Date of Award

1985

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Higher Education Administration PhD

First Advisor

Bernard M. Lall

Second Advisor

E. Stanley Chace

Third Advisor

Clifton A. Keller

Abstract

Problem

Evangelical seminaries in Canada enroll more students than those of mainline denominations, yet they lack recognition and acceptance. This problem may be due to insufficient information, inaccurate understanding of evangelicals, or the fact that most of them were founded since 1970. No study has attempted to describe them or to analyse their distinctives and growth.

Method

One of the most recent studies of Canadian seminaries was by Robert T. Handy who compared Canadian and American members of ATS and reported his findings in the Spring 1982 issue of Theological Education which also included responses from five Canadian educators. The six articles, as they described Canadian institutions, were summarized and their findings listed and used as the basis for this study. three questionnaires were developed to solicit the views of the presidents and deans of evangelical seminaries and of Canadian leaders of evangelical denominations, pertaining to these findings, and to compare and analyze their responses.

Results

Evangelical seminaries are similar to those Handy studied in size, closeness of relationship to their church traditions, curriculum, historical influences, and level of theological creativity, but differ in the types of associations they hold with other educational institutions and on their views concerning the relationship of graduate studies to ordination. Evangelical leaders support the maintenance of denominational distinctives, lack interest in interdenominational preparation of ministers, are satisfied with the current number and location of evangelical seminaries, and desire a Canadian approach to accreditation. The institutions are adjusting programs to better prepare students for ministry in Canada.

Conclusions

Evangelical seminaries in Canada are a diverse, growing, distinctive group which merits recognition and which needs dialogue with others in theological education. Their presidents and deans agree more closely with one another on the issues raised than they do with leaders of their supporting denominations.

Subject Area

Evangelicalism, Theological seminaries--Canada.

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