Wycliffe College, Toronto

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Wycliffe College, Toronto
Motto Verbum Domini manet
Motto in English
"The word of the Lord endureth"
Established 1877
Type Federated theological college
Affiliation Anglican
Principal Steve Mason (Interim-Principal)
Location Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Campus Urban
Affiliations TST, ATS, U of T, Anglican Church of Canada
Website wycliffecollege.ca

Wycliffe College (/ˈwɪklɪf/) is a graduate theological school federated with the University of Toronto.[1] It is affiliated with the Anglican Church of Canada and is evangelical and Low church in orientation.[2] On the other hand, the University of Toronto's other Anglican college, the University of Trinity College is Anglo-Catholic in outlook. While being an Anglican seminary, Wycliffe College attracts students from many Christian denominations. As a founding member of the Toronto School of Theology, students are free to participate in the wide range of courses from Canada's largest ecumenical consortium. It trains those pursuing ordination as well as those preparing for academic careers of scholarship and teaching.


In response to the Liberal-Catholic perspective of Trinity College, which is the Toronto diocesan seminary, the Church Association of the Diocese of Toronto, a lay Evangelical group at the Cathedral Church of St. James founded the independent Protestant Episcopal Divinity School in 1877 to provide an alternative source for evangelical, low-church theological training. Like its Oxford counterpart "Wycliffe Hall", the name Wycliffe College was inspired by John Wycliffe, a 14th century English scholastic philosopher, theologian, Biblical translator, reformer, seminary professor at Oxford. The name was given first to the college's building and then to the college itself.[3] To ensure its long-term viability, Wycliffe College began considering various forms of union with the University of Toronto towards the end of the 19th century. Wycliffe College became affiliated with the University of Toronto in 1885 and federated in 1889.

Wycliffe college had a close association with the Anglican Church of the Epiphany in Parkdale. The church's founding rector, Rev. Bernard Bryan, had been one of the nine men who constituted the first class at Wycliffe in 1877. This connection continued when in 1959 the Church of the Epiphany's rector, the Rev. Leslie Hunt, was appointed Principal of Wycliffe College.[4]

George Martel Miller (architect) designed Convocation Hall, 1902.[5] Henry Bauld Gordon (architect) designed the Dining Hall and Dormitory Wing, 1907; Principal's Residence and new Chapel, 1911.[6]

William Faulkner billeted at Wycliffe College while a student at the School of Aeronautics in 1918.[7][8]

Northern facade of the main building

In 1969 the Toronto School of Theology (TST) was created as an independent federation of 7 schools of theology, including the divinity faculties of Wycliffe college. Within its own federation, the University of Toronto granted all but theology or divinity degrees. Since 1978, by virtue of a change made in its charter, the University of Toronto has granted theology degrees conjointly with Wycliffe College and other TST's member institutions.

An Act respecting Wycliffe College, being chapter 112 of the Statutes of Ontario, 1916, was repealed and the Wycliffe College Act, 2002 was substituted.[9] Wycliffe College's Arms were registered with the Canadian Heraldic Authority on March 15, 2007.[10]

The Wycliffe College Chapel sancturary features several stained glass windows including: `Our Lord``, `St. Paul`, `St. John` and `Timothy` by Robert McCausland Limited.


File:Wycliffecollege toronto1.jpg
East wing of Wycliffe College, seen from the edge of Queen's Park

Wycliffe College is situated in the centre of the University of Toronto campus, on the corner of Hoskin Avenue and Queen’s Park. Next door is Hart House (University of Toronto), which houses athletic facilities, a Theatre, an art gallery, reading rooms, sitting rooms, offices, a library, music rooms, student meeting and study space. Along with classrooms and a chapel, Wycliffe houses 75 graduate residents, many of who are studying other disciplines at the University of Toronto and its affiliates.

Students have access, moreover, to the services of the University of Toronto, including the athletic facilities, library systems, and student union clubs.


Portrait of John Wycliffe on a stained glass window in the Wycliffe College chapel

The college was accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada in 1978. In the fall semester of 2014 it had 269 students. It awards the following degrees conjointly with the University of Toronto:

In addition, students may study for the MA in Theology, which is awarded by the University of St. Michael's College.

As a founding member of the Toronto School of Theology, students are able to participate in the wide range of courses from Canada's largest ecumenical consortium.

A Certificate in Anglican Studies is available for candidates for the Anglican priesthood and vocational diaconate who hold an MDiv from a non-Anglican seminary.

Refresh is the college's annual continuing education conference. Past speakers have included Alister McGrath, Lauren Winner, N. T. Wright, William P. Young, Graham Alan Cray, and Graham Kendrick.


File:Readingroom wycliffe toronto.jpg
A reading room of the college

In addition to Wycliffe's collection of theological texts, students have access the libraries of every member school of the Toronto School of Theology, including Knox's Caven Library, St. Michael's Kelly Library, Trinity and Wycliffe's John W. Graham Library, and the libraries of Emmanuel College, Regis College, and St. Augustine's Seminary. Students, moreover, have access to the library system of the University of Toronto, including Robarts Library, Canada's largest library and the fourth largest academic library system in North America.[11][12]

Institute of Evangelism

The Wycliffe College Institute of Evangelism provides resources, including teachers and practitioners of evangelism, print and A/V materials, and conferences and seminars in order to help nurture and grow evangelizing communities. The mission of the Institute of Evangelism is to "encourage and equip the church for the work of evangelism, empowering it to engage in this ministry confidently, joyfully and expectantly."

Noted Alumni

Commemorative plaque at the college's northern entrance


  1. http://www.tst.edu/webfm_send/684
  2. http://www.anglican.ca/about/educational/
  3. "Wycliffe College, Toronto". 3 (58). Aug 10, 1889: 84. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "November program at Church of the Epiphany for 75th anniversary". The Anglican (November 1962).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. http://dictionaryofarchitectsincanada.org/architects/view/1484 George Martel Miller (architect)
  6. http://dictionaryofarchitectsincanada.org/architects/view/1592 George Martel Miller (architect)
  7. Minter, David (1990). William Faulkner: His Life and Work. Johns Hopkins University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Colombo, John Robert (1984). Canadian Literary Landmarks. Hounslow.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/source/private/english/2002/elaws_src_private_pr02001_e.htm Wycliffe College Act, 2002, S.O. 2002, c. Pr1 - Bill Pr2
  10. http://archive.gg.ca/heraldry/pub-reg/project.asp?lang=e&ProjectID=1139 Arms and Badge
  11. Association of Research Libraries. "ARL Statistics 2004-05" (PDF). pp. 66–69. Retrieved 2007-01-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. University of Toronto Libraries. "Annual Statistics". Retrieved 2007-01-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

External links

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