Stefan Slovak, University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto.
The University of St. Michael’s College (USMC) will be home to the theological riches of both Eastern and Western Christianity, with the relocation of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies to the Toronto campus. The announcement, which comes after five years of careful reflection and discussion, was made September 28 in USMC’s great hall, the Canada Room, filled to capacity in the company of University Chancellor Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, primate of the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church and religious and civic leaders from Canada, the U.S. and Ukraine. The Memorandum of Agreement was signed by Andrew Hladyshevsky, Q.C., President of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute Foundation and USMC President David Mulroney.
“In welcoming the Sheptytsky Institute we benefit as a University,” said David Mulroney, USMC President and Vice-Chancellor. “We are allowed to share in a rich history, we gain privileged access to the Institute’s library, its publication tradition; and we welcome new scholars and excellent teachers into our midst. But more than that, we are enriched as a community.”
Sheptytsky will function as an autonomous academic unit within the Faculty of Theology and will offer courses in the areas of: Eastern Christian spirituality and doctrine, liturgy, historical studies, and ecumenism.
“Our students will now be formed in both the Western and Eastern forms of Catholic theological thought in a way that cannot be matched in any university or seminary in North America,” said James Ginther, Dean of the USMC Faculty of Theology.
The move to St. Mike’s represents the third re-founding of the institute. Initially founded by Fr. Andriy Chirovsky in 1986 at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, it relocated in 1990 to Ottawa’s Saint Paul University.
“An incredibly diverse city, Toronto is home to communities of virtually all of the Eastern Christian Churches: Orthodox, Pre-Chalcedonian and Eastern Catholic,” said Fr. Chirovsky.
The Institute’s Acting Director, Fr. Peter Galadza, added: “The Eastern Churches will now have a think tank at Canada’s premiere university. They stand to benefit from this environment as they increasingly make their voices heard on key theological issues.”
His Beatitude Sviatoslav emphasized that the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Church, as the largest of the Eastern Catholic Churches, has a responsibility to help other Eastern Churches, Catholic and Orthodox, to tell their story and pursue intellectual development within the stimulating environment of the University of Toronto, one of the world’s leading universities.
The Sheptytsky Institute will relocate to St. Michael’s on July 1, 2017, and its course offerings will begin that September. It is foreseen that Eastern Christian Studies streams will be offered at the professional degree level, with Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) degrees, as well as the advanced research degree level, with the Master of Arts in Theology (M.A.) and Ph.D. The Institute will officially be referenced as “The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies in the Faculty of Theology, University of St Michael’s College.”
The Institute will have exclusive use of Windle House, an impressive 1897 Victorian mansion at the very heart of the campus, as well as a Byzantine chapel, to be established in nearby Elmsley Hall.
The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies was founded by Fr. Andriy Chirovsky in 1986 at Catholic Theological Union, a graduate school of ministry in Chicago. In 1990, this institute relocated to Ottawa’s Saint Paul University, where it developed programs in Eastern Christian Studies from the undergraduate Certificate through the Bachelor’s, Master’s Licentiate and Doctoral levels. The Institute also publishes a peer-reviewed journal, Logos: A Journal of Eastern Christian Studies, as well as books and audio-visual materials. It is supported by the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute Foundation and operates under the moral and financial aegis of the Ukrainian Catholic Hierarchy of Canada.
About the University of St. Michael’s College
University of St. Michael’s College (USMC), established in 1852 and federated with the University of Toronto since 1910, is a Catholic institution of higher learning founded by the Congregation of St. Basil. Their motto, “Teach me goodness, discipline and knowledge,” sets the tone for campus life. Committed to the pursuit of knowledge, meaning and truth, USMC offers a dynamic campus where Catholic Intellectual Thought thrives in a context of academic freedom and respectful debate. University of St. Michael’s College features a large and dynamic undergraduate division, Faculty of Theology and the historically rich Kelly Library.
For more information, please contact:
University of St. Michael’s College
Fr. Andriy Chirovsky