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Canadian Theological Seminary

  • Entidad colectiva
  • June 1982-1 May 2007

By the 1950's The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) had become increasingly concerned that potential Alliance missionaries and pastors who desired master's level formation had to look outside the Alliance to find it. To address the problem, the C&MA began The Jaffray School of Missions, a one-year post-baccalaureate missionary training program, which was housed on the campus of Nyack Missionary College, Nyack, N.Y., which was the movement's flagship undergraduate institution. However, this solution did not appeal to those who wanted a full master's degree. To address this concern the 1963 General Council voted to make Wheaton College Graduate School the official seminary of the C&MA until the Alliance could develop its own seminary. It took the Jaffray School of Missions until 1974 (when it changed its name to the Alliance School of Theology and Missions) to offer a two-year master's degree, and until 1979 (when it became Alliance Theological Seminary) to offer a full M.Div. degree.

Meanwhile, the faculty of Canadian Bible College (CBC) had become increasingly concerned about the dilution of the Alliance ethos and the loss of potential missionary and ministry candidates to other denominations. To address these concerns, Alvin Martin, president of CBC, along with academic dean Samuel Stoesz, began, in 1965, to lobby the C&MA's Education Department for permission to start a graduate school in Canada. The General Council of 1967 granted their request, and in September 1970 Canadian Theological College (CTC) began classes on the campus of Canadian Bible College. The new institution was called "College" and not "Seminary" in deference to those member of the Alliance constituency who equated seminary education with liberalism. Although continuing to share a president and board with CBC, CTC was granted a separate charter by the Saskatchewan Legislature in 1973. In the same year, CTC was approved for affiliation with the University of Regina. It offered six classes at the University in Hebrew, Greek and biblical literature, and the president of CBC/CTC served on the University Senate. Just over a decade later the school had become sufficiently established within the denomination to consider a name change, and in June 1982, by an act of the Saskatchewan Legislature, Canadian Theological College became Canadian Theological Seminary.

The seminary became a fully-accredited member of the Association of Theological Schools in 1989. That year it began a doctor of ministry program, which it offered until 1997. Along with Canadian Bible College, it moved to Calgary in the summer of 2003 and became a part of the joint venture known as Alliance University College/Nazarene University College. On 1 May 2007, when AUC/NUC became Ambrose University College, the seminary changed its name to Ambrose Seminary. .

Canadian Theological College

  • Entidad colectiva
  • September 1970-June 1982

By the 1950's The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) had become increasingly concerned that potential Alliance missionaries and pastors who desired master's level formation had to look outside the Alliance to find it. To address the problem, the C&MA began The Jaffray School of Missions, a one-year post-baccalaureate missionary training program, which was housed on the campus of Nyack Missionary College, Nyack, N.Y., which was the movement's flagship undergraduate institution. However, this solution did not appeal to those who wanted a full master's degree. To address this concern the 1963 General Council voted to make Wheaton College Graduate School the official seminary of the C&MA until the Alliance could develop its own seminary. It took the Jaffray School of Missions until 1974 (when it changed its name to the Alliance School of Theology and Missions) to offer a two-year master's degree, and until 1979 (when it became Alliance Theological Seminary) to offer a full M.Div. degree.

Meanwhile, the faculty of Canadian Bible College (CBC) had become increasingly concerned about the dilution of the Alliance ethos and the loss of potential missionary and ministry candidates to other denominations. To address these concerns, Alvin Martin, president of CBC, along with academic dean Samuel Stoesz, began, in 1965, to lobby the C&MA's Education Department for permission to start a graduate school in Canada. The General Council of 1967 granted their request, and in September 1970 Canadian Theological College (CTC) began classes on the campus of Canadian Bible College. The new institution was called "College" and not "Seminary" in deference to those member of the Alliance constituency who equated seminary education with liberalism. Although continuing to share a president and board with CBC, CTC was granted a separate charter by the Saskatchewan Legislature in 1973. In the same year, CTC was approved for affiliation with the University of Regina. It offered six classes at the University in Hebrew, Greek and biblical literature, and the president of CBC/CTC served on the University Senate. Just over a decade later the school had become sufficiently established within the denomination to consider a name change, and in June 1982, by an act of the Saskatchewan Legislature, Canadian Theological College became Canadian Theological Seminary.

Canadian Bible College

  • Entidad colectiva
  • 10 April 1957-September 2006

Canadian Bible College was established in Regina, Saskatchewan in 1941 as Canadian Bible Institute. Classes were held in the refurbished basement of the Regina Alliance Tabernacle at 2080 Osler St. The new school was born of a need to train workers for the new churches that the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) had planted in Western Canada. At that point the Canadian C&MA had no training institutes of its own, for in 1929 the C&MA’s Board of Managers had closed both Canadian Bible Institute (established in Toronto in 1924), and Great West Bible Institute, (founded in Edmonton in 1924). The new school almost suffered the same fate, for it lacked the official approval of the Alliance. However, the founders Gordon Skitch, George Blackett, and W.H. Brooks reached a compromise with the Board whereby the school was permitted to continue so long as its name was changed to Western Canadian Bible Institute (WCBI).

This change of name was adopted in 1945, the same year that WCBI moved into new quarters, the former Clayton Hotel, 1720 Broad St., Regina. In 1949 the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan granted WCBI official incorporation as a non-profit educational institution, and in May 1956 the General Council of the C&MA recognized WCBI as the official school of the C&MA in Canada.

In October 1956, WCBI moved to 4400 4th Ave., Regina, which would be its home, until the move to Calgary in July 2003. On 10 April 1957 WCBI changed its name to Canadian Bible College (CBC). In the following decade, CBC dedicated its new campus, conferred its first BTh and BRE degrees, became a fully-accredited member of the Accrediting Association of Bible Colleges, and began to develop plans for a seminary. The seminary, originally named Canadian Theological College (September 1970-June 1982), later changed its name to Canadian Theological Seminary (1982-2007), and Ambrose Seminary (2007-).

In September 2006 Canadian Bible College became the undergraduate ministry program of Alliance University College/Nazarene University College and ceased to have an independent existence. It is now (2016) known as the Ambrose University School of Ministry.

The Christian and Missionary Alliance

  • Entidad colectiva
  • 1 April 1897-

The Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA) is an evangelical Christian denomination dedicated to the promulgation of the fourfold Gospel. Christ as Savior, Sanctifier, Healer, and Coming King. It is rooted in the vision of a Canadian Presbyterian minister, A. B. (Albert Benjamin) Simpson (1843-1919). After serving prestigious pastorates in Louisville KY (1874-1879) and New York City (1879-1881) Simpson left the Presbyterian Church to found a ministry in New York City to “the poor and neglected masses.” The fruit of these labors was the Gospel Tabernacle. Out of the Gospel Tabernacle emerged two fraternal organizations for the promotion of evangelism and “the higher Christian life.”

The International Missionary Alliance (IMA) was founded in 1887 as the Evangelical Missionary Alliance (EMA). Its major object was "to carry the Gospel 'to all nations', with special reference to the need of the destitute and unoccupied fields." It sought "to unite all Christians of evangelical denominations in its work." The organization’s name was changed to the International Missionary Alliance on its incorporation in November 1887 (Alliance Yearbook 1888, p. 52-55).

The Christian Alliance, which was also founded in 1887, saw itself as a "fraternal union of believers in cordial harmony with evangelical Christians of every name." It was responsible to hold annual conventions and form local "branches". These were seen as fellowships, not as churches, for the purpose of bearing testimony to the Fourfold Gospel, diffusing its truths, providing community for those who believed them, and praying for the evangelization of the world. (Alliance Yearbook 1888, p. 48-51).

On 31 March, 1897, the boards of the two organizations authorized a merger; it was made law on 1 April 1897 by a special act of the New York legislature and ratified by a special convention held 14-18 April at the Gospel Tabernacle. The aims of the newly-minted Christian and Missionary Alliance combined those of the original bodies: (as stated by the Fraternal Letter that resulted from the 1898 annual convention) the C&MA was "to preach a full Gospel at home and send missionaries; to carry the same glad tidings to the unevangelized regions beyond; to preserve our non-sectarian and interdenominational attitude; to study to confine the [administrative] machinery to that which is necessary…." (Pardington, George P. Twenty-five Wonderful Years, p. 74, 75).

By the 1920s the C&MA had taken root in both the United States and Canada. The best-known figure in the C&MA in the post-Simpson era was A. W. (Aiden Wilson) Tozer (1898-1963), whose devotional writings had an influence far beyond the Alliance. The C&MA officially became a denomination in 1974. Its missionary efforts have been quite successful: the Alliance now has around 6 million adherents worldwide, of whom only about 600,000 reside in Canada or the United States. The Alliance World Fellowship (AWF), a non-legislative body, was formed in 1975 "to facilitate cooperation among [these] churches as they work for the fulfillment of the Great Commission" (AWF website).

The Christian and Missionary Alliance, Board of Managers

  • Entidad colectiva
  • 1897-

The International Missionary Alliance was founded in 1887 by Rev. Albert Benjamin Simpson, as the Evangelical Missionary Alliance, its major object being "to carry the Gospel 'to all nations', with special reference to the need of the destitute and unoccupied fields," seeking "to unite all Christians of evangelical denominations in its work." The EMA was governed by a board of managers, which was comprised of a president, seven vice-presidents, four other executive officers and 22 members-at-large from seven states. The Board was responsible to appoint foreign missionaries and to exercise general supervision over all the interests of the Alliance. A smaller executive committee, consisting of 13 officers, was charged with carrying out the Board's business between meetings. The organization’s name was changed to the IMA, coinciding with its incorporation in November 1887 (Alliance Yearbook 1888, p. 52-55).

The Christian Alliance was also founded in 1887 as a "fraternal union of believers in cordial harmony with evangelical Christians of every name." It was responsible to hold annual conventions and in conjunction with the districts, form local branches. These were seen as fellowships, not as churches, with the purpose of bearing testimony to the Four-fold Gospel, promoting diffusion of these truths, providing community for those who believe them, and praying for the evangelization of the world. The Christian Alliance was governed by an executive committee, consisting of a president, 29 vice-presidents, four other executive officers and 41 members-at-large (Alliance Yearbook 1888, p. 48-51).

On Mar 31, 1897, the two respective boards authorized the merger; it was made law on Apr 1, 1897 by a special act of the New York legislature and ratified by a special convention held Apr 14-18 at the Gospel Tabernacle in New York. The aims of the new organization combined those of the original bodies: (as stated by the Fraternal Letter that resulted from the 1898 annual convention) the C&MA was "to preach a full Gospel at home and send missionaries; to carry the same glad tidings to the unevangelized regions beyond; to preserve our non-sectarian and interdenominational attitude; to study to confine the [administrative] machinery to that which is necessary…." (Pardington, George P. Twenty-five Wonderful Years, p. 74, 75). The C&MA officially became a denomination in 1974.

The Board of Managers, elected by the annual General Council (the supreme governing body of the C&MA) provides general oversight and management and serves as the executive committee of General Council when General Council is not in session. The Board first met on Apr 17, 1897, with 18 members present. At this meeting it adopted a constitution and approved the sending of a number of missionaries. The Board of Managers currently consists of 28 members.

The Christian and Missionary Alliance-Western Canadian District

  • Entidad colectiva
  • 1925-1 January 1981

The Western Canadian District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance came into being in May of 1925. Previously, the whole of Canada (with the exception of British Columbia, which was included in the Pacific Northwest District) had been considered one district. During the administration of A. W. Roffe, superintendent of the Alliance District of Canada from 1919-1925, it became clear that the Canadian District was too large to be administered by one man. Roffe’s nervous breakdown in 1925, prompted Home Secretary E. J. Richards to divide Canada into three districts. The “Western Canadian District” was to embrace all of Canada west of Fort William, Ontario, including the North West Territories, with the exception of British Columbia. John H. Woodward was appointed the first district superintendent. In 1930, Woodward moved the district office from Edmonton to Winnipeg.

In the spring of 1931, Woodward stepped down, and a period of stagnation ensued. In 1933 the Home Department concluded that the struggling district should share the services of J. D. Williams, the district superintendent of the thriving Eastern and Central District. Williams became district superintendent of the Pacific Northwest District the following year but remained the titular head of the Western Canadian District until the end of 1936.

In September 1937, Gordon Skitch took over as leader, although the board did not officially instate Skitch as district superintendent until 1943. Skitch moved the district office to Calgary. In 1938, the bi-monthly Western Worker’s Bulletin was launched, and in 1941 Canadian Bible Institute (later renamed Canadian Bible College) was established in Regina.

In March 1936, the boundaries of the district were expanded to include all of British Columbia with the exception of the cities of Vancouver, Victoria, and New Westminster.

In 1949 Willis Brooks became district superintendent. The following May, the boundaries of the district were expanded again to include the remainder of British Columbia. Brooks was succeeded in 1953 by George Blackett. Roy McIntyre took over from Blackett in January 1960.

In March 1963 the district was divided once again after the creation of the Canadian Midwest District, which included Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and that part of Ontario and the Northwest Territories lying between the 88th and 110th meridians. A further division occurred in January 1979, when British Columbia was released to become the new Canadian Pacific District. In 1980, Harvey A. Town became superintendent of the reorganized Western Canadian District.

In 1981, like the rest of its Canadian counterparts, the district came under the authority of the newly founded autonomous (independent from the United States) Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. In 1990, Town was succeeded by Arnold Downey, who was followed by Ken Driedger in 1999. The Western Canadian District currently oversees 110 churches from Yellowknife to the US border, and the district office remains in Calgary.

The Christian and Missionary Alliance-Canadian Midwest District

  • Entidad colectiva
  • 1 January 1964-1 January 1981

The Christian and Missionary Alliance-Canadian Midwest District was created to accommodate the growth of The Christian and Missionary Alliance-Western Canadian District, which by 1960 had exceeded the capacity of one administrator to run. Unsuccessful in his attempts to obtain an assistant, district superintendent Roy McIntyre welcomed the decision of the Home Department to divide the district.

The new district encompassed Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and that part of Ontario and the Northwest Territories lying between the 88th and 110th meridians and included 39 churches. At the 1963 conference of the Western Canadian District, Rev. Alf H. Orthner was selected as its founding superintendent.

At its inception on 1 January 1964, the district had its office at Canadian Bible College. Soon thereafter, a house was purchased on Parliament Street and for the next eleven years it served as the district parsonage and office.

The first district conference was held in Morden, Manitoba in September 1964. It was attended by Home Secretary Leslie W. Pippert. At this meeting Melvin P. Sylvester was elected as district secretary and Clare Heagy as district treasurer.

In 1981, like the rest of its Canadian counterparts, the district came under the authority of the newly founded autonomous (independent from The Christian and Missionary Alliance (U.S.)) Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada-Canadian Midwest District now incorporates Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario west of the 90th meridian, and Nunavut.

The Christian and Missionary Alliance-Eastern and Central Canadian District

  • Entidad colectiva
  • 1925-1 January 1981

The Eastern and Central Canadian Districts of the Christian and Missionary Alliance came into existence in 1925 as two distinct entities. Prior to this date, the whole of Canada (with the exception of British Columbia) was considered and managed as one district. The newly created Central District would run from Fort William (Thunder Bay), Ontario to the Quebec – New Brunswick border. The Eastern District would comprise the Maritime Provinces. However, only a month after the new districts were formed, it was decided by the Home Department that the current missionary offerings from the Maritimes was not sufficient to justify the appointment of a separate superintendent for that area, and thus the work in the Maritimes would have to be carried out by the Central District. Therefore, the combined effort came to be known as the Eastern and Central Canadian District, and included the vast and diverse region of the whole of Canada east of Fort William, Ontario.

Home Secretary E. J. Richards became titular superintendent of the new district from New York, with Lionel Watson acting as resident assistant superintendent and administrator from Toronto. A year later, in May of 1926, Oswald J. Smith became superintendent of the combined districts, only to resign eight months later. Three months following Smith’s resignation, the annual district conference elected Lionel Watson to the position. Watson served as superintendent for one year, after which he was followed, in 1928, by the highly qualified and experienced J. D. Williams. After serving diligently for nearly six years (the last of those years as acting superintendent of the Western Canadian District as well), Williams was appointed superintendent of the Pacific Northwest District in May, 1934. James F. Brabazon, a long time missionary to India, was appointed temporary superintendent in his stead. A year later, Brabazon returned to India, and David Mason, a veteran missionary and co-secretary of the Foreign Department, was assigned to the vacant position. During Mason’s eleven-year superintendency, the Eastern and Central District remained essentially stagnant both numerically and financially. In 1946, Nathan Bailey took the reigns of the district. During his fourteen years at the helm, the Eastern and Central District experienced its highest ever growth rate over a fourteen-year period. In 1960, Bailey was elected president of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. In his place, William J. Newell, associate pastor of Avenue Road Church, was selected. Newell provided leadership for the district until 1973 when he stepped down in order to become executive director of World Vision International of Canada. Long time Alliance pastor Melvin P. Sylvester was elected at the 1973 district conference to become the next superintendent. During Sylvester’s seven year term as district superintendent, he provided much of the leadership in the movement towards Canadian autonomy. In June of 1980, he resigned from the position in order to become the first president of the newly autonomous Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. Robert Gould, previously superintendent of the Canadian Midwest District, took Sylvester’s place beginning in March of 1981.

When the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada became an autonomous body on 1 January 1981, the official name of the district became The Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada-Eastern and Central Canadian District.

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