarship undertaken with diligence and openness.
  • Encouraging prophetic speech and just action for the love and welfare of creation.

Goals

  • Increase our commitment to educating and forming ministry-bound students for transformative leadership, while continuing to support existing research-oriented programmes.
  • Inspire excellence in teaching and learning for God’s people and share that learning in multiple venues.
  • Cultivate our relationships with denominations that currently support us and continue ecumenical expansion, locally and internationally.
  • Increase our capacity to use information technologies for teaching, and research and programmatic outreach with diverse external publics.
  • Build the VST reputation and nurture a greater community of relationships, e.g., with Indigenous peoples, other religious traditions, UBC, and neighbourhood theological colleges.
  • Strengthen our recruitment of ‘first-choice’ applicants from Canada, the Pacific Northwest, drawing students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Create long-term financial strength, stability, and confidence in the school with responsible stewardship.
  • Enhance full-time faculty through deliberate recruitment and retention to complement our current faculty.
  • Sustain and develop a staff, faculty, and board who enthusiastically support the vision and mission of the school.

Our Theological Foundations

    • God calls a people from and for the world to be a blessing for all creation.
    • The God revealed in the history of Israel and in Jesus Christ calls us to think together with tradition for the sake of the present and the future.
    • We meet God’s image in our neighbour and in all creation.