In 2014 the Montreal School of Theology (MST) was looking back at a proud history of 100 years of cooperation between the Diocesan College, the United Theological College, the Presbyterian College and McGill’s School of Religious Studies (formerly known as the Faculty of Religious Studies and before that the Faculty of Divinity).
At the same time the Grand Séminaire celebrated its 170th anniversary and the Presbyterian College its 150th anniversary. Where as various celebrations have marked these important events and proud histories, at the same time most Montreal based institutions for theological education are in a challenging situation.
Cooperation between all institutions
The Summit on Theological Education in Montreal in 2014 was meant to explore the possibilities of cooperation between all institutions of higher learning in Montreal that offer courses and degrees in theology. These institutions are apart from the afore mentioned ones affiliated with the Montreal School of Theology : the Faculté de Théologie et Études religieuses de Université de Montréal, the Faculté de théologie évangélique, the Grand Séminaire, the Institut pastorale des Dominicains, and the Department of Theology of Concordia University, to which later other institutions came, namely the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism and the Institut de théologie orthodoxe de Montréal.
As for the results of this Summit, all agreed on several central issues, namely :
- The creation of a Council of Institutions for Theological Education in Montreal;
- A follow-up meeting in about 6 months, and afterwards a meeting once a year;
- Some initial agreement on course and resource sharing;
- Continuation of the work of the discussion groups.
The creation of the Council
Two years later, the Council has been created, several follow-up meetings have taken place, initiatives have been taken in terms of course and resource sharing (see, for example, MontrealBiblicalColloquium.weebly.com, and several discussion groups have continued their work. This website is not only evidence of it, but also an effort to support the work of the Council, facilitate inner-institutional cooperation and promote the study of theology in Montreal.
We, the participants of the Summit on Theological Education in Montreal agree to create a continuing body of cooperation called ‘The Council of Theological Education in Montreal’ in order to further cooperation.