Santa Ono – UBC

100 Years of Cooperation & Friendship

By Santa Ono

It’s hard to believe, but in just a few short years, we’ll be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the partnership between the Vancouver School of Theology and the University of British Columbia.

In 1927, the Anglican Theological College moved into the Chancellor Building on the UBC campus. That same year, Union Theological College became an affiliate college of UBC. The two colleges merged in 1971 to form the Vancouver School of Theology. Since then, the Vancouver School of Theology has been an integral part of the UBC community.

VST benefits UBC in many ways, small and large:

  • UBC students and faculty regularly frequent the VST’s library and study spaces, and also socialize at the VST’s Great Dane coffee shop.
  • VST works with the Sauder School Robson campus to educate church leaders for excellence in administrative and strategic leadership.
  • The Epiphany chapel is used for campus ministry at UBC and is used by family medicine for meetings from time to time.
  • VST Principal Richard Topping serves on the UBC Senate. In return, UBC Emeritus Professor Paul Harrison is a member of the VST faculty council.
  • VST faculty, such as Harry Maier, have taught religious studies courses at UBC.
  • VST recently brought Prof. John Barclay from Durham University for a jointly sponsored engagement around the theme of poverty in the new testament and what it teaches us about charity now.
  • VST shares UBC’s concern around student well-being and spiritual care – in fact we train spiritual care workers for the BC health system.
  • UBC students often come to consult VST faculty members about their research.
  • The VST Inter-religious Studies program runs conferences that discuss current themes and feature UBC professors among others.

I’m proud that the Vancouver School of Theology is located on the UBC Point Grey campus. Its Indigenous Studies and Inter-religious Studies programs are unique. Its students come from across Canada and around the world, inspired to finding consensus on the big questions of our time and to working for the good of the world that God loves.

VST’s presence on the UBC campus enriches the campus tremendously. Thank you for being part of the UBC community. I look forward to another 100 years of cooperation and friendship.

Santa Ono is the president and vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia. As a professor of medicine and biology, Ono has worked at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University College London, and Emory universities. Ono is also known for his vision beyond the laboratory. He was the first Asian-American president of the University of Cincinnati when he was appointed in 2012. Previously, he served as the University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Prior to his recruitment to the University of Cincinnati, Ono was Senior Vice Provost and Deputy to the Provost at Emory University.