Church, College, and Clergy

Church, College, and Clergy: A History of Theological Education at Knox College, Toronto, 1844-1994

BRIAN J. FRASER
Copyright Date: 1995
Pages: 288
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt81ctc
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  • Book Info
    Church, College, and Clergy
    Book Description:

    Using the public writings of faculty members, Fraser describes the evolution of theological education at Knox College and, by extension, the ministry and mission of the Presbyterian Church of Canada. Fraser argues that Knox College, with its mission to uphold and spread the great evangelical truths of the Gospel, played a crucial role in the development of Presbyterian culture and in shaping the dominant views of the church.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6566-1
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface and Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Illustrations
    (pp. ix-2)
  5. Introduction: Preserving and Propagating the Great Evangelical Truths, 1844-1994
    (pp. 3-17)

    The Rev. Dr. Robert Burns was not easily discouraged. On 19 April 1844, he arrived in Kingston, Ontario, to plead the cause of the Free Church of Scotland, the evangelical wing of Scottish Presbyterianism that had broken away from the Church of Scotland a year earlier. When he was denied access to the Church of Scotland pulpit, arrangements were quickly made for Burns to speak in the Wellington Street Wesleyan Methodist Church and large crowds came to hear him. In the audience were seven theological students attending Queen’s, the Church of Scotland college in Kingston, six of whom indicated to...

  6. 1 Founding Visions, 1844-1850
    (pp. 18-42)

    John Anderson was anything but impressed the first time he met Robert Burns. He had immigrated from Scotland as a young man and settled in Bytown (later Ottawa) as an apprentice cabinet-maker. The resolution of his own spiritual crisis, characterized by feelings of extreme ignorance, painful anxiety, and restlessness of soul,¹ coincided with the creation of the Free Church and he became a founding member of Knox Free Church, Ottawa, under the ministry of Thomas Wardrope. Wardrope encouraged him to consider studying for the ministry and sent him to Toronto to talk with Burns in 1848. As Anderson remembered the...

  7. 2 Conflicting Strategies, 1850-1870
    (pp. 43-66)

    Scottish Free Church missionary and educationist Alexander Duff, whose ideas had played a significant role in the establishment of Knox College, visited Toronto in 1853. He urged the members of the Students’ Missionary Society of Knox College to see themselves as the church militant:

    because the whole world is in opposition to the Head of the Church, and the commission of the Head of the Church is, go ye and act out the part of the church militant, and never cease giving vent to your belligerent propensities, not against one another, but against the common foe, until that foe is...

  8. 3 Broadening Perspectives, 1870-1890
    (pp. 67-90)

    Robert Campbell had grandiose visions for Presbyterianism in Canada. He expressed them in an essay that won a contest sponsored by a group of Montreal businessmen who were promoting further Presbyterian union in the Quebec and Ontario at the time of Confederation. Campbell suggested that all the branches of Presbyterianism in the new Dominion of Canada be invited to consider union, since a larger church would be better equipped to meet the mission needs of the new country and broader opportunities would attract better men to the ministry.¹ Several of those who supported union also supported the confederation movement among...

  9. 4 Creating a Progressive College, 1890-1905
    (pp. 91-114)

    Robert N. Grant, a frequent contributor to the church press under the pen name Knoxonian, was not at all happy with the progressive changes being suggested for Knox College. Two distinctive features, orthodoxy in theology and aggressiveness in mission work, had characterized Knox in its first sixty years and Grant was convinced that the college had to hold fast to both. “Whatever the future may bring,” Grant wrote in 1903, “old Rnox has always stood for evangelical theology of a pronounced type. With comparatively few exceptions, the men of Knox have always been ready to do battle for a conservative...

  10. 5 Promoting the United Church of Canada, 1905-1925
    (pp. 115-139)

    The church union movement in Canada was not launched by the cautious and tactful leadership of William Caven, but by the visionary thinking and passionate oratory of William Patrick and C.W. Gordon. Patrick was the principal of Manitoba College and Gordon was the minister of St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church in Winnipeg and a writer of popular novels under the pen name Ralph Connor. In the course of bringing fraternal greetings to the Methodist General Council, which met in Winnipeg in 1902, they sketched out what proved to be a convincing picture of the benefits of an organic union among Canada’s...

  11. 6 Reconstructing the Continuing Church, 1925-1945
    (pp. 140-164)

    The seventy-nine commissioners who gathered in the northwest corner of College Avenue Presbyterian Church in Toronto shortly after 6:00 p.m. on 9 June 1925 were a determined group. Straining to hear each other over the thundering notes of the Hallelujah Chorus being played on the church organ, they agreed to reconvene the Assembly at Knox Presbyterian Church on Spadina Avenue at 11:45 p.m. that evening so that they would be in session when the United Church of Canada officially came into being at 12:01 a.m. on 10 june 1925. The most important piece of business at that midnight sederunt was...

  12. 7 Diverging Views, 1945–1977
    (pp. 165-196)

    By the end of the Second World War, the Presbyterian Church in Canada had completed what James D. Smart called its “painful inner reconstruction”¹ and was ready to move out of the garrison mentality that had developed in the aftermath of church union. An increasing number of Canadian Presbyterians were convinced that they had some unique and valuable approaches to the Gospel to offer to the Canadian church and nation, the most important of which was the neo-Reformation theological orientation shaped by Walter Bryden. The continuing church, according to Smart, had had to face the question of “the true nature,...

  13. Epilogue: Continuing Challenges, 1978–1994
    (pp. 197-206)

    The problems that confronted Knox College when Charles Hay assumed the principal’s office were not new. They included continuing tensions between the college and the church over the funding and control of theological education, confusion within the denomination over the nature of the church, its clerical leadership, and their theological education, and concern that most of the chairs in the core disciplines of the curriculum had gone to non-Canadians with little parish experience. The seeds of many of these tensions were sown generations before, but they sprouted in the 1960s and the 1970s, came to fruition in the 1980s, and...

  14. Notes
    (pp. 207-256)
  15. Index
    (pp. 257-261)