At VST, we are called to form thoughtful, engaged, and generous disciples of Jesus Christ for service to the church and the world.
Theological education combines the love of scholarship, courage to engage with the issues of our time, and readiness to collaborate with our local and global neighbours for the good of God’s world. Together with First Nations communities and other faith traditions, we engage issues of truth, justice, and spiritual growth. To go deep in Christian faith is to go wide with our neighbours for the sake of the world that God so loves. At VST, we cultivate a community where hospitality, generosity, and imagination infuse our common life. The root of this generosity is our baptismal identity in Christ, who calls us to love our neighbours unconditionally without fear, to learn from our neighbours without anxiety, and to act with and for our neighbours with integrity.
Imagine with us, the impact in the church and the world that you can make possible through your support of the transforming ministry of theological education at VST. We invite you to join us in the task of planning and implementing our future.
Vancouver School of Theology was established in 1971 by joining the Anglican and United Church schools of theology. Together, and now with the Presbyterian Church, they have created a dynamic and leading-edge platform for theological education. The funds to operate the School come from generous donors, student fees, denominational support, and earnings from investments. Vancouver School of Theology has always been courageous in shaping leaders for the church who address the pressing questions of the times in which we live. Enticed by a vision of the world that God is bringing towards us, students grow discontent with current arrangements, envision better possible worlds, and learn to embody more humane and conscious ways of living. Theological education aims to stoke the imagination to engage the world now through holy scripture, faith, and tradition.
ISP Summer School Bursary
At Vancouver School of Theology, reconciliation with Indigenous sisters and brothers is carried on through the Indigenous Studies Program and Summer School. We are deeply committed to making a space where students from Indigenous cultures can learn in ways which integrate Indigenous and Christian spirituality. Each summer, students from North America and beyond gather to study, celebrate, and worship together. Students need, on average, two thousand dollars or more to attend; they require funds for travel, tuition, food, and housing for two weeks. Each year, the Vancouver School of Theology disburses thousands of dollars in bursaries; these funds must be raised on an annual basis through the generous support of people like you!
Funding for Learning and Teaching Technologies
VST is committed to providing its students with an optimal learning experience whether they are on-campus or participate in courses through distance delivery, across Canada or from anywhere in the world. Ensuring these technological can be accessed by everyone, from anywhere is a constant challenge. In addition, VST is also home to a growing collection of digital/electronic teaching resources, books and other subscriptions which further support each student’s learning experience. Please support VST’s teaching and learning technologies and help to ensure a learning environment that is the best it can be!
Directing Your Gift
How can I structure my gift to support VST?
Your gift to VST can be unrestricted–allowing us to direct it where support is most needed at the time of the gift–or designated to address your preferred area of interest. With instruction from you, the funds from your gift can either be spent outright on current projects and operations, invested and held for future use, or endowed in a permanent capital fund with the income earned available well into the future.
We invite you to contact us to discuss these or other areas through which you can achieve your charitable goals:
- Enhancing the Future of Theological Education
- Student Bursaries, Awards, and Scholarships
- Christian Leadership Formation
- Inter-Religious Studies
- Indigenous Studies
- Distinguished Visiting Scholars
- Principal’s Innovation Fund
Endowed Faculty Chairs/Programs
While VST’s operational budget provides basic faculty salaries, permanently endowed faculty chairs support the chair holder’s teaching and research efforts, which may include travel, assistance for graduate students, and other necessary costs. In 2012, VST’s first endowed chair was established – The Butler Chair in Homiletics and Biblical Interpretation – to ensure that quality preparation for preaching will always be available to our students. Endowed Programs will enable the School to attract exceptional sessional lecturers and outstanding leaders to become part of the teaching fabric of VST for shorter periods of time. Indigenous Studies, Inter-Religious Studies, and Christian Leadership Formation are among a full range of programs that will be significantly enhanced through endowment.
Endowed Scholarships and Bursaries
Scholarships and bursaries enable VST to attract the most promising candidates – students who love God, life and the world, are immersed in and interact with the world of Scripture, have a firm yet compassionate centre, an entrepreneurial spirit, are team builders, ready for new challenges, have courage, take risks, show imagination, integrity, passionate faith in Jesus Christ, openness to the Spirit, and are change agents with an ability to interpret this culture to the church and vice versa. Theological education is expensive; generous scholarships and bursaries can eliminate the financial burden our students face.
The Board of Governors of VST has established financial criteria for Named Endowments. Please contact our office for details.
Vancouver School of Theology is registered with Revenue Canada as a Charity with business number 10816 7743 RR0001. Charitable tax receipts are issued for all gifts received by way of cash, cheques, credit card, fund and securities transfers, and property. All gifts intended to support the operation of the institution should be directed to the School.
Vancouver School of Theology Foundation
Vancouver School of Theology Foundation (VSTF) was established in 2014 under CRA Business Number 81798 8637 RR0001, and is managed by an independent Board of Directors. VSTF is responsible for the management of VST’s capital assets for the long-term benefit of the School and its theological education. Funds are held in restricted and non-restricted accounts with a substantial portion of the assets protected by endowment, where only the income is available for ongoing operations of VST.
Plan Your Support
Your relationship with VST and making the School part of your gift planning will ensure that VST can always be engaged for the love of God and the world.
Planning your giving is about taking advantage of gift options available today and being deliberate in how you want your affairs handled beyond your lifetime. At death, the government deems you to have sold everything and assesses taxes payable. Today, you can arrange your affairs to direct funds otherwise payable as taxes to one or more charitable organizations that support causes that are meaningful to you. Having a specific plan in place will enable you to meet your own personal giving objectives, fulfill your obligations to those you love, and minimize taxes. There are a range of financial and legal ways you may want to consider using to facilitate your planning. We recommend you review your personal situation with professional legal and financial advisers to determine the most appropriate gifting options for you. The Development Office at VST can provide more detailed information.
Planning how your treasure will be distributed is one of the most essential conversations you will have, and your will may be the most important ‘letter’ you ever write. May you discover it as an impactful endeavour with considerable blessings through a legacy that endures.
Gifts of Cash
A cash donation is one of the most common charitable gifts for those who would like to make a donation from their available income. You will receive a charitable tax receipt to claim a tax credit in the year of the gift, and can carry any unused credit amount forward for up to five years. We will work with you to determine where and how your cash gift will be used at VST. You have no future obligation or commitment, and your gift will go to work immediately in support of the life and vitality of VST.
If you are planning a cash donation using the sale proceeds of shares of publicly traded securities (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, T-Bills, etc.), please note that there may be significant tax advantages in donating the securities themselves rather than cashing out to cover the gift you wish to make.
Gifts of Shares of Publicly Traded Securities
The transfer of stocks and share certificates directly from your investment portfolio to VST may be one of the most tax-efficient ways to support the School. When you cash out shares and securities, you must declare and pay taxes on any capital gains that have been achieved. When you donate most types of stocks or securities, you do not have to claim or pay tax on the gains, but you will receive a charitable tax receipt for the full present value of your gift.
The VST Development Office can provide the instruction forms required to affect a convenient transfer of shares and securities.
Gifts by Will
A cash gift may not be the best solution for those who have assets but limited income, yet desire to leave a lasting legacy or provide guidance as to how their gift will be used. If this is your situation, you may wish to consider a charitable bequest: a gift of cash or property made through your will. A charitable bequest allows you to know you will be supporting VST while providing for your own financial needs during your lifetime.
Adding a codicil to an existing will is a simple way to include a charitable bequest for VST. If your charitable giving by will is likely to generate more charitable tax credits than your estate requires to offset taxes, you may consider beginning to make donations during your lifetime. This method gives you many more options to direct whatever wealth you have created to VST or other charities that will give voice and reality to your dreams, vision, and sense of social responsibility.
Today, preparing a will is as much a legal document to instruct your executor on the distribution of your assets to beneficiaries as it is a tax preparation document on how taxes that become payable at your death should be handled.
The VST Development Office can provide you with suggested clauses and wording for designation of gifts to the School.
Be sure to consult your own professional advisors.
Charitable Gift Annuity or Charitable Insured Annuity
With a charitable gift annuity, a portion of your contribution is used to purchase an annuity for you, while the remainder goes directly to VST. With this option, you receive guaranteed, regular payments for the rest of your life that are largely tax-free, reducing your taxes and increasing your current after-tax income by using a donation receipt from VST for the value of your gift. VST is able to put your gift to work immediately in the area of your choosing.
With a charitable insured annuity, a portion of your annuity income is used to fund an insurance policy for which VST is named owner and beneficiary, providing for a significant future gift to VST. You receive guaranteed, regular payments for the rest of your life that are largely tax-free. The premiums paid on the insurance policy are tax creditable to you and will increase your after-tax income now and in the future, as long as the premiums are paid.
RRSP, RRIF and TFSA Funds
If you are considering gifting your retirement savings to VST, or seeking to offset taxes that will become payable, your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF) and/or Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) may be donated directly to VST as an Inter Vivos (during your lifetime) gift or through a beneficiary designation on the account. You may also bequeath your RRSP, RRIF or TFSA to VST through your will. In all cases, a charitable tax receipt will be issued for the full value of the account at the time of its transfer to VST. You should consult professional advisors on the current tax rules applicable to these funds prior to making any final decisions.
Gifts by USA Alumni and Family
Alumni and immediate members of their families who file USA income tax returns may donate directly to VST and claim their gift as part of their charitable giving per Article XXI, Section 5 of the Canada-US Income Tax Convention.
Honouring Our Supporters
We are very grateful to all those who support VST financially.
Your generosity enables VST to grow and prosper, recruit outstanding students and attract gifted and talented faculty.